We have a very tiny backyard, but we've tried to make the best of what we have to work with. Last year we expanded our deck and this year we've been focusing on making it an inviting space.
The last couple of weekends have been spent building a compact, fold-down bar. One weekend to build and stain it, the second to give it a few coats of poly. This weekend we finally were able to hang it up and put it to use.
Just in time for summer, Sherry from Young House Love and Katie from Bower Power are challenging all of us in blogland to get going on some of the projects we've pinned on Pinterest. I thought our outdoor bar would be the perfect thing since we've been wanting to make it for so long.
This edition is also being hosted by Kate at Centsational Girl and Michelle at Ten June. Head on over to all four sites to see what everyone has come up with and to add your own project.
Now back to our backyard bar........
Ours is built of pine, stained Minwax red mahogany, and I gave it three coats of polyurethane to protect it from the Canadian weather (Update: it's already been rained on several times and is holding up great!)
Here is a simplified picture of the pieces you'll need. The frame is made of 1" x 6" pine select and the fold-down shelf is a cut down 20" pine shelf.
The side pieces are 22 inches long at the back. Tom routered a curve into the top so it is slightly shorter at the front. He cut a slot (dado joint) into each side board about two inches down so that the top shelf could slide into it and have more strength.
The top shelf is 24 inches wide at the front. The shelf has a cut out on each side so that it fits into the slot, but there is an overhang at the front so that the edge of the shelf is flush with the sides. The board ends up being a wide, upside-down T-shape.
The upright board at the back of the top shelf is 3 inches deep by 22 inches long and drops in behind the shelf.
The interior vertical piece and shelf are slightly shallower than the outer boards so that the rope can hang freely inside and not get caught up when we close the door. The vertical board is 19 inches long, and the shelf is 10 inches long. The bottom board is 24 inches long. All of the boards are joined together with counter-sunk screws, and the holes were then puttied.
We also used brass hinges to attach the fold-down shelf to the base.
The fold-down shelf is 19" x 24". When folded up, this board ends an inch before the bottom shelf because, when it's folded out, it has to meet that bottom shelf in a way that keeps it flush.
We used sisal rope to suspend the shelf when it's open instead of chain as in the original. The side ropes keep the shelf from dropping below horizontal and puts less stress on the hinges. We drilled holes in the fold-out shelf and in the bar sides near the top, fed the rope through the holes, and tied each end in a knot to keep it in place. A tip: if you tape off the end of the rope first, it's easier to feed through the hole.
Meanwhile, over on the other side of the deck...
When the chair is not in use we also use this area for hanging out in the hammock. Perfect for reading or just taking a nap. It's nice to be able to step down from the upper deck right into the hammock. (Notice another tea towel pillow? Yep, it got out of hand.)
And we're not the only ones who like to spend time there.
Bring on summer!
I'm linking up here this week!