home progress: patio, DIY built-in seating

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioThroughout our renovation we basically gave up complete use of the backyard to the construction crew, piles of garbage, and building supplies etc. Now that things are wrapping up, we are beyond excited to finally be able to use the backyard that we moved from a new modern townhouse into a small fixer upper house to get! I am equally ecstatic that Rupe and I finished another one of our lingering DIY projects, these built-in benches.

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioPreviously this corner of the yard was basically a dumping ground for old plants and old furniture, it was sorrily neglected, but now it’s another full living area (girl likes an outdoor room)! Rupe and I both already took naps on that corner bench (basically immediately after completion, DIYing is exhausting ;)) and I can’t wait to have some people over to properly christen the new space. Clearly the pups appreciate all our handy work too.

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio-crackerpatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioThere is a good amount of space back there so I wanted to create a few different conversation areas. The benches we made create a natural lounge area and I tucked a coffee table and some floor cushions around each of them. I also added a small cocktail/dining area in the far corner where we have been having our morning coffee together. The cement floor was in rough shape so I added a large outdoor rug to cover it up but also to tie the space all together.

See the before, the DIY steps, and all of the sources after the jump…

patio progress diy built-in seatingI forgot to take a photo before we cleared it all out (boo on me. ha) but here is a look at the empty space at the very beginning as I just started painting the back wall. The entire project took Rupe and I two weekends (about 3 and a half days). Much like the built-in shelves we made, the project is custom to our space so hopefully you can find some tips and tricks that can apply to something in yours!

patio progress diy built-in seatingWe built the benches out of wood scraps and extra lumber that we had lying around from the renovation (aside from the redwood 1×3 cladding, we had to buy some extra to finish it off) so the framing of the bench might look a little ramshackle but hey, it totally did the job.

patio progress diy built-in seatingWe used as much of the pre-treated lumber that we had on hand since the wood is going to be sitting right on the cement and then treated the rest with a wood preservative spray.

patio progress diy built-in seatingAfter constructing the frame we stained & sealed all the redwood 1x3s prior to cutting them to size for the cladding. For the stain color, I used a mixture of 2 parts Provincal to 1 part Light Walnut by Varathane.

patio progress diy built-in seatingThe back wall runs at a funny angle and the cement patio ground is also on a slope so there was no such thing as a right angle on these benches. We basically had to measure and cut each piece as we went (lordy were our backs sore the next day). One by one we used galvanized screws to secure the redwood onto the frame.

patio progress diy built-in seatingSince nothing was at right angles, I decided to run with it and create a triangular space at the end of each bench that would finish it off and also act as a side table or place to rest a drink or two. I also made sure that the redwood cladding ended about a half inch higher than the frame so that it would help to hold the cushions in place.

patio progress diy built-in seatingOur final step was replacing the trellis fence top with 1×6 common boards that create a more modern and uniform look and then painted them to match the wall.

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioMy kilim pillow hoarding finally paid off as they now have their perfect home and I look forward to spending many of sunny days cozied up in that nook.

Product Sources: Fireplace (vintage) from Surfing Cowboys // Bench Cushions from Home Decorators // Outdoor rug by West Elm // Chairs from HD Buttercup // Saarinen inspired tulip side table // Coffee Table (vintage) from Surfing Cowboys // Banana Fiber Ottomans by Ikea // Kilim pillows: Some are from Hunt and Gather and I got a lot of them from Etsy shop Pillowsstore

To see all of our renovation progress check here
To see more DIY projects check here

  • Nan // Simply Elegant

    Oh my gosh, what a wonderful outdoor space! I am always so impressed with your designs and you have continued to impress with this great design. I love the muted color tones and the fun pops of pattern in the pillows. Looks like it will be a wonderful spot to use throughout these summer months!

  • Brittni

    I can’t get over how stunning this backyard patio space turned out. And I am completely jealous of that vintage fireplace you found. I love it.

  • Sadie Smith

    It looks great! Can I ask where the big pink planters are from?

  • Katie Li

    OH MY! It looks so amazing! I absolutely love coming to your blog to see your home progress. It’s literally may favorite. Gives me hope that I can one day build great things for my future home!

  • Katie

    Wow! Your patio turned out amazing, Shescorts! I love the DIY benches you and Rupe built. And the vintage fireplace goes perfectly with all your kilim pillows. I would LIVE out there all year round!

  • Natalie

    I seriously can’t get enough of all your projects! This post is one of my favorites of all the house update posts! Loving the gorgeous black painted wall and the benches, the pillows! Makes for such a cozy outdoor living space!

  • Megan

    Love it! I second the question about the pink planters. Also- I have been using my kilim pillows outdoors too-but I bring them in at night for fear they will get mildew on them. Do you leave yours out or treat them somehow? Really love the benches!

    • sarah

      Hey Megan and Sadie! Thank you guys! I forgot to mention the planters because they were actually a gift and I have no idea where they came from. I’ll see if I can figure it out. Oh and the kilim pillows, yes we got outdoor cushion fillers for the inside (they have then at restoration hardware) and then treated the outside with the scotch gaurd outdoor spray.

  • Julia Kostreva

    Shescorts, this is incredible!! A little stella cafe inspired, so swoonworthy. What a nice place to relax or have guests over! I am completely in love. Congrats on all the hard work, it’s amazing!!

  • Corina Nika

    Oh my Lord. for real, this is the best thing i’ve ever seen. it looks like it’s pulled straight away from the catalogue, and officially, you have my dream house!

  • Brianna

    Wow! Looks absolutely amazing. Those benches are beautiful – I esp love the little right angle/side table design idea to them. Now all you need is a few friends, a fire and some bubbly.

