To those of you who emailed … Is it done?  To those of you who asked … Did it work?  To those of you who commented … Will we ever see it?

The answer is yes.  I got butt implants, they totally worked and maybe a lucky few of you.  Also I finished my hack of the Restoration Hardware Aspen Collection.  Just in time to pack it away for winter!




I’m not going to interrupt your scrolling with too many words in this post.



Because the clumsiness of my words will only detract from the beauty of my hack.

Although I should mention I haven’t actually finished the coffee table yet. I still need to chamfer the edges (I’m holding out until someone decides to give me a router and chamfering bit).



It is not a lightweight collection.  Knowing I’d have to move it around eventually I decided to put it on casters.  The only casters even remotely strong enough to support it were appliance casters.  I wouldn’t say it makes the sectional exactly slip across the backyard like a letter carrier on ice, but … it can be done.



That chair there?  I have relaxed in that chair.  Not for long, but long enough to be able to claim I’ve relaxed in that chair.



restoration-hardware-hack-aspenThere were more than a few hiccups along the way.  Which could have been due to the wine now that I’m getting a good look at the whole picture.




The chair’s seat and back are at what is considered the perfect sitting angle, 100 degrees.  So the seat of the chair slopes towards the back a bit and the back is at a similar angle, making you feel cradled.




I wanted to have the same angles for the couch and built it that way until I realized that you can’t have a sectional couch built like that because once you get to the corner your angles are going all sorts of different directions.



So I built the seat straight on the sectional and fiddled around with it by adding extra bits of lumber here and there to sort of fake an angle.  More on that in a later post where I focus on how I actually built this thing.



Bread, olives and wine.  The PERFECT snack ( if you replace the wine with Diet Coke).



The next step is to make or buy some sort of cover for the whole thing.  A pergola is out of the question because that’ll be just a bit too much going on in this little backyard of mine.  My choices are either a couple of those sail cloths or one of those massive cantilevered umbrellas.





I might get a few weeks of sitting out here if the weather cooperates. And the butt implants.


  1. Debbie from Illinois says:


  2. Jane says:

    I look out at my (uneven, bare) brick patio and I’m supremely jealous. This summer was (amusingly enough) bookshelves in my dining room. I love them. Next year I’ll tackle the back patio.

  3. Becky says:

    It’s stunning Karen. The black cushions were a surprise and I love them.
    I had one of those umbrellas. The amount of counter balance you need is ridiculous. And it will take off on a windy day. I have a hole in my siding from one of the bars from it blowing over.

  4. Kari in Dallas says:

    Yay you! I will raise a Diet Coke in your honor. Hopefully you can enjoy some deliciously cozy Fall evenings snuggled up out there. :)

  5. Terri J. says:

    Fantastic job! Very magazine worthy. Really,really loved the garlic in your arrangement…very unexpected & made me happy again I subscribe to your wildly creative blog.

  6. Melanie says:

    Just beautiful. It really brings that whole area together. Also, if you got the heated butt implants (I’m sure you did; you think ahead like that), you can probably sit out there right through February!

  7. Maureen Locke says:

    Oh Karen… you’ve outdone yourself on this set. It’s gorgeous and looks so comfy. I am however having a slight heart attack with the red wine and that wood. I can just see myself winding up with a red wine glass ring on that beautiful furniture. Be careful :(

  8. Rose says:

    Looks awesome! I just bought a new house and your back yard is an inspiration for me. I love the seat angle and also the wide arm rest for the wine glass.

  9. Kim says:

    Hey Karen – I showed my husband your post and he said that although he wouldn’t be nice enough to GIVE you his router and chamfering bit, he would let you USE it. Also added that it sounds like you could’ve used a compound mitre saw (or something like that – too much tool talk for me & my eyes had glazed over by that point) for making your sectional. We’re both blown away by your beautiful new outdoor furniture. Anyway, I think we’re in your neck of the woods if you want to take him up on his offer. (I won one of the lovely reCAP mason jar lids you gave away a few years and I was so happy about it that I posted about it on Facebook – so you gotta know I’m a long-time subscriber to your blog and not a creepy random reader offering you her hubby’s tools. Lol. I’ll also add a photo of a table he recently made for our new home so you know he’s an actual woodworker although I’m thinking he could learn a few tips from a DIY queen like you. This doesn’t sound creepy at all, does it?!).

    • Kim says:

      It looks like the photo didn’t upload. :( It was 8MB so maybe too large a file size?

    • Karen says:

      HI Kim! Tell your husband thank you for the offer, that’s very nice of him. :) But I have NO idea when I’ll be getting around to the table! I’m still on vacation out west until tomorrow and then I have to finish working on the lower floor of my house and then Thanksgiving and … :) You get the idea. And yep … I used a sliding compound miter saw for building. It just wouldn’t have been useful for chamfering the edges. :) ~ karen!

