Our West Elm Inspired Sectional

Monday, September 17, 2012

The weather has been so beautiful lately.. its the type of weather that is perfect for football games, caramel macchiatos, scarfs, cardigans, and for just being outside and enjoying it. However, before the weather gets too cold, I wanted to share mine and Justin's project from last summer for our patio furniture. We had a balcony at our last place, but we were having a hard time finding furniture we liked that was in our budget. Of course, West Elm had a sectional that we loved, but the price tag wasn't quite as loveable. So we did what we always do, we found a way to make it ourselves for a fraction of the cost of buying it. Thanks to Ana White's plans, we had step by step instructions to create exactly what we wanted. There were two sets of plans, one for the Corner and Ends and one for the Armless chairs.
We decided to make two armless chairs and two corner/end chairs which we could use to make a L-shaped sectional that would perfectly fit our balcony. Of course, living in a condo means there is very limited space for cutting lots of wood. Although Justin would have thoroughly enjoyed purchasing a mitre saw, it just wasn't the right time to pursue that option. Instead, I suggested getting all of the measurements together and having them cut at the home improvement store. It definitely wasn't as much fun for Justin (or for the guy having to make 60+ cuts at the store), but the zero cost and the fact that saw dust wasn't covering our entire house made it worthwhile. Yes, it took most of our Saturday morning to have them cut, and no, the cuts weren't as meticulous as Justin's would've been, but in the end it got the job done (plus, we didn't have to end up driving down the road with 2x4's sticking out of our car!).

I won't bore you with the details about sanding, gluing, staining and all of the other nitty gritty details that go into making the sectional since you can find out all about it at the links listed above.  The directions were pretty straight forward and the only suggestion we have is to stain the wood for the seat slats before they're attached. Otherwise, you will end up with small crevices that are difficult to reach when you're staining the wood. Granted, no one else would really notice, especially since we have cushions that go on top, but if we could do it again we would definitely stain first.

While Justin was busy making the sectional, I was busy working on my part of the project: the cushions. I'll be back Wednesday to talk about what directions we used and what we would do differently next time. See you then!


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