Wasting no time, Assistant Projects Editor Mary Leigh Fitts turned this nearly forgotten deck into an enticing outdoor room.
First on the to-do list: Hide the parking area beside the patio to improve the overall atmosphere. The homeowner needed something that would stay permanently in place, so a local craftsman created the effect of louvered blinds using pressure-treated 2 x 4s.
Mary Leigh made curtain panels out of a weather-resistant fabric, such as Sunbrella, and hung them on either side of the table using makeshift curtain rods of heavy-gauge wire. She also stretched a hemmed piece of the same fabric above the table so that it's always covered. Secure the overhead fabric by nailing the ends to side structures that support the curtain rods or by adding grommets to the fabric and using hooks.