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. Stephanie says:

    I have restoration hardware cushions for this project
    Sand color so nice if anyone doing this in Pittsburgh

  2. Nicholas Meyer says:

    Hi I really love the look of this outdoor furniture and would really like to make some for my house as well. Do you have a list of what sizes and cuts you did to make these? What size were the large pieces of wood? I would love to hear from you about them! Thank you

  3. Laurie says:

    It’s beautiful. How did she connect the sectional? The corner piece. Are there plans?

  4. Madonna Witte says:


    I am now prepared to take on this project…chair, love seat, couch and coffee table. Are you interested in sharing your tool list and or your design plans and materials list? I am sure I could eventually figure it out, but I would be happy to pay for your most awesome work!

    Thanks for your excellent work and your consideration!


    • Karen says:

      Hi Madonna! My dream is to have the time to get someone to do up plans for me for this furniture because so many people love it. I tend to just build things without plans. I just start building. So I never, ever have them for anything I do. Getting plans or a better post on the building of this furniture is my top priority for this summer. However, it’s still FREEZING cold here for some reason and I haven’t even uncovered it yet. ~ karen!

  5. Natalie says:

    Hi there your pieces look great, I’d love to build the sectional do you have pics of the back of the sectional? Im trying to figure out how you joined the 2 pieces and what the back support looks like? Or, do you have a video on the complete build?

  6. chris vanden heuvel says:

    These look awesome! I’m going to try it myself, but building to suit some quality cushions we found on sale.
    Do you have a post where you show the detail on the corner where the sectional comes together? Wondering how you built that – especially the back supports? Is it two pieces or one?

    Also, did you just space 2×4 pieces every 20″ or so under the seat planks for extra support?


    • Karen says:

      HI Chris. I hope to do a full tutorial this summer, including what I did on the back (which is a little inelegant but works). It’s a 6×6 cut to the height of the back supports, which are then attached to the 6×6 with L brackets. ~ karen!

  7. Aaron says:

    I’m really curious about the back of the sectional. How is that constructed? Specifically, how is the actual backboard supported in the corner section? It seems to me that there has to be a support to prevent flexing. How did you go about doing that?

  8. Christian says:

    Hey Karen! Phenomenal job ! Can you help me get an idea on how to connect the back Corner as well as the dimensions, please and thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christian! Thanks. I’m so sorry, I keep promising I’ll get a picture of the back and then I don’t. It’s in a corner against a planter bed you see so getting the photo involves pulling it all out. I absolutely promise to get out there as soon as the snow is gone. In the meantime, the corner is basically one of the 6×6’s upright to the height of the backs of the sofa supports. Right at the corner. Then the backs supports are attached to it (at a slight angle) with L brackets. It’s a bit of an inelegant solution but it works and didn’t require super-weird angles that I just knew I was going to get wrong, lol. ~ karen!

  9. Thomas says:

    Hi Karen, nice work. Did you use pressure treated lumber? And how did you achieve that finish? Thanks!

  10. Lynn Splendid Light says:

    Hi Karen, Just found you… such amazing stuff! I do have one question on your heavy wood beam (restoration hardware) furniture. I’m attempting something similar and also looking at the Aspen cushions. Can you please tell me the height measurement of your back cushions? In your photo they look considerably higher up the back than the Aspen collection shows. The RH Aspen dimensions I’m looking at says the back cushion height is only 10 ¾ inches?
    Seat Cushion: 75″W x 30½”D x 6½”H
    Back Cushion: 37½”W x 5¼”D x 10¾”H

    Would you kindly share the height and dimensions of your cushions? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lynn. The height and overall dimensions of your cushions depends on the size of the furniture you make. I didn’t make my furniture the same size as the RH collection. I made it to fit my space. So I just had the cushions made to fit my setup. ~ karen!

      • Lunn Splendid Light says:

        Yes, I’m doing the same. But as a visual reference, can you share the height of your back cushion which you indicated was Aspen, right?

  11. Jason says:

    Hello, I am now copying your copy. Ha. I was wondering where you go the cushions for your sofa? I cant seem to find anything one piece with that thickness. Your rendition looks great btw. very inspiring.

  12. Rebekah Register says:

    Karen – Do you have a list of materials or measurements on the furniture that you built? It is absolutely to die for!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rebekah. I don’t. I have the general tips on building in in the few posts I wrote on it, like how to age the wood and the size of the wood beams I used, but not a complete list. Whenever I build something I do it without plans, and to fit whatever area I have. :/ I should really look into having plans made up. ~ karen!

  13. Lance Kelly says:

    This is EPIC!!!

    Could you please discuss how you connected the back rests at the corner! Maybe post a picture?

    Thank You!!

    • Karen says:

      Hey Lance. Thanks! I know, I know. I keep meaning to have someone do up some plans for other people. Basically the corner is a post (same size as the arms) that’s the height of the back with the back boards attached to it. ~ karen!

  14. Chelsey says:

    How lovely! Do you mind me asking how you’d secured the back and seat to the arms? Your yard is looking stunning!