  10. Leisa says:

    Un-flippin’ believable…your whole backyard is incredible!,,, You might want to check out covers that are made for autos or boats – maybe Canadian tire?

  11. Lois Baron says:

    You seem to have no reason to go indoors in nice weather–everything you need for a fabulous life is now in your backyard. lol. Gorgeous job.

  12. Nicky Rauon-Wright says:

    It is super ! Magnifique

  13. Amy in StL says:

    Funny, I went with a pergola with a clear, corrugated plastic roof because I felt that an umbrella or sailcloth would clutter the open feel of my patio.

    • Ev Wilcox says:

      That is what we did over 3/4 of our deck here in Northeast Ohio. We can sit out in the rain and snow (unless it is blowing like crazy). We sit and visit with our two outdoor cats and our indoor doggie and we really are one happy family! We used clear corrugated over the area of the dining room window for more light there. We used white opaque for the rest, for light but coverage too. We can also enjoy the uncovered area for the sun. Karen’s outside furniture and area are wonderful! Hats off!

  14. Su says:

    Brillant. And beautiful. Love the castors. Go for the “sails”…. Would compliment the look you have going.

  15. Jennifer Daily says:

    you are a rock star!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Karen says:

    I cannot believe you managed to finish this project already! And pick tomatoes. Because tomatoes just don’t stop. Pick 23. Turn to leave, and 7 more ripened. Anyway, the furniture is truly fantastic! Absolutely beautiful. And what about those cushions? Did you make those too? Or did you put Betty to work? BTW I do have a router you can borrow. I have to check on the bit. Also, my vote goes on sail shades. They are gorgeous aren’t they? If you decide on those and then of course, because it’s you, you’ll decide to make them yourself. Of course. You’ll have to offer a workshop on making them. You see, I need a few of these myself. So ya, you need to get the workshop planned.

  17. Mo says:

    Way to go Karen! It looks great. You should be very proud. :)

  18. Jenny W says:

    just, spectacular :D

  19. Alexandra says:

    You are woman…I hear you roar! Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to hang out in your beautiful backyard. I am interested on the fabric for the cushions…is it Sunbrella fabric? i.e. able to withstand rain, bright sun?

  20. Teresa Richardson says:

    I agree with everyone else. I also prefer the permanent roof solution. May be a bit pricey, but once done, good for years in all kinds of weather. Use tin and enjoy the sound of rain on it. Angle it so snow weight is not a great problem either. Next we well have you build some glass walls so it is full protected and you can enjoy it all seasons with no bugs to bite….

  21. Louise says:

    Wow! Amazingly gorgeous – that’s all I can say, ’cause I have to scroll back up and admire the result of your hard work. Bravo!!

  22. Linda Wade says:

    You are truly the most amazing chick. Gives me hope that I can do things myself. Maybe not on your level but that’s ok. I’ll get better. Thanks for all the great videos and information. I look forward to your posts.

  23. Brandy Ballard says:

    I love it!!! You did such a great job. I was concerned at first because I’m not really “rustic” in my decorating so the distressing was a little meh to me. BUT, it turned out PERFECTION!!!! So wonderful. Such a lovely sitting area. Have to concur with the lady who said the permanent roof coming off the house. My parents have one for their teensy backyard (think about 1/4 or less the size of yours) and it makes it so nice to be able to be out in the heat of the summer (our summers are so not outside favorable like your winters aren’t for you). Your pieces outshine the original!

  24. whitequeen96 says:

    OMG – SUPERB!!! And I really didn’t think I’d like it – but that was before I saw your version of it. Gorgeous! Has your family been over to see it yet? They’ll be blown away!

  25. Catt in Kentucky says:

    I have been wondering how you were doing on this project! Wow! I love everything…….rustic and yet so sophisticated…. comfy looking too. Fab job!

  26. Centi says:

    I am deeply impressed. This seems to require so much expertise and sepcial skills. Plus, it looks really great!

  27. Cred says:

    Awesome job! It looks superb. And thanks for the perfect backrest angle. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I search for a lounge chair (side chair, whatever). I’m looking for an mcm chair as they seem to have a proper angle for sitting comfortably.
    Hope you still get a couple of fair days to enjoy your furniture. With a fire and some warm clothing, a fall pizza party sounds inviting.

  28. Jennie Lee says:

    I love it. I am green with envy.

  29. Elaine says:

    What a fabulous and classy job you’ve undertaken and mastered!! I knew it would be gorgeous, Karen. Get your non-implanted butt out there this week because the nights are starting to get chilly. The entire yard is so beautiful! Your ability to tackle ANYTHING is over-the-top impressive!!

  30. Melissa says:

    So excited to see the finished product! And, you did not disappoint, it is stunning.

    Will wait now for your furniture line to come out…

  31. MrsChris SA says:

    WOW WOW WOW and again WOW
    It is beautiful!! Well done you!!

