Beach Cottage Before & Ugle Concrete Area Makeover WIP

Mon 12th, Sep, 2011

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I am out here in the garden.


With the Ugly Concrete.

It’s going well so far, though I am having some trouble locating an umbrella…I have found exactly the one I want at Bunnings, but do you think it is ever in stock.  Nup.


Dear Mr Bunnings Man

When I phone up to see if you have the umbrella (cream, wood handle) in stock and you tell me that yes, it is in stock, I would prefer it if that information was correct before I drive 30 minutes to your superstore to collect it, to find that you were in actual fact, mistaken.

Thanks so much.

Mrs Beach Cottage.


Anyway, this is what I started off with for the makeover…

old wooden chairs, some of them from the side of the road and a wooden lounger, most of these had seen better days and to be very honest were not for much longer round here…I decided though to save them from landfill and unify them with their different shapes and different ages and stages of weathering with good old-fashioned, tired and tested Beach Cottage Nautical White paint ;-)  I am really into upcycling and not buying new as you are probably aware if you have been with me for a while….and yes it is often about budget, though not always nowadays, but there is something oh-so-very satisfactory about taking something like these mis-matched, ramshackle collection of chairs which some may think were destined for nothing better than the dump and to make them over into something that one loves :-)



…and I was working with a lot of ugly concrete…


this little area though is right in a good spot…it gets the Winter sun, the morning sun, the late afternoon sun…pretty much it gets the sun all year round, hence umbrella neediness…

When we moved in this area was hidden by waist high weeds…once we had gotten rid of that, which was an enormous enormous job in this garden as it is rather large, we found underneath layers and layers of weeds a path and this area, plus we had a delightful (read HIDEOUS) picnic bench cemented in here painted in a luminous blue to match a plastic cemented-in bench on the other side…we ripped them both out (you can see the remains of the posts painted grey there on the floor)

….this area has kinda been forgotten (at least I tried to) and we had our old outdoor table on here…but to be honest we rarely used it, preferring to eat on the deck or have morning tea on the bench on the other side….but really this is a lovely little spot and someone somewhere had planned its location to fit right in with this climate….so I wanted to utilize that somewhat…

As you can see the concrete is in a sad way…I debated a few different things with this…outdoor rugs (yes there are such a thing…I am going to try this route) and decking tiles that you just butt up against each other and sit over the top…wasn’t sure how this would work out with the uneveness and I may still try it…but once I had actually cleaned it up, painted the furniture and added lots of pots and flowers, actually, the Ugly Concrete suddenly seemed to just fade away into the background…I have been A M A Z E D by this…you would think by now, having done enough of it and having a mantra like the Power of Paint I would have been ready for the transformation…
So yes I have been painting

guess what colour?



that would be my infamous BC White ;-)



this is a lovely looking wall ;-)



particularly enhanced by my Aussie gardening skills…aka dead plant in grey pot ;-)

Same thing happened with this wall too though …once I spruced it up a bit, and concealed it, suddenly it all loooked the better…



Anyway I will be back soon, hopefully with the finished product…a new Ugly Concrete Area

See you soon…and to all those waiting for the shop…it’s coming!!!!


oh I did an interview for Whisperwood Cottage’s fabulous Authentic Style series over the weekend…head on over and have a peek…thanks so much Amy for having me…



p.s my fave picture from walking the beaches over the weekend...you can find more doses of sunshine on the beaches on the Beach Cottage Facebook page…




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28 Responses to “Beach Cottage Before & Ugle Concrete Area Makeover WIP”

  1. Susan says:

    love it… that Mr BC is surely the most patient painting husband……. :)

    and nice beach piccy ….. too
    susan xx

  2. Susan says:

    You can always stain that concrete to ‘blend’ in a little better…but I think it looks quite nice as it is.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmm what will you call the Ugly Concrete Area..when your finished? ;)

  4. kari says:

    Hey!! Had a thought…. If you want to keep the cement project as simple & inexpensive as possible (and are already making the cement fade into the background)… Maybe just a simple coat of grey cement paint would make it feel clean… They make paint specifically for cement… Anyway, thought it would be a simple solution that would make the old cement feel fresh…

  5. Alice says:

    lol, it’s going to look fab. Loving the stone wall (I am a very big fan of stone walls am considering this route for front garden) and I love the saside picture… Sigh, did not enjoy the cold wind on the weekend but I did find a local farmers market (organic only – yeah) 15 minutes drive from my place Yeah!!!! Bought me some purple carrots and put them in some chicken soup – delicious! Loving the sunshine today! Can’t wait for the final reveal! Yes, bunnings can be a pain like that!

  6. Deanne says:

    you are a tease! I was looking forward to seeing your finished spot only to find you aren’t showing it just yet, but just teasing us!

