Remember way back when we chatted about our hopes and dreams for the backyard in this post? Well, we have officially found another piece to the “seating for at least 10 people” puzzle! Check her out:
I know, I know- exciting. What’s even more exciting than the bench itself is the story behind it. So, I’ll start at the beginning. When we got our first bench, then the table, and finally four black chairs, each piece was purchased with the goal of a multi-functional backyard patio space in mind. We wanted things that could function on their own (aka. be dragged to different spots of the patio for seating here and there), but also come together to form a complete dining set. And the overall goal- to be able to seat as many bodies at one time as possible, should the occasion arrise. Our transformer table helps with that, as it has the capabilities to seat as little as 4 people…Or as many as 10 (maybe 11 or 12 if we really squeeeeeeeze)…
So we figured that our goal would be to slowly accumulate seating for at least ten people around the table, that could also function as seating that could be pulled out and used elsewhere. Here is the rough sketch that we came up with to create a wish lists of sorts for the remaining pieces we’d need to reach ten:The shaded in parts represent what we already had. We pictured pulling the garden bench/loveseat up to the table on one of the long sides and sticking a black chair on each of the four sides of the removable table “wings”. That just leaves something on the other long side of the table and two somethings for each end. Enter the additional bench idea.
Although we could have gone back to Ikea and picked up an identical one to the one we already had (pictured above), we decided that something a bit more compact and a bit less cumbersome would be better suited for our space. After all, when the full table is not in use, we like to keep it all the way against the fence and ideally, we’d get a bench that could fit completely underneath the table when not being sat on. Maybe like a long piano bench or something of the sort?
After striking out in a number of thrift stores, I did a quick search on the Ikea website to see if our existing Applaro set (of which we now owned two pieces) came with any benches in that style. They did…
… but not in white. Yes, we could have gotten the natural wood bench, stripped, painted it white, and resealed it for outdoor use, but spending $60 on a brand new piece just to change it completely didn’t sit right with me. And quite frankly, the $60 price tag seemed a bit much for a bench anyway. Darn. Dead end number… oh, I’ve lost count.
Here’s where the happy ending comes in. Some time ago, my friend (we’ll call her Ally) and I were out one Saturday, hitting as many yard sales as we could find. Just as we were warming up, we rounded a bend in the road and found this:
An entire church parking lot FULL of yard sales! Holy treasure-hunting, batman. Yeah, Ally and I went nuts. About halfway around the circle ‘o sales, I noticed this almost-exactly-as-I-had-pictured-it bench at one woman’s stand.No price tag and after asking what she was selling it for ($6-seriously?!) and doing a bit of negotiating (down to $5- every dollar counts!), it was mine! The hunt finally comes to an end! Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Ally walked away with a pair of awesome end tables for her new (and very first!!) apartment… for a total of $5. It was a good day. And the icing on the cake? Successfully cramming two end tables and a bench (oh, and a few shirts and puzzles that we also snagged) into the back of my Hyundai Sonata. Score.
Of course, the first thing I wanted to do was set it up outside with the other furniture to see how she fairs.
Success! Now, it’s a bit too long to tuck underneath, but for $5 I’m not complaining. If it really gets to be an issue, we’ll just take a couple of inches off both ends to make it tuck-in-able. The other question on the table, er bench, is… color! We’re tossing around a few options (paint it white, paint it light teal/blue, etc.), but one thing is for sure- we want it to be outdoor proof so that it can live on the patio permanently. As for potential colors, stain, etc. I think we’ll hold off and let the ideas simmer for a bit before jumping to a decision. For now, we’re enjoying the extra seating we get out of having another bench around!
And for the rest of our patio to-do list, well here is an updated version:
Find and purchase bench
Purchase table with lots of potential seating
- Find and purchase seating for at least 8 more people (we already have the bench that can be pulled up to the table to seat 2) Almost there!
- Purchase a grill
- Purchase an umbrella
- Build a mini-patio under the bench
- DIY solution for hiding the air conditioner and misc. garden supplies
- Weed and plant new flowers in garden bed
Edge garden bed
- Weed brick patio
- Figure out a way to better camouflage Christmas lights
- DIY a birdhouse and hang
- Figure out how to plant a mini veggie/herb garden
- Decide on plants to fill hanging baskets and empty pots
- DIY or purchase accent pillows for seating
Still a ways to go, but progress is in the air! And actually, this whole week is a week of backyard updates and reveals, so stay tuned for more of those list items we’ll get to cross off!
See ya tomorrow,