  32. billy sharpstick says:

    All you need for a chamfer is a circular saw, or table saw. Clean it up with a belt sander or wire wheel on an angle grinder.
    A router will make a nice “roundover”, aka “quarter round”. (Forget the 1/4″ router. Spring for the 1/2″. You’ll be glad in the long run.)

  33. Edith says:

    Dang Karen….you did a great job on that. It’s beautiful! I love how it blends with your area back there. Rustic but modern. I’m impressed!

  34. Bev says:

    You are a giant among women, and men. Your furniture is epic. It’s your enthusiasm that is fun to watch. Bravo.

  35. holly says:

    It is simply beautiful, Karen. Great job! I knew it would be. Of course. Because it is done by Karen! I don’t know how you do it. You have an extremely good eye regarding decorating. That is a true talent.


  36. Pam'a says:

    Of *course* it looks amazing. But I won’t consider it a success until/unless you actually sit your fanny down and relax on one of those pieces of furniture for at least an hour. [insert maniacal laughter]

  37. Lucy Price-Murofushi says:

    Why would a talented, beautiful woman even say that nasty word $&(( !?,)$@/;.
    Well two words but you had better not. Aunt Lucy is horrified at what your generation is thinking of. We burned out bras for this? Say it isn’t so.

    • nancy says:

      I KNOW it!!! re: burning bras. And why do we have to shave anything to be “acceptable” and now people shave their genitals. They apologize before an exam “Oooh sorry, I haven’t waxed/whatever they do to whatever they call their private parts”. Seriously I don’t care and who wants to have sexy time somebody that looks like an 8 year old anyway?

      Oh, I’m a nurse, that’s why I have to see all this. And I see CORSETS on Pinterest?? Women have never been more objectified than now, we have only gone backwards. All that work for nothing.

  38. Carey says:

    Wow, Karen, it looks amazing! You really can do anything you set your mind to. Very impressive!

  39. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Well, once again, you have triumphed! The yard is now officially, certifiably GRAND!
    Sails would be my choice if you don’t have lots of wind. Possibly just covering the furniture with tarps if you get much snow……..?
    In any case, you better schedule in some relaxing time for next summer.

  40. Grammy says:

    I expected it to be fabulous, but that is just the best! But don’t try to pull the old “butt implants” trick on us. We’ve seen your butt and you didn’t need any. Just please tell me you didn’t get collagen lips. I can’t stand collagen lips.

    Regardless, I just showed my husband the furniture and he said, “Invite her here.” And that has nothing to do with whether you may or may not have butt implants — he wants you to make him some furniture.

  41. Bonnie cramond says:

    Ok. So, are you really human or are you from some planet of super women? I really wa T to know. I’m hoping it’s the latter so I won’t feel so incompetent and lazy.

  42. Muff Hackett says:

    Karen it looks absolutely wonderful! And perfect in your back garden – such a great idea and you have, as always, done it up right.

    Beware the huge cantilevered umbrella thingy – I happened to be under one that decided to catch the wind and blow over (it was anchored – that didn’t help) and damned near bought it – I’ve been terrified of them ever since.

    • Deana says:

      I agree. Bought one, anchored it to our deck railing along with the heavy bottom on the umbrella and a few mornings later, there it was laying in our pool with the hunk of railing that ripped off with it. Never again a cantilevered umbrella.

  43. Erica m says:

    What did you use for the cushions?

  44. Molly Evans says:

    SHUT UP! Awesome! You’re always impressive, but this, THIS, this is epic! Well done, girl. Well done.

  45. Lynn says:

    Beautiful is what comes to mind. As for sails or umbrella there are upsides an downsides to both . You just need to figure out if you need the mobility of a umbrella, or the stability of the sails. Either way you rock it Karen you have a fabulous yard .

  46. Bobbles says:

    Fabulous! Really big, so I thought I wouldn’t like it but I do! My deck is just waiting for delivery!

  47. Laura says:

    I knew it would look great. It does! It really does. And inviting and comfortable and like a lot of love and sweat went into the construction of it all. Pretty cool, Karen.

  48. Sue says:

    This is reallocate quite awesome!

  49. Jeannieb says:

    Really beautiful Karen. Let’s hope the weather holds.

  50. Monika says:

    OMG! You did it! And it’s fabulous. Massive, but fabulous. It looks so good…. I’m green with envy. You rock, Karen! I hope you do get to relax in it before packing it away. And I highly recommend two triangular sail cloth thingies from Costco. They were $20 here in the US this summer and they are wonderfully effective. Great job!

    • Ronda says:

      Ikea also has sail cloths. They’re what I’m planning for our patio. 4 4×4 posts “planted” in some great black square planters from Loew’s. Should do the trick!

    • Mary W says:

      What she said!

      • Brenda says:

        Lee Valley has them in differing size and shapes too. Voting for sail cloths wherever to get them – knowing you though you might get one boob job done (so you can keep your better side and have a funny side) and make them yourself <- the sail clothes.

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