Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Seating Has Been UPGRADED!

Sunday was a very cold, but very fun day.

It just goes to show that outlook is everything. We finally had one of those bursts of ambition and energy and decided the built in love seat was getting DONE. Of course it had to be the coldest most uninviting day of weather yet this season. That was not enough to snuff out the fire though. 

We forged ahead despite the bitter blustery winds that ripped through the yard. The average temperature for the day was about 16 degrees, and that did not include the wind chill. We layered up and headed out to the store for supplies. Since we mapped out just exactly what we planned to do, we were very efficient with purchase of wood. We also swung by the garden section and grabbed a few clay pots to give the tiny planter heater idea a try. (A couple weeks ago, I posted a link on our Facebook page about a man who used this simple set up to heat his one room studio.) The man in the video makes use of a bread pan, but we couldn't seem to find any combination of pots that would nicely fit over the bread pan we had. So we opted to use some of those bricks we collected nearly a year ago. 

It certainly can throw some heat once it gets going, but it's still too small of an operation to do much for us. I held my hand over the little "chimney" and was surprised at how concentrated the heat was. However, it wasn't enough for the space. We are toying with the idea of making a bigger version to see if that would create a noticeable difference. 

We measured and cut our boards in the freezing weather, each of us taking turns with our duties and then employing some form of heat generation. Dan opted to do sprints back and forth in the yard while I intermittently busted out into intense Jackie Chan air fights. I'm sure we've gotten looks before, simply for the little box we live in, but yesterday would have been a sight. Two people running around their little house, doing jump kicks, hard knees, and turbo fist pumps, then diligently bending down to measure and cut lengths of wood? Yeah, even I would stop and stare a moment.

Once we had our pieces cut, we hurried inside to assemble them- BRILLIANT! We were very happy to come up with that idea ahead of time. We are so used to building everything outside, that we often overlooked the smaller projects that could be carried out indoors. Well a cold so deep that it makes your teeth hurt when you talk-- that will make you start thinking smart in a hurry!

We assembled each bench in the warmth of The Pod. After putting the first one together with no issues, and checking to make sure the water bricks would fit- we started in on the second one. Both pieces came together quite quickly. We then cut out the pieces of plywood that set right into each unit, providing a level covered surface. We drilled a couple holes in each so it's easy to lift these covers up with just a finger. 

Once we were happy with the benches, we measured and ripped down our table top. We bought another piece of the same wood we used for the counters in the kitchen. When the table top is not in use, it will sit across the two benches to form the love seat. When we want to use the table, we will screw on the legs and set it between the two benches to create a nice little dining nook. 

We were both so jazzed up about how easily it came together and how nice it looked, that we cleaned up the work area and ran off to the thrift store. Neither of us could wait another day to have a comfy cushioned place to sit! We picked up some large pillows (all for under $4 each) and I also made a pass through the curtain section and found a nice set for the last window. Only $6!! Woohoo! Now I don't have to make them! Plus, material alone would have been more than that!

I plan to make use of the leftover curtain materials I already bought (plus some other colorful scraps) to make quilted pillow covers. That way our pillows will look brand spankin' new, and match the decor to a T! I will also be making the cushions that we sit on. For those, I will most likely make two larger cushions with a crease so they can easily fold in half. That way, when it's a love seat, each cushion folds out and covers the expanse, and when it is a booth, each cushion folds and fits on each bench. 

We didn't anticipate the change that swept over us once the love seat was done. That was the final major eye sore of the house, and now it has been replaced with a cute, cozy space and I absolutely adore it! After coming back from the thrift store, I started making dinner while Dan did few more small jobs, like installing a knob for the lower closet door, and hanging the rod for the curtains. Then, we happily squished together amongst the big pillows enjoying dinner, the vastly more comfortable seating, and being able to sit right beside each other for the first time in over two months. :)  

We will have a video tour soon!
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  1. When joining wood cross grain, it's better to use nails. Screws will cause the wood to split over time, since wood moves across the grain and screws don't allow it to give, therefore the stress results in splits.
    There is no such thing as bad weather!
    Candles will never heat a tiny space, not in that weather. Keep in mind the guy in the UK is in the UK!

  2. Thanks for the tips! Good to know for future wood working. :)