Agile Experiment: Building a pet hair free happy hour club house

My best friend has terrible allergies to pet dander. We both have wine club memberships but nowhere to drink the wine. The goal was to create a space that would be both pleasant to have happy hour in and free of furry interruptions.

Strategy one: Build a free standing club house in the back yard. The concept for this thing was gorgeous. I was going to make the exterior look like a Japanese tea house with a shoji screen like combination of opaque fiberglass and cedar frames, build a counter and cabinet for drink ware, run electricity out to it for lights etc.

The problem? This was a project that kept being pushed into the future because who has time to take on a carpentry project that is far more than simply framing a club house—creating a level space, foundation, waterproofing the roof and also would I run into code issues (we were refi’ing our home so we were concerned that we wouldn’t get a good inspection if we had a structure that didn’t come up to code).

Strategy two: make part of the interior of the house pet hair free. That was scratched before we even fleshed it out. Other than holing up in my office and running an air filter full time, there wasn’t a good way to make this space one we could hang out in and have a “happy hour” feeling. It would feel like we were at work. Not what we were going for.

Strategy three: Our house has a side deck that I was using as a place to store tools and my potting bench. I pulled everything off the deck. I power washed it and rearranged the bench and my tools. I replaced the shade cloth. I bought a few cinder blocks and took a wide plan I had in my store lumber and created a table to put our drinks and snacks on. I had a string of party lights that I ran around the perimeter of the shade and pulled an extension cord from the patio into the deck area. From that I was able to power my lights, a fan (or space heater). Add a hanger to put an iPad and small speaker up, a couple chairs and another little table for inside the patio and we’re good to go!