Most of you know by now how much I love Knock-Off Wood. So today is yet another project brought to you courtesy of Ana (and of course the man who supports my lumber habit).
Our front porch has sat empty for the three-and-a-half years we’ve lived here, and I was more than ready for that to change. The problem is that I could never find anything I really wanted to put out there. A bistro set would work, but they’re not very comfortable and no one really uses them. Rockers could work, but they’re awfully large, not to mention expensive.
Ana’s Simple Outdoor Lounge Chair looked promising, so I told myself I’d try making just one. If I didn’t like it I’d just put it in a yard sale. But ooooh, did I ever like it. A lot. So I made a matching side table as well - a smaller, modified version of the one my girls made a few weeks ago.
I made a few small changes to Ana’s original plan. First, I used a 1×4 for the back pieces (instead of a 1×2). I did this both for consistency of appearance and for seat strength. Second, my husband has a bad back, so I needed our chairs to be taller. As written, the chairs are a few inches lower than standard height (though still higher than an Adirondack). She tells you to cut the leg pieces at 22.5″, but I made mine a little taller at 25.5″. Therefore, I also had to change the attachment point (her step 4) to be 15.25″ (moving it up 3″) so that the seat was at the proper heighth.
Also, on step 9 when it is time to attach the back, I tested it for comfort. Holy reclining seat Batman. I’m sure my perspective is skewed because I do like to sit straight, but wow. The Lounge Chair title of this one doesn’t do it justice in my eyes – it is really, really loungy! I opted to put a second piece of 1×4 across the back, on the inside of the armrests, so that the seat is less reclined. Much better.
Things I might do differently the next time:
- If I were in these chairs very often, I think I’d want a 2×4 to make it even less reclined.
- Test and measure other chairs that I am comfortable in. These chairs are very comfy for me (5’7″), but I am long-waisted, so my chief complaint here is that the arm rests are too low. My elbow hits about 4″ above the arm rest, rendering them essentially useless for me.
- Consider making different heighths for different people. My mom is short (5’2″) and my modified chairs are too tall for her – her feet dangle. However, even the original plan wouldn’t be quite right, because the seats are also too deep for her.
- Stain or prime and paint all boards before building. I know this. I always know this. But I’m always too anxious to get to work and I never take the time to do it. Then when the time comes to paint, the job is a whole lot harder. Don’t be like me – take the time to paint first. Trust me, on a piece with lots of slats like this, it’s worth it.
Instead of paint, I opted to use a solid stain. It’s one-step easy and lasts for years, especially on a covered porch. And it comes in every color of the rainbow. Score! I had originally considered white but I’m not sure why – I quickly moved on to debate between black or a dark wood stain, and ended up going for black.
Here is my before:
Ok, so the whole house didn’t exactly change. But it does look better! And once I find some appropriate cushions, they will be truly smashing. Wanna help on that front?
I’m looking for bright colors, but all I seem to find are old-lady florals. I really dig these throw pillows (or these), but they don’t sell matching seat cushions. I love orange. I don’t want a back (I don’t think. Do I?) I need a 20×20″ seat. I don’t want a solid color. I don’t dig stripes or plaid. Any suggestions for me? I’d love some links!