Step 1: Go for brunch. Decide to spend the rest of the day cleaning the apartment and cooking meals for the week. Drive through Montreal-West on the way home. Spot these two sturdy oak chairs at a garage sale. $10 for both? Done and DONE. Remember this project on Kindall's Creations, show it to Sohrab, and BOOM. We've got Project Fever and are off to the races! So much for the earlier plans :)
Step 2: Race to Reno, pick up a $10 pine piece that happens to be almost exactly the right size. Head to Fabricville, and raid the Bargain section for foam (two rectangular foam cushions, $10 each) and outdoor fabric ($14 for some stunning turquoise paisley).
Step 3: Show up at Sohrab's mom's house, take over the basement workshop. Cut the excess off the pine board. Place the board on the worktable, arrange the chairs over it, ensuring the the front of the chairs line up, mark four spots in a square shape approx. 5" apart on each seat where the drilling will take place. Drill through the chair seats and into the plank - but not all the way through it. Place chairs on the floor.
Step 4: Place fabric on the worktable, foam on the fabric, and plank on the foam. Wrap tightly and go wonkers with three different staple guns (stupid staples kept jamming), making sure that the foam edges out over the plank a bit fore & aft.
Step 5: Place the chairs on top of the newly constructed bench seat, feeling carefully through the fabric for the holes in the bench to line 'em up, and screw the bench to the chairs.
Step 6: Bring the new bench home and place in entry way.
Its new home will be our balcony! We have a small space out there, and all the benches we've seen were too large, too expensive, or plain old charmless. Ditto for most of the bistro sets. This way, we have sturdy seating for two that doesn't take up too much real estate. If I could do it again, I'd pick thinner foam padding, but then again, maybe not. So far, everyone who has sat on it has grinned as they sunk down in the cushy seat!
We're also snazzing up the balcony - which was pretty unusable last year due to the fact that everytime we closed the door or brushed against a wall it RAINED NASTY GIANT FLAKES OF PEELING PAINT. Also, our table and chair set was too big, and since our balcony faces Sherbrooke street, I always felt so exposed whenever I went out to read or loll in the summer sun. We decided to re-paint, sell the too-large furniture, and put in lattice or fabric for privacy.
Last weekend we rolled up our sleeves and proceeded to remove all the layers of old paint, scraping away like mad things, then we wacked on a coat of cheery seafoam blue and antique white. Here's what one corner looks like right now - more painting is supposed to happen next weekend.
I'd also like to grow a few things on the balcony this summer, and since we get tons of sun and wind, I'm thinking of growing hardy sun-loving things like basil, rosemary, mint, tomatoes, and maybe eggplant. We scored some PVC lattice on Craigslist for $4 (retail $40!) and will be using that as both a privacy screen and a wind break for our plants. Next on my list of balcony wants: a sturdy shelf for potted flowers and edibles!
More on the balcony makeover in weeks to come...