Easy Outdoor Seating Area

(I had this post written… and somehow I managed to mess it up and lose it. Anyway, here goes version 2.0)

We managed to make great progress last week with the new outdoor seating area thanks to some friends, and we were able to finish it this weekend! For those of you who don’t remember, we used to have a big U-shaped seating area with a coffee table out in the patio made entirely with pallets. This was before we bought 400€ worth of wood in bulk. Unfortunately, the wood from the pallets wasn’t great and this last spring, it started to rot and some of it broke down under little weight. Since we still had lumber left, we decided to toss the pallets and redo everything with “real” wood – hopefully this time it’ll stick.

It was a big project – it can easily sit more than 10 people – and I didn’t think we’d be able to finish it before the wedding and honeymoon, but I’m glad we did because it turned out beautiful. And this way we’ll be able to enjoy it the last weeks of summer. You might think we were crazy to tackle a project like this right before the wedding, but one of the reasons we did was actually the wedding itself. The half wine barrel we bought for drinks and ice has legs, but they’re not very tall, so I thought we could prop it on top of the coffee table so the height is more comfortable. We needed a coffee table for that though… so we started with the whole seating area.

Truthfully, though, even if it was a big undertaking, building everything was very easy. We wanted a U-shaped seating area and a coffee table; this meant we had four pieces to build: the coffee table (which is just like another seat/bench but then we topped it with glass), the short side of the U, and the two long sides of the U. Each piece consists of:

  • The actual seat/tabletop, which are three 1×8 boards.
  • The legs; each leg has two 2×6 boards notched out, and a 2×4 for cross-support that goes into the notches.

After building the legs, it was just a matter of screwing the seat/tabletop from above, leaving a bit of overhang on all sides and a bit of space between the three boards so rainwater doesn’t puddle. All of this might not make a ton of sense, but here are a few pics so you can what I mean…

Notched out (corner) leg

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Corner leg, finished

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Middle legs have the notch down the middle, U-shaped

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Screwing the cross supports from the side… we used really long screws!

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Almost done (except for some middle legs) and ready to stain

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Staining everything took a long while! I started staining on my own, but thankfully we had help later on

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We settled on a light gray/reddish brown combo for the seats, and light gray/white tabletop combo for the table. Since we used the gray and white that we had leftover from other projects, we only had to buy a can of reddish stain. It was a bit more expensive than the one we usually buy (16.5€ instead of 14€) but definitely worth it. Applying it was very very easy compared to other stains we’ve used, we love the color, and it was ecological and water based, so there was no need to use anything other than water and soap to clean the brushes. We’ll definitely be using this brand in the future! Plus it was the only expense we had for this project, since the other materials were leftover from previous ones.

Do you want to see the end product? I sure do!

I took this picture first thing in the morning today while it was cloudy, and my camera died after taking it… by the time the battery was charged the sun was shining brightly so the following pictures are worse, sorry.

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So that’s our super-easy-to-build seating area! You can see that we added four sets of legs to the long benches and three to the shorter one. They’re definitely sturdy. We also have cushions (as seen in the cushion trunk post) but I wanted to show off the stain so I took the pictures without them. We enjoyed an afternoon snack there yesterday and it was wonderful. What about you guys? Do you have an outdoor seating area where you enjoy some lazy afternoons?

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments.

13 thoughts on “Easy Outdoor Seating Area

  1. Ashleigh

    Looks awesome, well done. I am so impressed with your wood work skills. And still completly in love with your terrace, it’s such an awesome space. xox

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Thanks Ashleigh! We learn as we go, and we’ve definitely made mistakes (e.g. using pallets or the washer cabinet we built with materials not suitable for outdoors… something we’ll have to redo, too) but we both love building stuff. And since outdoor furniture can be so expensive, we focus on building furniture for the patio since it’s also easier to build and it doesn’t have to be as perfect as, say, your living room stuff.

  2. John@ Our Home from Scratch

    Ainhoa, it looks brilliant! The whole seating area is awesome. A U shaped bench is perfect for entertaining and hanging out. Great construction method too! Looks very sturdy. Nice work! Looks like it was quite a production to get that much work done.

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      I like the construction method we used because it was very easy, didn’t require a ton of wood, and it’s sturdy! The design is simple but the method makes up for it haha. I’m glad you like it!

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