Last fall as the weather turned crisp and my husband and I were bringing our plants indoors, we took a look around our second floor balcony and decided something needed to change out there. We love spending time outside when the weather is nice, but because we don't have a yard, we find ourselves on our balcony quite often. We decorate it with potted plants and hanging lights, and we love to drink morning coffee out there or have charcuterie and wine when the mood strikes. But the furniture we had just wasn't comfortable. I tried rearranging it a few times to make what we had work, but the four top bistro style table, loveseat and coffee table just felt bulky and crowded. It also wasn't very comfortable. The Iron and cheap plastic-like mesh material it was constructed out of didn't speak much of comfort. We realized we loved the space but hated the furniture. So we agreed that when spring came around we would invest in new outdoor furniture.
We took a trip to Denver, Colorado some time after and visited the largest Restoration Hardware store either of us had ever been to. This place was 4 levels of showrooms and a rooftop garden area that displayed all of their outdoor furniture. We are big fans of Restoration Hardware and both see the value in their furniture. Most things come with a hefty price tag, but everything is well built and lasts a long time. We've purchased several items from them and have been absolutely pleased with every piece. And while their outdoor furniture is extremely tasteful, I just couldn't get on board with the cost for something that would sit outside in the elements like an outdoor couch would. So to the internet I went!
First I decided to look at some sites I knew retailed furniture for much less. I found some similar items on Amazon, Overstock, Ikea, and Wayfair, but I was still looking at spending at least $1,000.00. Not only that, but I realized these couches were sort of short in length compared to what we wanted. I envisioned an extra long couch that would sit up against the house and face the beautiful lake and fountain in front of our home. I wanted it to be something my husband and I could both lay on together and would also seat more than two or three people at a time. Most of the couches I was finding were only 72 to 76 inches long. When I measured the space I was looking to fill on my balcony I knew I wanted something at least 96 inches long, if not longer!
After I exhausted all of the more inexpensive sites I knew of, I got an idea that maybe we could build something ourselves. On Pinterest I found some examples where pallets were stacked beneath cushions to create comfy little outdoor spaces, but I wanted something a little less boho and a little more sturdy. What I finally came across was a video by Ana White on the Ryobi Nation website where she built a very simple outdoor couch with only 2x4s. The only catch was the length was shorter than what I wanted. The site offered some project plans with measurements that I printed, did the math, and modified to work for our space.
I found some great cushions on the Ikea website that I wanted to order, so I modified the plans to fit these cushions which worked out great. They're 24"x24", which is a pretty standard size, so if I ever needed to replace them I shouldn't have trouble. And the back cushions worked great as well for the couch. I spent a mere $160.00 on all four sets of cushions, with the back cushions included.
In my youtube video below, I explain the difference between the original plans by Ana White and my modified ones. I also show you exactly how I made my outdoor couch, so check that out if you're interested.
Please leave a comment if this inspires you to redo your outdoor space!