  15. Marilyn says:

    Your backyard looks beautiful. I noticed the funky-looking ‘fireplace’ – it reminds me of an adobe hut – and was wondering if you made it or where you bought it. I love the look of it.

  16. Mary Wagner says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Do you have the plans available for this?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary. I don’t. I make things without plans. I just start hammering, and I always make them to fit my backyard or my size. I keep meaning to hire someone to write up plans for the set but haven’t had the time. ~ karen!

  17. Jaras Bostian says:

    Greetings! Just saw your Restoration Hardware inspired outdoor seating. Love it!
    I’m new to DIY and decided to make my own outdoor seating as well. I was curious, if you had a “how to” doc or video showing how you attached the seating base and back to the arms, if you wouldn’t mind sharing. Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jaras! I’m afraid I don’t. I keep meaning to write a post on it. The truth is whenever I build anything I just start building. I don’t use plans. I don’t have the cushions on the set yet because it’s still too cold out so maybe I’ll go out with a video camera and show what it all looks like while it’s naked. That might help a few people. :) ~ karen!

  18. Carina Criss says:

    Hi! Did you buy the Restoration Hardware cushions for these? If not what cushions did you use? Looks like perfection!

  19. Aleksandr says:

    it turned out very beautifully.
    you can photograph the corner from the back. Please, very much.

  20. Jeff says:

    Do you have any pictures of how you connected the corner of the back support of the sectional? I also couldn’t find the video with further instructions?

    • Александр says:

      I also do not understand this node. I asked a question, there is no answer. If you find the structure of this angle, I will be grateful for help. :)

  21. gary wardley says:

    The set.

  22. gary wardley says:

    Came across this on pint rest and although the thread was an old one I thought I’d show you a similar hack I did. I live in the UK so we don’t have restoration hardware here so that was the driver for making this. Hope someone likes it.

  23. David says:


    Great job on this build! What type of wood beams did you use and where did you get them? Also do you have step by step instructions on how to build the furniture. Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks David! I don’t have plans, although I keep meaning to draw some up. I don’t really use plans, I just start hammering things together. :) The wood is ash 6×6. The actual Restoration Hardware furniture uses 8×8 but I didn’t want them quite that big. If you read through all my posts on the DIY Restoration Hardware collection you’ll see how I aged the wood, stained it and how I drilled the arms together. As far as size goes, you can really do it whatever size you want to fit your space. ~ karen!

  24. Do you have a tutorial on this? Step by step? Would love to see how it came together. thank you!

  25. Dean says:

    I love the way these turned out! I am in the middle of a similar project and had a couple of questions. What stain/ finish did you use and how tall are the cushions on the back support?

  26. Dean says:

    Love the way these turned out! I am in the middle of a similar project. Can I ask two questions? What stain/ finish did you use and how tall are the seat backs?

  27. Pat says:

    I have been eying that same restoration aspen set. But I wanted a sectional. This is stunning.
    Any chance you mind sharing with me how that corner is done? That is the one thing I am wanting to be sure about before I get supplies and start!! Also, the cushions, where did you get them? I want firm ones! Thanks, Pat

  28. Ivo says:

    Looks great! I think I’m going to try to make a set next spring. What is the size of the beams that you used, 15 x 15 x 100 cm ???

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ivo. I’ll be doing a whole tutorial next spring on all the measurements and techniques. I used 6×6 ash for the project and it’s worked out great. To do an identical copy of the Restoration Hardware set you’d use 8×8. I preferred the slightly smaller posts for the project tho. ~ karen!

  29. Cam says:

    What a beautiful job! I have been spending hours like you trying to find what I want and have loved this set on RH for quite awhile. Finding your blog is awesome and makes me very happy. Just curious if you will be posting dimensions and details for those like us that would like to also build ourselves. I have the gist but not sure on the seat construction since you did the 100 degrees which I really like as well. Thank you for posting and sharing. Really hoping we can make.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Cameron! Thanks, I love my set so much! Now the hunt is on to figure out a way to keep it out of the elements. I currently have a band of squirrels running around in the maple tree above it throwing reject maple keys onto it. They’re nuts these squirrels. They’ve gone rogue. I will be posting a more in depth article on how I built it step-by-step including some measurements, angles and how I did the corner of the sectional for instance. But I won’t be doing that until Spring! I’ll try to get it up early in the spring to give everyone plenty of time to get their own Aspen collections made. :) ~ karen!

      • Cam says:

        I of course went back to your post as I keep thinking about this couch. I am looking forward to seeing the plans as I am going to try to find some Ash. I normally buy wood from Menards as they have Cedar which I love. I wonder if it would look as good or if I need to find a place to get Ash. Would love to hear your thoughts.

        • Karen says:

          You can absolutely use cedar and it would look great Cam! I just wanted a certain look and colour that Cedar wasn’t going to give me. It also depends on what colour cushion you plan to have made for the couch. ~ karen!

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