  • What a transformation! This is just wonderful! Enjoy the beautiful space you’ve created.

  • Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984

    Is there anything you two can’t do?! I LOVE IT! The backyard is finally complete and it looks AMAZING!! Just like everything else that is coming together! Wow. Great work–love the explanation and how (again) you used the finished photos first, then progress photos after the jump. Love the pillows and GREAT idea on the triangular end part to finish it and for potential ‘side table’ usage. SMART!

  • SallyT

    This is incredible! Did you consider making the benches storage areas for the pillows, etc.? you can still retrofit them… We’ve done this in our house with the space underneath our deck – retrofitted it for storage!

  • Grace

    Swoon! This looks amazing. I love how cozy the space feels now and those pillows are to die for! Thanks for the continued source of inspiration!

  • Jade Sheldon-Burnsed

    AHHH! It looks incredible. I just want to sit by that fire right now!

  • Molly

    Absolutely amazing! I really love the tulip table and was wondering how you feel about the height? I’m looking for a really small table to use as a dining table (my apartment is tiny!) and really love the look of this one. The website says it’s only about 20in high but in your photos it looks like chairs fit with it just fine. Would something like this work or are you using it more as a side table just to set drinks? Thank you!

    • sarah

      Hey Molly, thank you! Yea this is more of a side table but the chairs we have are small and much lower to the ground than a standard chair as well so it kind of works as a dining area too. I have seen proper dining height tulip tables that are only 27″ round. Maybe that would work for your space?

  • Molly

    Thank you so much for your response! Any chance you remember where you’ve seen small, dining height tulip tables? That sounds like just what I’m looking for!

  • Mekeesha

    Looks amazing. Y’all do such great work!

  • Nice fireplace! All you need now is a guitar and a few beers.

  • Lily | Birch + Bird

    This looks amazing!!! Love everything, especially the “Jetsson’s” fireplace…we had a nearly identical one in our first loft apartment Super envious of your kilim pillow collection too.

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  • shavonda

    love it love it love it! the modern lines, the smokey color, the texture, its perfect. :)

  • Wow, that is fantastic!

  • A Golden Tulip

    Wow…i can live my whole life in your backyard..its so cozy, love it! Stumbled on your blog today, love it!


  • Katie

    The place looks great! Where did you get the planters? I’m looking for some that exact size and color.

  • what an amazing space! Great job!

  • Absolutely gorgeous! What is the colour you used for the back wall?

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  • Love all the black paint! The bench and the pillows!

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  • Sofia Mistrioti

    Hallo! I love your ideas and style I would like to receive your news in my email. I am going to move in a new flat, and surely I would need some help!
    Thanks in advance!
    With friendly regards from Greece,

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  • Christina

    Hi Shescorts!
    Love the way you transformed this space! I was wondering if you’d be so kind to share where your pillows are from? I specifically love the three highlighted in thr 9th pic down, with your cute pup! I’ve asked on other blogs and haven’t gotten a reply, so I’m really hoping you could help me out. I love the color palette!

  • OMG! Thank the Lord I found this post through Pinterest! It’s exactly what I wanted while I’ve been (beating my brains out) looking for patio inspiration/diy benches. And, no surprise, I’m in love with everything else on your blog! I kept scrolling and scrolling, gasping at every post lol So happy I’m following you now and thank you for taking the time to take pictures, give instructions, and list where to buy products!!!

    Dannon @ Like The Yogurt Fashion. DIY. Beauty

    bloglovin and

  • Hi Shescorts,
    Absolutely beautiful job! Not sure if you put this in prior comments, what paint color did you use on the wall?

    Thank you

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  • miranda

    Hi – loving this outdoor space and esp love your stovepipe fireplace. Could I ask where you found it?

    • Hi Miranda,
      Thanks, there is a link in the product sources listed in the post!

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  • Hello,

    I really love what you did with the backyard. I love the black paint that you used on the back wall. I have a similar back wall that I want to paint black and use the common boards just like this. :) what kind of paint did you use to paint that back wall? Also, did you remove the entire Trelis fence or are the common boards over it? Thank you!

    • Hi Cesar,
      Thank you! We used Behr’s exterior paint, and yes we took down the trellis fence before putting up the new boards. :)

  • TheOrientBazaar

    You’ve combined this pillows very beautiful you can also visit our site to see other great pillows http:://theorientbazaar.com – https://www.etsy.com/shop/Theorientbazaar

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  • Amy Patrick

    omg! I m so doing this to my backyard. It looks great and the kilim pillows has given just the touch that it needed!
    I have found these beautiful kilim pillows online, if anyone is interested.



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  • Hi Shescorts! I love your house- its BEAUTIFUL! I am wondering if you could tell me where the planters are from? I LOVE the pink!

    • Hi Sina,
      Thank you! I actually have no idea where they came from. One of the sub-contractors had them in a storage unit forever and asked me if I wanted them because he was going to throw them out!!

  • Hi Shescorts,
    I’m doing a similar project with This being the source of inspo! How long did you wait to put the stain on your wood after applying the wood preservative? Can says 48 hours. My brain says I ain’t got time fo that ;)

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  • garden

    Wonderful website. Plenty of useful info here.
    I’m sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thank you for your sweat!

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  • Hi Shescorts!
    I absolutely love your patio design! I am thinking about staining my fence the same color as your benches. Did Home Depot mix the stains 2:1 for you?

    Thank you!

  • Hi Shescorts,

    How did you secure the new fence to the top of the existing concrete wall? Looks awesome!


    […] Samuel who created a boho chic look with kilim cushions and a vintage fire place. You can see more about the renovation of her backyard on Shescorts’s blog. At the end of this post you can find some suggestions on how to create a similar look […]

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