We're in awe of this patio above a garage, complete with planter boxes made from metal filing cabinets, that Venice, CA-based designer Faye McAuliffe created for herself—for $70.
With power tools in hand, McAuliffe built an entire cedar-slatted fence and overhauled a few old filing cabinets. Then she added outdoor furniture from Ikea, and topped it all off with a few rice paper lanterns to light up the night. See McAuliffe's instructions on the DIY cabinet-planter project, and a few added sources to complete the look.
Photography from You Are the River (except where noted).
Above: Looking to build a fence of your own? An 18 Pack of Cedar Wood Slats is $18.80 from Cedar Brook Saunas.
Above: This roadside filing cabinet planter, spotted on Houzz, inspired McAuliffe.
Above: Using pieces of wood cut to fit, McAuliffe filled the open cabinet bottoms. Then she drilled holes in the wood to drain water.
Above: She painted the planters white before settling on dark gray instead, for a dose of color.
Above: Consider a dark gray paint color like Benjamin Moore's Westcott Navy; it's $9.95 per quart from ePaint Store.
Above: Crate & Barrel's White Paper Lanterns are $3.95 each.
Above: The juxtaposition of bright portulaca grandiflora and old metal cabinets (saved from their landfill fate).
Above: Sunlight fills the upper deck. (N.B.: To see more of McAuliffe's work, see Designer Visit: Faye McAuliffe in Venice, LA.)