Our Hampton’s x Caribbean Style Pool House

what do we do with the damn gazebo!…

Do we rip it down? Do we renovate it? Do we just paint it and move on? Or do we turn a blind eye, pretend it never existed and drink wine instead? The later has been what my Fiance and I have done for well over 18 months now. This eye saw, smack bang in the middle of our backyard has been my Achilles heel during the entire transformation of our home. Here’s where the problems lies – I’m not actually sure whether I love it or I hate it… and that’s sooooo not me! Yes it’s built rather cheaply in comparison to the rest of our home, but look at that gorgeous raked VJ ceiling. Those thin, detail lacking posts are awful, but surely they’re not that bad.. or are they? Geeze! Talk about an indecisive melt down. Cut a long story short, the decision was made for us by our bank balance. We haven’t overspent, but we certainly weren’t prepared to overcapitalise on a gazebo that is structurally sound and not overly offensive on the eye. Just needs a little zhooshing (is it spelt right?). The photos below are the original images taken before we had settled on the property.

original gazebo betty's photo
original gazebo cabinetry betty's photos
original gazebo betty's photo
original gazebo VJ racked ceiling

decisions were made and painting started…

Prior to deciding what to do with the gazebo, we actually painted the entire exterior of our home, all the concrete paving, exterior tiles, everything EXCEPT the gazebo. But our indecisive days were over and we decided to simply paint it. Eventually, my Fiance wants to rip it down and I want to renovate it, so this was a reasonably low cost exercise that enables us to do either in the future. Good outcome. Fortunately, the A team (MDM Painting) were able to fit us into their super busy schedule and locked in our project. All the paintwork was cleaned with sugar soap and every join and/or crack was caulked with no more gaps. Can you imagine caulking every single VJ in that ceiling? These guys do things right!

the original gazebo being prepared for painting
the original gazebo being prepared by corking the VJ ceiling and joins


The exciting stuff… In keeping with our homes new colour scheme, the existing cream rendered wall transformed using Taubmans Salinger which is a subtle pale grey. All of the posts, facia and cabinetry have been painted in Colorbond Surfmist (basically white).

Gazevo being painted, white cabinetry detail
gazebo during painting, white and salinger detail

a hard wearing, non slip timber deck…

If you look closely, part of the gazebo acts as a thoroughfare from our tennis court back to the house. Considering this, it was important to select a hard wearing, no slip paint surface for the timber decking. The gazebo is also next to our pool, so we couldn’t possibly have any little dudes face planting as they run around our backyard! Our painter organised Scott from Taubmans to pop out and inspect the surface of the decking. This will be hard to believe, but we ended up choosing White Knight Ultrapave in Taubmans Sealord, which is the same product we used on all of our exterior concrete pavers! You can add as much non-slip product as necessary, depending on the texture of the original surface. In our circumstance, the non-slip product was sprinkled onto the first coat of paint and then mixed into the paint for the 2nd coat. This prevents build of the product that will in turn create lines in the paintwork. The crew also painted the remaining cream pavers we had left next to the tennis court. Everything was almost finished, yay!

paitning the timber deck in the gazebo
paitning the timber deck in the gazebo
painting the remaining pavers next to the gazebo

finding signature pieces…

So while the painting was well and truly on its way, it was time for me to find some gorgeous hero pieces for our gazebo. Before my Fiancé and I coexisted, I purchased a rather expensive white modern outdoor setting from Domayne Furniture . It certainly didn’t lend itself to the Hampton’s x Caribbean look I was trying to create, however I needed to work with it. I’d bring together the look with a cool Caribbean themed bar setting and two feature chairs to compliment the dinning setting. Here they are in their original state, prior to upcycling obviously. Both items were sourced via Gumtree, the bar setting for $300 and the chairs for $25 each! This is where I hear you whisper: “what the hell was she thinking!” but I promise there’s method to my madness! Please keep reading 🙂

gazebo cane bar seting original
gazebo feature chair original

upcycling the little suckers…

I’ll make this quick so we can move onto the more interesting stuff! I organised Graham from Gee Emm Solutions to prime the 2 cane dining chairs with my old faithful Zinsser Cover Stain and finish them using an exterior, high gloss black enamel. I painted the bar setting myself using the same products, however I used a high gloss exterior paint in Surf Mist on the bar stools. I ordered 1 meter of Sunbrella outdoor fabric – Luxe in Indigo from Fab Outdoor Fabrics for the barstools and cushions for the cane chairs. Christine and Gary from Upholstery By Design worked their magic and transformed 4 very ugly cushions into little Caribbean x Hampton’s themed works of art!

Luxe outdoor fabric Indigo Gazebo post
bar setting for gazebo primed
gazebo cane chair after

pulling it together…

  • To compliment the new black furniture, I replaced the outdated handles on the outdoor kitchen with black cup pulls from Handle House.
  • I suspended two black lanterns using thick chain from the ceiling to draw attention to the gorgeous raked ceiling. Eventually I’ll install a large black pendant light.
  • I ordered 20meters of 32mm Sisal Rope from Rope Galore and large stainless steel eyelets from Whitworths Marine to be installed as rope balustrading. This was also installed around the garden bed in our pool area.
  • To help create the Caribbean feel, I purchased two oars, a ship wheel and two blue and white outdoor rugs online. Ahoy!

This has been a really satisfying project which I believe is due to the array of different jobs involved. There was painting, sourcing furniture, upcycling and styling in a way that I don’t normally style. It was fun! I hope you enjoy the photos; some of them I stole from our engagement shoot so that’s why some are HEAPS better than others. Lol! Clearly I’m the amateur. PS: There’s a Before and After video at the end.

gazebo cmpleted and painted
gazebo pool house vertical garden feature
gazebo furniture rugs and rope detail
gazebo chillo plant detail
gazebo dining setting detail
gazebo oars swan and pool detail
gazebo pool and swan detail
gazebo plant detail
gazebo dining setting detail