New patience-testing project in the wings…….


For sometime now I’ve wanted some sort of furniture for the covered deck we have……… I love to lounge outside on a summers day reading a book and sipping ice tea – but I have only hanging hammocks to sit in and well, I want a change, something substantial and comfy and big enough for two people……..

A unique wooden day bed, with a couple of custom crafted cushions sounds perfect.

I have heaps of natural Indian cotton material that is hand made from tiny little ropes. This stuff is usually made into mats because it is so tough and good wearing. I have been umming-and-ahhing about what I should use it for because there is so much of it.

And then all of my questions were answered whilst perusing Trademe (NZ private auction site) – I saw a couch frame for $10.  *SNAP* I can see it now – skin out the frame in wooden panels and slats for the base, add some chunky turned high legs, stain it dark, beat it up a little more and make 2 huge square seating cushions out of that luxurious Indian cotton – PERFECT!!! Or ultra chic and sleek with modern styling in unusual materials – like shadow clad (marine ply) washed in a tint base, some stencils applied and natural materials for luxurious cushions and throws…… mmmmmmm delish like peppermint ice cream!!

This project is going to be a toughie and will really test our patience and skills, so the approach is careful planning up front (measure twice cut once) on design, look and function. Then slow and steady wins the race. It an enormous undertaking and enormous in size – so should keep us out of trouble for a bit of time! We’re just heading into autumn so we have another 3 and a bit seasons to get it done. I envision this project is also going to be costly!

I love the curves  and solid structure of the frame. We picked it up from an upholsters shop this morning and were happy to part with $10 for it. The upholster explained that is was from a 1950’s couch that was originally made in England for a manor house – hence its enormous size. The frame is constructed of beech wood and has been re-upholstered many many times over it’s life. There are a million tack holes at regular intervals – I will have fun filling them with putty!


width arm to arm 242 cm
depth of seat at base 99 cm
height of back from floor 68 cm

Hubby and I laid it down on it’s base when we got home and could sit toe to toe from the arm rails. It’s a MONSTER! It only just fits on the ute!




Here’s a few of my research ideas


My rough drawings for the day bed design
My rough drawings for the day bed design


Here are a couple of sleigh armed day beds I found in a search

I like the recessed panel look of these ones; the sleigh style arms and the under storage vs no under storage. It’s a similar shape except I like the more square shape back on our frame. But there is also a lot that I don’t like about these existing day beds. I want a pared back modern minimal look with a twist. I want clean & crisp with natural tones and materials in the rope cotton and natural cottons cushions and the warmth and comfort of ‘aged’ wood. I also need it to assemble and dissemble easily and quickly because our tropical weather has the upper hand and tends to surprise us at the best of times…….. I better get my crayons and scrap pad out – ideas are churning!





  1. Lots of work, hard work, Pepper, but I know you and hubby will do it, and do it well! Exciting to see these ‘B4s’…and your ideas for the finished look!

    Birch is a wonderful wood to work with, and though there are many holes to be filled, they will disappear with your finesse in patching!

    The fabric sounds wonderful–can’t wait to see the first apps!


  2. it WILL be a lot of work, but how beautiful when you are done. I love sitting out in the summer reading and sipping tea also, and am jealous of this find. You could even make it into a hanging swing…


  3. That looks like a really well-made, solid wood frame – great project! I can’t wait to see it. PS: There are lots of great upholstery how to’s on YouTube – they may come in handy. 🙂


  4. That looks like its going to be a great project. I wonder if I could leave a suggestion, granted I’m not as creative as you are, but I think it would be cool if you could use furniture tacks along the back and the arms of the couch and use laminate fabric or some type of all weather rope and weave your own design on the back and arms. That way it would be lightweight and easy to disassemble for the tricky weather.


    1. I thought about tacks just on the wood as I don’t want any upholstery or covering over the ‘wood panels’ on the sides or back as I see them being a ‘feature’. I see what you’re suggesting though and it’s a great idea.

      I slept on it and today I’m thinking a shabby-chic green washed marine ply would be cool with ‘stamp’ in the back center – it would last outside on the beech frame happily……. hmmm still thinking.

      Thanks so much for the suggestion! Have a great day.


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