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. Jason King says:

    Is there any chance you could show pics of the back of your sectional? Always wondered how it went together. Just bought the beams and lumber for my chairs and couch!

    • Chris says:

      Hey Jason , I wondering the same exact thing, did she ever replied to you on how she connected the corner of the sectional? If so can you send me the pics please!

  2. Cussot says:

    My butt barely grazes my outdoor furniture. I’m as jumpy as a meat-starved feline next to a bird feeder. But your set is absolutely wonderful.

    Here it is days and days later, and I’m still pondering the sectional-seat-angle problem.

  3. Stephbo says:

    I was going to say something to remind you that just because this is summer furniture doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it in the winter as well. Then I remembered that I live in Atlanta. You don’t. At least you have something beautiful to look forward to for next spring!

  4. Kris says:

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said – wow! gorgeous! you are one smart and talented woman! good for you! please come over, now!

  5. Lavues says:

    That looks really calming, I love that.

  6. Lin N says:

    Stunning hack!!!! Sit down and finish that wine and bread, you deserve it for a job well done. Looking forward to the butt implant pictures…..NOT. Hahahahaha

  7. Suzanne Moore says:

    Holy Cow!! You must be strong to be able to move those beams around! You are quite an inspiration to us all, and you are getting things done.

  8. Darla says:

    Love Love Love

  9. Ian says:

    Er Mer Gersh I Lerve Ert. So much more comfy, inviting, and luxurious than the other chairs. Boom.

  10. Phylicia M says:

    This is really phenomenal!!! Good job!

  11. bill keiser says:

    The casters are a good idea, assuming you have a reasonably flat floor. For a stationary piece(the table?), I would put sacrificial feet that can be easily replaced under the corners. (I live in Florida. Anything in contact with the wet ground will decay, corrode or otherwise deteriorate within a few years. sometimes months.)

  12. Mindy says:

    Wait, where’s the wall mount TV? ;)

  13. Eddie Cummings says:

    Your backyard looks like a million bucks. Enjoy!!!!!!

  14. Angela Stephens says:

    L O V E !!!!

  15. Arlene says:

    Well…you said it was really good…and it’s “fantabulous”!
    Beautifully done! You make us DYI wannabe’s jealous!
    Thanks for giving us hope!!

  16. Barbie says:

    It’s really beautiful Karen! Great idea/smart idea to put the casters on the bottom! We are having wonderful weather here in the Northwest that seems to prolonging our “outside” sitting, hopefully you are going to have some great weather as well to enjoy it a while! Nice job!

  17. Jody says:

    Wow. Well done. And nice rack!

  18. Courtney T. says:

    Hi Karen,

    You probably already know this if you keep your Lee Valley catalogs stacked by the toilet like we do (for reading, not wiping! This isn’t 1895…), but they also sells sail cloths:,71685

    Thought I’d mention it since I think I remember you have a relationship with them already.

  19. Melissa says:

    You totally kicked butt on this (implants or otherwise)! It’s beautiful. Definitely a sail to finish it off. You’re amazing!

  20. Ryan says:

    Looks fantastic. Congrats.

  21. Ritz says:

    It looks just terrific, Karen! Bravo!

  22. Alena says:

    It looks very nice, Karen.
    I was thinking, as I started to scroll down through the pictures, that it must rather heavy but you addressed that.
    I would not be able to leave anything outside for days. I don’t know whether it is due to me being in a more urban area than you or due to my house being situated fairly close to an expressway but the amount of dust here is rather prohibitive. I could practically wash my windows each month (which of course I don’t do).
    Great job!

  23. Karen says:

    You might consider using shade cloth over the seating. It provides shade and you can still see through it at night to see the stars.

  24. JulieD says:

    Well done Karen! It looks great! And I like your vegetable arrangement next to the chair too. Such an inviting back yard.

  25. maggie van sickle says:

    Beautiful Karen! Well done! Need I say more?

  26. Jackie says:

    Fantastic job. I’m just wondering where & how you’re going to store it foe the winter. You are the most handy person I know.

  27. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    You are the best girlfriend…

  28. Leticia C. Cortes says:

    I echo everyone’s comments, down here in Texas, first thing that came to mind…HOT DAMN!

  29. Jan in Waterdown says:


  30. Jules says:

    K, Your talent and creation is FAB!
    I want it! I want it all!!
    My hubby is finishing our cedar deck as I type…all wood from our property and milled on our mill….but when I saw your patio, it gave me more ideas for beyond the deck.
    Your entire back garden I LOVE!
    Way to go, you are amazing.
    Jules from the (sunny today) BC coast?

  31. Sabina says:

    Carnivore…a very nice choice of wine…and the furniture is cool too – good job!

  32. Gretchen Sexton says:

    I have run out of superlatives…
    What a fantastic look you created!
    Needless to say, I love it. And whenever I make that trek to Canada (from Alabama) I hope to see it in person! (haha)
    Can’t wait to see how you do the cover!
    PS Loved the Vancouver trip as well! (it’s on my bucket list)

  33. Tres says:

    Very impressive work with a beautiful outcome! I know you will get years of enjoyment from the set – starting next summer :-)

  34. sylvia hawryluk says:

    stuck on the visual of a mail carrier on ice comment …too funny ! Nice work BTW

  35. Stephanie says:

    Totally worth the wait. Spectacular job. It was a picture of your backyard on another site that drew me to your site a couple/three years ago and I have been around ever since watching in awe. I am more your sister, pink tool belt (I spent Saturday renovating my friend’s powder room with all my own tools), but have “stolen” more than one idea from you. Keep it up. Hope you meet your Thanksgiving deadline you have given to yourself for your interior.

  36. Pam says:

    WOW, a very big wow, nice job!

  37. Kate says:

    Your best yet! I’ve been following your blog like since forever, and this project is phenomenal.
    Thank you.
    Just thinking, your biceps and triceps must be toned to max from slinging the heavy lumber.
    In winter, could this patio set serve double duty as weight training?
    Sending my best from Boston,

  38. Rebecca says:

    It’s gorgeous, Karen! I love your backyard so much.

  39. brenda says:

    there are no words…….
    when do you sleep, eat potato chips or bathe?

  40. Isabella says:

    Impressive and enticing. Now for decent weather through Dec. and you’ve got it made. Will the cushions store easily? The wood should be fine in the elements, aging in nice ways. Way to go.

  41. Karin says:

    Wowza! So amazing! They are right when they say the devil is in the details. He is real and his favorite hangout is a compound angle.

  42. Kim says:

    So much more inviting than what was previously there. Very very nice!

  43. Marilyn meagher says:


  44. Ronda says:

    and, welcome back Karen … hope your vacation got you fit for your marathon painting session!

  45. jainegayer says:

    Just FABULOUS!! I knew it would be. And so damn classy!

  46. Ardith says:

    I am totally gobsmacked, Karen. You didn’t just build outdoor furniture with your own hands, you made it for beauty and comfort. You didn’t just build gorgeous furniture, you styled it brilliantly. The whole backyard is stunning. Seriously. Mouth. Dropped.

  47. SusanR says:

    Very, very nice. Your back yard looks even more fabulous than it looked before, which is saying something!

  48. Audrey says:

    You don’t have a router….I’m feeling a bit superior then this morning. I have two routers and many, many bits.

  49. Jen says:

    Your yard (an the new furniture) looks fab, but I was distracted by what looks like a pendant/chandelier hanging over your dining table. I don’t remember see that before! Do tell.

  50. Maryanne says:

    The set looks lovely Karen! (As well as the whole backyard.) Thank you for sharing.

    :) Maryanne

    P.S. Are the chickens swinging yet?

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