The 4 Point 8 Hour Challenge
May 14, 2009
You’ve all heard of the Better Homes & Gardens 48 Hour Challenge, right? It’s where five top bloggers were chosen to makeover their porch in 48 hours with a $500 gift card from Home Depot, at the chance of winning a $5,000 bonus. Today was Mr. CG’s birthday, so while the tots stayed a bit late at school, for his birthday I spent 4.8 hours redoing the outdoor balcony he shares with his male business partners. Yes, you heard me, four point eight hours! I was entrusted with the job and given the same budget of $500 from the office, and all of my purchases came from Home Depot as well.
Here’s the CHALLENGE: $500 budget from the office. 300 square feet of barren balcony, except for a few pieces of neutral furniture. Four point eight hours (before the kids need picked up from school).
First things first, two rugs to define the seating areas. At Home Depot, I purchased two 5×7 outdoor rugs for $59 each. Then I also purchased one can of spray paint for $4. With a bit of painter’s tape, I gave the neutral outdoor rugs a dark red band around the edge. I also purchased some red and tan patterned pillows for $13 each to accent the loveseat and the chairs.
Next, I purchased some deep red fiberglass planters for $39 each, and some plants to fill them. I chose bamboo plants ($20 each) and a dwarf palm ($15). I topped them off with ‘borrowed’ river rocks from the gigantic supply in the rock garden on the first floor. River rocks on top of soil help make great mulch.
Then I created a mini garden in a $12 pot with $1 succulents, some aloe vera, and a red blooming cactus. I also added the rock fountain from the office’s interior, and my own rock sculpture (that’s just river stones stacked on top of one another).
The business partners were very pleased with the transformation.
The deep red adds the necessary burst of color. The river rocks and bamboo add “zen” as well as the succulents garden. The rugs, planters and pillows unite the whole space, and it was all done for less than $500 and in less than five hours. Rugs and paint = $123; Plants = $90; Planters and Soil = $130; Adirondack chairs and 6 pillows = $104; Bird Feeders and Nectar = $13. Total without tax = $460