In reflection to Michele’s fabulous kitchen redo, she inspired me to take on my own project at my house.  Michele and I have been on the same page as far as design and what we both think ‘looks good’… have FAITH and don’t judge is what I always say!  It will all turn out beautifully in the end.

So for my backyard redo I decided to take apart Michele and Jons old deck that they wanted gone from their backyard.  I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I was going to do with it, but I knew that it would come in handy.  The outdoor building/shed is what the wood was used for and I couldn’t ask for a better look.  Old 2×4’s with nails and screw heads just add to the character.  The mix-matched wood that is yes strategically placed flows nicely, and the old windows from Michele and Jons seem fitting and add the right touch.  I have a heck of an imagination, and pride myself in the ability to to make something from nothing and do so on a very strict budget.  The bar area too was made from the old decking, the bar top from an old shop here in Van Meter that was getting renovated, the decor from flea markets, the beverage dispenser was repurposed, and parts were purchased from a community center that fixes up and resells appliances.  The railing, was a nice find that Jon and I salvaged from an abandoned house and re-fabricated for the deck space.  The stone work I tackled myself and searched around for the deals… This drove my wife insane having piles and piles of rock and stone in the yard for a few years, but this is how the money is saved. These things don’t happen over night on a budget. All of the plants were bought out of season, they just needed a little TLC initially, but worth it.  Another way to save on a project of this caliber is to source out people that can help out.  Friends and family will always seem to come over and help if the right beverages are offered!!!  And don’t be afraid to trade some work.  Outdoor entertaining is something that I really enjoy, and the simple fact that I did not spend a fortune making it all happen makes the whole space more enjoyable.

A little imagination and patience go along way!



  1. carole says:

    hey michele, had to write. used to watch you a long time ago, then the show disappeared and now i find it on again and truly enjoy watching. i caught your kitchen redo, great reuse of materials. i bought an old metal trivet {huge} but awesome at a yard sale. i saw you were using a floor grate {cool} however you didn’t mention what you used to seal with. i was wondering if you’d mind sharing what you used? thanks carole ps keep up the great work

  2. Michele says:

    Much gratitude for your kind, enthusiastic shout out, Julie! It was a very rewarding project and I got to finally play around with some ideas that I’ve been tossing about for quite some time. I too have always thought it such a waste to see things on those shows just be demolished and disposed of for the sake of entertainment. There is so much LIFE left in things if we just take the time to ‘deal’ with it! So glad you enjoyed and thank you again for taking the time to give us a shout. AND, you can always count me in for a good dumpster diving expedition! CHEERS!

  3. Julie Rockwood says:

    Saw your show on IPTV yesterday, you and Michelle created the most fantastic kitchen (think it was in her own house) with salvaged items. It was literally the most awesome, beautiful kitchen that I have ever seen! It had the brick floor, barn wood, rolling door, cutting board insert, marble countertops and re-used kitchen cabinets! You guys rock! I’ve always watched a ton of HGTV and always thought it was such a waste when they would gut and trash an entirely decent kitchen and then remake something else that was uglier, and more expensive than if they had just refinished things. What a waste! Thanks for being on the green movement! Let me know if you want to go “dumpster diving” with me for items to refinish/refurbish and do some decorating with! I’d love too!
    Keep up the awesome work and hope to catch more of your shows in the near future!
    Truly awesome visionaries you both are! Very truly yours, Julie Ann Page-Rockwood

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