The Relax Shack: 7 things to consider when creating an outdoor lounge

Recently, I completed my outdoor cabana. Also known as the Relax Shack. The Meditation Station. Or, my favorite, the Lady Lounge.

The Outside

The lounge is a structure built into our backyard deck. It’s basically a square-ish frame. And the guys who built it definitely questioned my vision.

The structure; painted the same color as the house and made the same height as the existing porch for a consistent look

To outfit the lounge I had to get a lil DIY. An awning company gave me a quote for a cover, and not to be a hater because I think everyone is entitled to make a living, but the cost was OUTRAGEOUS. I went online and bought a sun shade in roughly the same dimensions instead.

Attaching the sun shade cover

The Inside

I searched for outdoor curtain rods because indoor curtain rods will not withstand the inferno that is our backyard. Similar to awnings, outdoor curtain rods are OUTRAGEOUS. But I found a blog post by Four Generations One Roof, which gave me the idea to use galvanized pipes—just regular ones from Home Depot with screw-on end caps. (The hooks I used are interior hooks, so I sprayed them with a lacquer/water repellent.)

Curtain rods were hung on the inside of the structure so the header would hide them and the tops of the curtains

I bought 6’ round festival blankets from Cost Plus World Market. In case you’re like me and don’t know what a festival blanket is, it’s a round tapestry–commonly tie dye or paisley–that you picnic on at a festival like Coachella…if you are young, wild, and free, which I’m not. But these help me pretend.

The 5×8 outdoor rug (not plastic mat; this actually feels like a rug) is made of recycled bottles and is also from CPWM so that the colors would “go” but not “match.” And now I really sound like a Golden Girl, but let’s carry on.

Festival blankets and rug from Cost Plus World Market, pillows are DIY, outdoor curtains with Velcro tabs from Target

Finally, I made some tie dye pillow covers in different sizes to add depth. And because MAKING PILLOW COVERS IS MY PASSION (and one of the few life skills I possess).

Everything in Between: 7 things to consider when creating an outdoor lounge

With every house project, I find something I would have done differently. Save yourself the trouble and take these 7 things into consideration before crafting your cabana:

  1. Consider how you want your structure to look: craftsman, regency, closed/open roof, short/tall <short is more intimate but makes hanging lights a bit tricky>
  2. Go for at least 50% sun blocking material for the top cover, maybe even up to 90% for hot climates
  3. Think about whether or not you want to see through your curtains or if you want them opaque for privacy <Hello, LOVE SHACK!>
  4. Velcro tab curtains are the best thing that will ever happen to your cabana project
  5. Choose furniture before you build, just to give you a sense of size <but maybe don’t buy it until you get the OK that the size will work>
  6. Go for galvanized pipe for curtain rods instead of pricey outdoor rods
  7. Make/buy different sizes of pillows <always and forever, in anything you do>

Drink it in

My designer friend from Auxilio Design helped me hang curtains and zhuzh. We set everything up and then went to lunch so that when my husband came home he was face to face with the glory that is, for him, the Relax Shack.

Another Round

And the lounge came out so well that he and I made the game-time decision to redo our main bathroom THE NEXT DAY, which is why this post has been delayed. I’ve been coordinating a remodel and picking out fixtures and furniture in real-time. Bought a bathtub in 10 minutes yesterday. Because you should never give too much thought to major life decisions.

Stay tuned for the before and after of the bathroom. Spoiler alert: so many dead snails…


10 responses to “The Relax Shack: 7 things to consider when creating an outdoor lounge”

  1. Love shack, baby!!! 🎵

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a little ole place where we can get togeth-er-er-er


  2. Festival blankets!
    Lady Lounge!
    Bathtub in 10 minutes!
    You’re my idol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Avatar

      What ?


  3. PS “zhuzh” = real word in the dictionary.
    Who knew?
    Life of Lezure knew, that’s who.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was surprised, too! What a gift!


  4. […] completing the Relax Shack, we felt like we could handle a “quick” remodel. Moral of every house project story: nothing is […]


  5. […] Although I did spent my morning at yoga, things were a bit hectic at home. My husband didn’t go into the office. The house projects are still ongoing. And it’s 100 degrees outside, so I can’t even seek solace in the Relax Shack. […]


  6. […] written a lot about the various projects and improvements to my nearly 70-year-old house—new deck (AKA the Relax Shack), bathroom remodels, lighting installation & redecorating—but I haven’t admitted all I’ve […]


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