Adding Patio Seating : Cinder Block Benches

Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? Ours was wonderful and productive. After a dreary week, I was happy to get to soak in the springtime!

Since the weather has been nice, most of our major indoor projects have been put on hold {I’ll save those for when it’s 180 degrees and I need a/c!}. I’ve spent some time working on phase 1 of project “make our backyard not look so sad”. We have a really long flower bed along the back of the house. Since I’m no gardener, it’s really more than I can manage, unless I went and stuck a bunch of fake plants the dirt and called it done. Our little creature of habit schnauzer will walk the entire length of the flower bed when we call her in, until she gets to the corner by the door. She walks straight through bed dragging in mulch and dirt…and then proceeds to make a bee line for the white strip of the carpet. Isn’t that lovely? I wanted to make better use of that section and turn it into something that involves less dirt.

Ahem. Here is the aforementioned area. Beautiful, no? It used to be the home of some boxy bushes and tons of lirope. Blech.

like a saturday : cinder block benches

When I talked about our backyard plans, I mentioned that I wanted to build a cinder block bench like this one that has been floating around Pinterest land. I ordered my block from Home Depot for an in-store pick up {which was awesome since they already had it ready to go for me, and then just loaded it into my car}.

like a saturday : cinder block benches

I ordered 30 blocks, which is enough for 2 benches and a few extra {in case of any accidents}. It’s amazing how quickly 30 blocks can fill up the entire trunk of an SUV! I started by clearing the area that I would be working in and making sure the dirt was flat and level.

like a saturday : cinder block benches

The next step was to lay some weed blocking fabric. You could also use old newspaper or something like that, but I already had a roll of the fabric on hand, so that worked for me.

like a saturday : cinder block benches

Next, it’s time to build your bench! The cinder blocks are 16 x 8 x 8, and I used 12 of them, making this bench 16″ high and 48″ across. I didn’t necessarily want this to be a permanent structure, so I didn’t use any type or mortar, but it is something you certainly could try. The benches have proven to be plenty sturdy without it.

like a saturday : cinder block benches

I ordered some cute bench cushions from Target {that were also 48 x 16} and layed some river rock around the bench.

like a saturday : cinder block benches

Ta da! I’m in love with my new benches! It is definitely starting to look less sad out back.

like a saturday : cinder block benches

I built another one around the corner. The extra seating is great, and it’s nice to be able to seat more people around the fire pit without having to drag out our kitchen chairs.

like a saturday : cinder block benches

Now that we’ve added some more color, I’m definitely thinking I want to paint the back door a fun color as well. That will have to wait until phase 2 {probably this fall} since we’ll be crazy busy the rest of the time we have nice weather. Any color suggestions? I’m tossing around a couple of ideas, but I’m not even close to settling on a color.

like a saturday : cinder block benches

I also pulled out the rest of the ugly bushes and lirope and replaced it with knockout roses and hostas. It will be so pretty and lush when it all grows to full size!

like a saturday : cinder block benches

like a saturday : cinder block benches

I’m feeling pretty accomplished! We’ve made a lot of headway on phase one of project “make the backyard not look sad”.

Phase One:

Clean off patio and power wash

Spray paint patio chairs

Build cinder block bench

Clean out flower beds, get rid of dead and ugly plants

Put in something to cover or distract from A/C unit

Build a post to hang garden hose on

Plant things that do well in the tropics and are hard to kill

Work on veggie/herb garden!

Phase Two:

Stain concrete patio

Paint back door

Build out fire pit

Have you been making and outdoor updates or working in the garden? Do you have any ideas brewing for your outdoor space?

Have a great Monday!