The key to creating an unusual and interesting garden is finding the right furniture. With the right piece of furniture you can create an old world atmosphere or cool chic haven. You can add drama and character, or it can just simply be a focal point in your garden. A particularly interesting piece can become the design inspiration for the rest of your garden. But where can you go to find fabulous furniture without breaking the bank?
Believe it or not it could be under your nose already. I made these pieces of garden furniture from old beds that were surplus to requirement.
Titania day bed
This day bed was originally my son’s bed when he was a toddler. It was over 18 years old and had been sitting in my garage for at least 8 years. I’d been holding on to it because I liked it so much and was convinced I’d be able to use it again one day, but then completely forgot about it until I stumbled across it last year when looking for my dog.
I took it out, cleaned it off, and rubbed it down with sandpaper. I added some planks of wood along one side to give a bit of back support and then applied a couple of coats of coloured exterior wood preservative to give it a new lease of life. If you look carefully you can still see my son’s name scrawled in indelible ink showing through the paint, but this only adds to the charm for me.
I found an old mattress that a friend was throwing out and made some simple cushions to decorate. The finishing touch was to plant some climbers to scramble up and over the four posts – they will eventually provide a natural floral canopy, and I hung some tea lights around the edge for a romantic touch in the evenings.
The result is a fabulous day bed that we all love to use that cost me virtually nothing.
Moroccan style garden sofa
This other piece was made from an old double bed that came from my mother’s house. Just an ordinary pinebed. Originally it looked very similar to this.
But with a little bit of work, we turned it into this
To do this we simply took the bed apart. We cut the footboard in half to form the arms of the sofa and cut the baseboard down to fit the depth of the arms. We then reassembled it and gave it a couple of coats of external wood preservative.
The base cushions came from an old sofa and again I made some simple cushions from left over bits of fabric and old curtains. I bought the bolsters from Ikea and covered them in fabric from an old bedspread. We have a great piece of furniture that cost me next to nothing to make.
You can find old furniture all over the place. Have a look around your house and garage. Have you got old furniture that you could re-fashion? Are any of your friends moving or getting rid of furniture? Visit the local tip or your local junk shop or have a look to see what’s on offer from Freecycle. You’ll be amazed at what other people will throw away. With a little time, effort and creativity you could have some amazing pieces of garden furniture.
• Most furniture is made from soft wood and won’t be very tolerant of the weather. If you are using it outdoors make sure that you treat it regularly with an exterior wood preservative and keep it covered in winter.
• It can be useful to put large pieces of furniture on small pieces of slate to lift them off the ground as this will stop the legs from getting rotten in the rain.