Throughout our renovation we basically gave up complete use of the backyard to the construction crew, piles of garbage, and building supplies etc. Now that things are wrapping up, we are beyond excited to finally be able to use the backyard that we moved from a new modern townhouse into a small fixer upper house to get! I am equally ecstatic that Rupe and I finished another one of our lingering DIY projects, these built-in benches.
Previously this corner of the yard was basically a dumping ground for old plants and old furniture, it was sorrily neglected, but now it’s another full living area (girl likes an outdoor room)! Rupe and I both already took naps on that corner bench (basically immediately after completion, DIYing is exhausting ;)) and I can’t wait to have some people over to properly christen the new space. Clearly the pups appreciate all our handy work too.
There is a good amount of space back there so I wanted to create a few different conversation areas. The benches we made create a natural lounge area and I tucked a coffee table and some floor cushions around each of them. I also added a small cocktail/dining area in the far corner where we have been having our morning coffee together. The cement floor was in rough shape so I added a large outdoor rug to cover it up but also to tie the space all together.
See the before, the DIY steps, and all of the sources after the jump…
I forgot to take a photo before we cleared it all out (boo on me. ha) but here is a look at the empty space at the very beginning as I just started painting the back wall. The entire project took Rupe and I two weekends (about 3 and a half days). Much like the built-in shelves we made, the project is custom to our space so hopefully you can find some tips and tricks that can apply to something in yours!
We built the benches out of wood scraps and extra lumber that we had lying around from the renovation (aside from the redwood 1×3 cladding, we had to buy some extra to finish it off) so the framing of the bench might look a little ramshackle but hey, it totally did the job.
We used as much of the pre-treated lumber that we had on hand since the wood is going to be sitting right on the cement and then treated the rest with a wood preservative spray.
After constructing the frame we stained & sealed all the redwood 1x3s prior to cutting them to size for the cladding. For the stain color, I used a mixture of 2 parts Provincal to 1 part Light Walnut by Varathane.
The back wall runs at a funny angle and the cement patio ground is also on a slope so there was no such thing as a right angle on these benches. We basically had to measure and cut each piece as we went (lordy were our backs sore the next day). One by one we used galvanized screws to secure the redwood onto the frame.
Since nothing was at right angles, I decided to run with it and create a triangular space at the end of each bench that would finish it off and also act as a side table or place to rest a drink or two. I also made sure that the redwood cladding ended about a half inch higher than the frame so that it would help to hold the cushions in place.
Our final step was replacing the trellis fence top with 1×6 common boards that create a more modern and uniform look and then painted them to match the wall.
Product Sources: Fireplace (vintage) from Surfing Cowboys // Bench Cushions from Home Decorators // Outdoor rug by West Elm // Chairs from HD Buttercup // Saarinen inspired tulip side table // Coffee Table (vintage) from Surfing Cowboys // Banana Fiber Ottomans by Ikea // Kilim pillows: Some are from Hunt and Gather and I got a lot of them from Etsy shop Pillowsstore