Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Outdoor Sectional Plans

Isn't it funny how certain scents can put you in a good mood? I was walking up to my building at work earlier and they had just mulched the plant beds out front. Hmmmm ... I love the smell of fresh mulch. Instantly, I was perked up and feeling good. But I was also yearning for spring, which is still a few weeks out here in Norfolk. Sure, the daffodils are already blooming, but we are still in for a few more weeks of almost freezing nights and not quite warm enough days. But it got me thinking about my plans for the yard this year.

During the fall I decided to get rid of the small patio I had made using pavers. I also got rid of the table, chairs and umbrella that used to sit on that patio. Instead, I decided I was going to build a sectional in that space in my back yard. I had visions of comfy cushions, squishy pillows and a fire pit. Kind of like this, minus the snow:

via this blog

But what I really ended up with is this:

Just a bunch of cinder blocks and pallets waiting to be put to use. And so they still sit like this to this day. I did do a lot of the leg work already, like transplanting three bushes to the front of the house planting bed, and of course carrying all these cinder blocks and pallets back here. I still need to level it off a bit and get to work building. Here was my original pinspiration:

via Better Homes & Gardens

I tried a few configurations, like this two-sided sectional:

But what I like most is a horseshoe shape. The one side would be along the shed, the other long side would be up against the fence and then the last short side would come out from where the bushes are and border up next to the paver pathway coming from the back door of the house. 

After realizing how many cinder blocks I would actually need to accomplish a horseshoe sectional, I decided that the base would not be solid cinder block after all. Way too costly and heavy. As it is, I already had to buy 72 cinder blocks which I also had to unload all by myself. Instead, each of the four corners will have a square cinder block base and I'll probably have to use one in the middle of the long backside, too. I also decided to skip the pallets and instead use thick, pre-treated plywood for the benches and then do another row of cinder blocks on top on the corners. Kind of like the corners in this (except without the solid cinder block base beneath like I said before):

via this pin
So as you can see I have my work cut out for me. Once I get this sucker built, I also plan to paint the cinder blocks black so that the mulch doesn't kick up on them and make them look dirty. I will then paint the plywood white and plan to sew cushions and pillows (once I learn how to sew) in a nice outdoor fabric. Hope to have all this done by the time my family visits at the end of April. I will of course keep you updated! Wish me luck!

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