Bench Warming

Earlier this spring, while my parents were out for a visit, my mom, the boys and I went for a walk.  On our route home, I spotted a neglected bench behind an AA meeting place.  I got closer and inspected the dated, dirty bench and realized it was an indoor couch left out over the winter.  It smelled off and had tons of gross stuff stuck to it.  But, it was sturdy and had clean, mid-century modern lines.  Because it was left outside for the entire fall and winter, I figured no one really cared for it.  I was able to find a phone number and called to ask if anyone wanted it.  My mom thought I was crazy to call about it.  I sort of thought so, too, but it’s worth a shot, right?  The gal I talked to said she needed to ask about it.  A few days later, I received a call from her.  Surprisingly, she said they didn’t see a problem with me taking it.  Within twenty minutes, Ben picked up the couch and had it in our garage.  He asked where I was going to put it.  I had the perfect solution.  On our front porch, of course, because for the past three years, we’ve had two chairs we stole from our backyard dining set out front.

Now, I know he desperately needs love, including sanding, refinishing and new cushions, but for the price, I couldn’t pass him up.  Yes, it is a he.  All men need a little work, right?  Haha.  Oh, and this photo does not do justice to the cushions.  in person, they look so much worse.  However, you can see the worn, uneven finish.

To make it look more like an outdoor bench and less like a Jeff Foxworthy “You might be a redneck” joke, I’m going to leave the back cushions off.

A deep, walnut stain, left over from the bookshelf I refinished last year would look great.  I have chosen a neutral geometric fabric for the cushions.  To jazz things up, I’ll sew simple pillow covers to change out when I change my mind.

It’s like that palindrome, a man, a plan, a canal, Panama.  Only, for me it’s a woman, a plan, a bench, pretty.  Or a woman, some fabric, a bench, bad weather.  Yeah, I couldn’t make it a palindrome, just like I can’t control the weather.  We’ve had nothing but rain this May.  Seriously, we’re usually at 2 1/2 inches for the entire month.  So far, we’ve had 5 1/2 inches and we’re forecasted for rain the entire week.  Once I find the time and we have decent weather, I’ll share more info on the update process and share after pics.  I still have to do some final number crunching to determine my best plan of attack.  Ben isn’t sold on it yet, but I’m 99% sure he’ll like it once it’s finished.

Until then, have you recently purchased or otherwise acquired outdoor furniture?  Are you sprucing up your outdoor space?  What is your must have outdoor piece this year?  I’ve coveted a ceramic garden stool forever, but I refuse to spend more than 25 bucks on one.  Call me a cheapo.  Have I sold you on the new bench?  Or do you lean toward Ben’s side?

14 thoughts on “Bench Warming

  1. Nice find!!! Can’t wait to see it all gussied up. It’s going to be so perfect for your porch!!

  2. TOTALLY LOVING the new bench!!! I don’t blame you at all for snagging it! I cannot wait to score one for our front porch. We’ve been sprucing up the front yard ( and are about to move on to the back. The only real “hanger-on” is what bench to put on the porch… build a wood bench ourselves or find a cool snag like yours! 😀 Can’t wait to see yours all done up!

    1. Thanks, Steph, Kelly and Ashley! I too can’t wait to see what it looks like after. 🙂 Come on weather, get on my side.


  3. Great find! I definitely see the potential – it’s got great bones. With your artistic eye and attention to detail, it will no doubt look like you paid a LOT of $ for it when all is said and done. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  4. Well…I’ve been lurking on your blog for a month or so and I figured I owed you a comment. But I didn’t plan my first one to be as a naysayer! 😦 I’m with Ben, honestly. I can’t “see” it. It looks like the couch we had in my first apartment…and we donated it as soon as we got something else! If you get a chance, can you take the cushions off and show us another pic? I’d like to be able to see what you see, but I think those awful cushions are getting in the way :-p

  5. i love it! it’s going to look amazing all refinished.

    and while you’re at it, can you send some of that rain this way? kansas is in a drought right now and the wheat crop this year looks not-so-hot. please and thank you! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jenna and Catie. I’ll try to send you good rain vibes, but we do need the rain in Montana, it just doesn’t cooperate with my schedule. Perhaps I could get it to rain only at night. Haha.

      Emily, I’m glad you’ve found us! No worries that you don’t like it. Maybe we got your old couch. 😉 I will have to wait for better picture taking weather to show you what it looks like without the back cushions. The cushions really are awful, but I do have plans to rectify that. I promise the stained burnt orange won’t be there forever. I wish I could say the same for the red brick, too. Haha.


  6. I am totally with you. I am actually jealous because that it something I would LOVE to have on my own deck just outside my kitchen. But I haven’t had any luck in finding anything without a large price attached. But I have my hopes it is out there waiting for me. Good luck and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  7. I can see your vision – its going to look amazing after you work your sewing magic etc!

    For our backyard patio, I’d love the basics — table / seating and a lounge area — just something instead of boring cement

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