Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Patio Bench - Soaking up T-mount and chasing sunsets

You live in Cape Town, because it's central, it's where everything happens, it's cool and happening.  It's all these things and more, but the truth is I miss having a backyard and a place to chill.  I love my apartment, but it lacked a backyard.  It did have a balcony with potential though. (There's hope!)  Here's what my balcony looked like when I moved in:

So when I moved in a year and a half ago, I put four plastic chairs outside.

This just looked lame and I knew I had to do something about it.  I sold the plastic chairs on Gumtree and put the money towards some paint.

I started to look for some inspiration on Pinterest and found these pictures that inspired me:

I decided that I would get a L-shape bench made with a lid so I can store the cushions inside. I made this drawing to see what I can fit on my balcony and gave it to the shop fitter (that works with me):

 I was lucky enough to be able to ask the shop fitters to make the benches for me.  I got a Velveglo paint mixed to a specific grey that I wanted.  I wanted to get cushions made for the benches so went to look for material and found a bargain of R25 per meter.  Then I got cushions made and I intentionally made the bigger bench's cushion too small, so that there would allow space to place drinks or anything else directly on he surface, so it doubled up as a table.  I had some scatter pillows that I could use for the benches.  Bonus! The benches was made out of chipboard which isn't good friends with rain, so I had plastic covers made for the benches which I cover them with when I don't use them. 

I have a slight skull obsession at the moment, so wanting to put skull decals on the bench wasn't a surprise, hehe!  I asked the printers to print the skulls on 5-7 year vinyl which gets used for outside billboards.  This would ensure that the vinyl lasts longer and doesn't fade in the sun.

I applied the skull decals myself.  It's pretty easy and anyone can do it!  I started with measuring the area where I wanted to apply the skulls and then measured the skulls.  I worked out how much space I wanted to have between the skulls and then marked it with a pencil on the bench.

I peeled the sticker halfway off the decal.

 I stuck the one side of the decal down first. I took a card and started smoothing out any bubbles and sticking the decal to the bench as I went along.  Eventually the whole decal was stuck to the surface. 

My apartment gets a lot of afternoon sun, which seems that it could be great, but it gets extremely hot in the summer.  Too hot to sit on the balcony and enjoy the view.  So I asked my landlady if we can install a blind and she agreed.  Now the balcony feels like an extra room when the blind is down.

It has been a long journey to get the balcony to a lovely chilling place and utilise it socially, but every step was worth it.  Here's some pictures of my balcony in full use...soaking up T-mount and chasing sunsets.

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