Favorite room: Gazebo, Athens Township, Isanti County.
Created by: Homeowner Mark Gibson.
The back story: Husband and wife Mark and Caron Gibson cut a deal with each other. If Mark built a screened gazebo in their backyard, he could consider it Caron's gift for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmases for five years.
"We live along the Rum River and are surrounded by swamps and farmland. So there's nothing keeping the mosquitoes back when we're outside," Caron said.
Except, in the Gibsons' case, a screened-in gazebo.
How it was created: It was a DIY project all the way. Caron went to the library and checked out a book on how to build a gazebo. Mark, a bricklayer and mason by trade, got to work on resurrecting the octagon structure.
To build the structure took some precision. Mark had to cut the same pattern for each piece in order for them to line up perfectly.
"It was a nice project. You just have to have a plan and make the cuts and put it together," said Mark, who estimated it took three months to build it when approaching it as a side project. "Once you get the shape of it and the footing, it comes together,"
The gazebo was finished 25 years ago, and "it's still in great shape," Caron said, adding that they maintain it regularly with touch-ups such as putting in new screens or staining it.
The new favorite room: The gazebo may not be elaborate, but it's perfect for Caron.
"I've got all wicker furniture in here and our Westie Pearl and I are in there every day," she said. "I have great views of the river and it's fun to watch the birds flying around. I read. I take a nap. And I don't need to think about what needs to be done in the house."
Of course, the five-year deal has long expired.
"He has to give me presents now," Caron said.
For his part, Mark takes it all in stride.
"I hate shopping, but a deal's a deal," he said. "My wife likes the gazebo. And that's all that matters."
My Favorite Room is an occasional series showcasing improved home spaces submitted by readers. A favorite room doesn't have to be a showcase of fine design — it can be fun, whimsical or downright quirky. If you have a favorite room send a snapshot or two, along with a brief description of what makes your room special, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll showcase readers' favorite rooms in upcoming Sunday Homes sections.