  7. Hi Sarah..I am looking forward to seeing the completed arrangement of all your painted white chairs in that grey space..yay!

  8. cheryl says:

    i like the letter to bunnings : )

  9. Jos says:

    Why don’t you smear yoghurt over the concrete and then it’ll go all vintage mossy – and not look quite so concrete-ville?! Could look quite charming!

  10. Zosia says:

    That amazing trick of Ugly Concrete disappearing may not be so surprising given that you do admit from to time to posses a broomstick :-) and you’ve become very adept in the spell of “whitenosis-all-surficio” (make everything white), moreover you hail from England, also known to be the location of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, so perhaps you are just an undiscovered witch (of a good kind). Harry was in a cupboard UNDER the stairs and you are in a cottage down UNDER :-).

  11. Nancy says:

    Whew! For a minute I thought you’d changed your MO and begun using pale blue paint to tidy up all those wonderful wood chairs … then I realized it must just be my monitor. I do love your infamous BC White! Your ugly concrete area really isn’t ugly at all, imho … a little Roundup on the weeds and a couple of coats of grey concrete paint would smurf it up quite nicely, I think. And I love the rock wall! Can’t wait for the “after” photos! {hugs}

  12. Simone says:

    Can’t wait to see the finished product, still working on mine will be a few weeks until I can complete it, deciding on diy treated pine decking (50% cheaper than decking tiles) and cheaper than the outdoor rugs available for my area requirements. Did you see Jaime Durie’s Outdoor Room they designed a backyard Hamptons style this week?

  13. Hello Sarah

    Lordy – I know anything you touch will turn to “gold” – well you know what I mean.

    Thank god for a dead plant in a pot!
    It makes me feel i’m in “real land” and not “fantasy land”

    So many blogs are complete fantasy and yours keeps it real today

    have a lovely time brush stroking those timber chair battens


  14. Tammi says:

    Hehe, I love Zosia’s comment ;)

    Looking forward to seeing you work your magic on this spot Sarah….we have a rather drab looking paved pad in our backyard that has seen far better days…I don’t even know what the purpose would have been but it sure needs a bit of tlc!!


  15. Lynne says:

    I like the “Dear Mr Bummings Man” letter and look forward to the photos of the “Concrete Area Makeover.”
    I have no doubt it will be smashing . . .

  16. Painting mismatched chairs the same color always works. My dining chairs are very similar but different when put next to each other. I don’t think any guest has ever noticed that they are not the same. I know your area will be stunning when you are done.

  17. Barefoot Liz says:

    I can’t wait to see a photo of the finished project! I think I’m going to get rid of my small bistro table (the tiles are falling off of it) and then just be on the lookout for wooden chairs to paint.

  18. Hmmm….maybe I won’t get rid of those old wooden chairs next year :)

    Ikea just did the same thing to use TWICE with a sink.

  19. I meant ‘us’ might be a bit tired.

  20. I’m looking forward to seeing more Sarah!

    Hugs…Tracy :)

  21. It’s looking better all the time, Sarah! That stone wall is a gem of a find! And your idea for an outdoor rug (yup – I have one on my deck!) is fabulous. I can tell you from experience, it makes all the difference in the world! :)

    xoxo laurie

  22. Fleur says:

    I have that umbrella, not very good on a windy day, but lovely to look at. We had the same problem with Bunnings trying to get 2 sun lounger cushions in taupe. I think we went to every Bunnings in Perth. Finally got them in the middle of winter!
    What about Pea gravel for the concrete? quite frenchy? but not so soft on the feet if you are bare footed. You could do a nice little edging and some zinc look planters with lavender… looking forwards to see what you do with the space. x

  23. Janet Purcell says:

    Loving the nail polish, Sarah.

  24. So glad to have you, Sarah! Your style is truly authentic and inspiring! I love your weathered chairs. Can’t wait to see how they turn out with their fresh coat of BC White!

  25. alison says:

    I love an evolving project Sarah. It’s good to watch your makeovers step by step. Kind of like a visual soap opera.

    I smiled sweetly and “encouraged” Mr alison to renovate two of those wooden slat chairs, 1 matching table and a bench seat for our garden areas. He moaned and whinged but the end results were stunning.

    My daughter and I did lunch today at a new outdoor cafe in a plant nursery/pot shop near home that is full of old mismatched furniture. I think of you every time I go there. It’s a relaxed and fun venue that has been a hit with the locals.

    Look forward to the next episode of your visual renovating soapy.


  26. Kira says:

    Can’t wait to see the result! Lovely picture of the sea, thank you for sharing it!!!

  27. Stacy says:

    The paint looked blue on my monitor at first. Can’t wait to see more!

  28. My first time linking up! Thanks for hosting! xoox