AN OUTDOOR SPACE UPGRADE
Design Brief: provide an opportunity for backyard lounging, while maximizing seating by the fireplace in a tight space
Solution: a custom sized two-piece sectional that finds harmony between wood work and upholstery
Since moving into our house during early quarantine, we have found our back yard to be a safe haven for maintaining safe time with friends and creating moments of calm away from the worldly chaos. While we've shared many a meal at our picnic table (the earliest quarantine project), and our Ikea table set has served us well for extra seating, we wanted somewhere to curl up with morning coffee and a good book, or a cozy blanket by the fire.
Research – This phase probably took the longest while I weighed options in terms of materials, cost, size, construction, etc. I looked over many styles of professional and DIY patio furniture, while also doing extensive research into material prices, which fluctuated frequently.
Development – I ultimately decided to prioritize the budget and make something for the lowest cost possible, including materials I already had on hand. The available patio space was the determining factor for overall dimensions, although I also took into account standard lumber sizes to minimize awkward scrap pieces. The unique size led me to make the bottom cushions, but I did source pre-made covers and inserts for the back pillows. While these pieces were designed on a low budget for outdoor use, I still wanted to find a balance between utility and aesthetics, so I chose to cap my screw holes with maple dowels (with the exception of the slat screws that would sit under the bottom cushions).
Build – In the spirit of using what I had, I was limited to hand tools, so this set was completed using a handsaw and power drill. I used an outdoor fabric for the bottom cushions and chose to hand sew in the layers of foam (a repurposed bed topper) rather than add a zipper to remove the cover for washing, since the material was spot clean only. Designed for a covered outdoor area, I finished the wood with a satin outdoor sealant to protect from changes in humidity.