Summertime, Summertime Sadness

I appreciate fall, I really do. It has a lot to offer, like layered sweaters on brisk sunny days and guilt-free trash TV the rest of the time.

Since I’ve fallen behind on the design portion of my blog I thought it fitting to post homage to Summer.

We have a 250 square ft balcony on our Toronto condo, the rarity of which compels me to keep it in tip top shape. I have to consciously avoid the  mindset of more space = more things that will fit = more spending. We splurged on an outdoor sectional when we moved in, but afterwards the man put me on a strict “hide your crazy, start acting like a lady” budget.

In the next few posts I’ll show you some things I did to spruce up our concrete backyard that didn’t leave me staring at my feet while apologizing.

outdoor sectional

Insert book and coffee here.

The original ottoman that came with this sectional looked as though the manufacturer ran out of materials and tried to pull this off as an alternative.  Suction cups held a black glass sheet over the top half of the ottoman. The other half couldn’t support anything, nor could I store things underneath like blankets or magazines. The real kicker was putting your feet up on the glass portion and having it slide off because…well suction cups.

original ottoman

I decided to refit this ottoman with a cushion top.  The best part about a sectional is that it doubles as a daybed when connecting the middle portion, meaning full starfish zombie accommodation.

First I removed the glass and flipped the base. The boys at Home Hardware cut me a sheet of plywood to my measurements, which were slightly less the dimensions of the base as I didn’t want the wood to show.

ottoman repurpose

The idea to attach plywood directly to the base arose when I noticed preexisting screws and drill holes on the bottom support bars. The screw heads were plastic and acted as miniature feet when the base stood upright.  I painted a yellow circle around each drill hole and placed the plywood on top to make an imprint of where to drill through the plywood.

ottoman repurpose

I’d like to say that this bout of brilliance worked out perfectly, but in reality there was only one perfect imprint while the rest were yellow smudges. The good news is I only had to re-drill once.

ottoman repurpose

I am not skilled in the art of sewing so I enlisted the help of the man’s Grammy to help me make a cushion cover.  NOTE for anyone who is thinking of re purposing furniture: fabric is expensive, and so is foam. Not as expensive as a brand new piece but disappointingly costly.

Fabricland cut me 4″ square foam on which I placed some batting to soften the edge. I intended to use a modern patterned fabric, but I happened to find an almost perfect match for my current colour. I can’t see my addiction for patterned throw pillows diminishing so I decided a flat base colour was probably the better option.

refinished ottoman

To keep the cushion in place yet allow it to be removable, simple velcro strips were sewn onto the underside of the cushion with the male side attached to the plywood.

ottoman repurpose

Behold the final cozy product:

outdoor sectional throw pillows