Almost every night after dinner we settle in on the couch, turn on the TV, and chill. And almost every night after I get all snuggled in and comfy Josh asks me to go sit on the back porch with him.
It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that all the seating out there is so . . . vertical. I want to lay down, stretch out, and put my head on a pillow. So I started looking around the house for a camping cot or air mattress I could use. I was stoked to find a roll-away bed stored in the basement. I bought it a couple years ago at a friend’s garage sale and my kids use it when they have someone sleep over. I didn’t remember to take a picture but it looks like this one.
Nothing pretty but it was free and portable so I lugged it outside one afternoon, threw a sheet and blankie on it, and laid down. And then it happened.
The clouds parted, the sun shone more brightly than ever before and a cool summer breeze lifted all my cares away. My daughter curled up next to me and closed her eyes too. I swear I even heard a unicorn trot by. It was that magical. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? There had to be a way to make this bed a permanent fixture on my porch. Had. To. Be.
My first idea was to keep the roll-away bed out there – maybe fix it up with some pillows or something. I asked my daughter’s opinion and she said it looked like we had a hobo living on our porch. Hmmm. Maybe not.
So I went online and found plans to build this perfect outdoor daybed by Ana White (minus the canopy).
The plans seemed easy and the cost came in at a reasonable $225, so we made our list and started stashing away money for the materials. In the meantime we were busy tearing down the backyard playground since both of our girls had outgrown it. Then somehow in this pile of scrap . . .
. . . Josh saw a daybed frame (and a workbench for the garage but that’s another post for another day).
Turns out the climbing wall was the same width and almost the same length as my hobo bed mattress. So with a few modifications it could easily become the base of the daybed and still support the back and arms from the Ana White plans.
Modification #1: Square off angled end and “cap” it with a 2×4 to match the other end.
Modification #2: Trim any overhang from the ends so there’s a flush surface to add the arms when we’re ready.
Modification # 3: Add legs using 2×4 scraps from the playground. This photo looks like there’s only one screw holding the leg in place but I promise there’s three more in the side.
And of course it needed power washing, sanding, and painting. I chose the same color we used on the porch ceiling since we had some leftover. Here’s a shot of the underside all painted out so you can see the finished construction.
And here’s the top without a mattress. Disregard the filthy floor.
Finally, all made up and ready for a lazy Sunday morning or after dinner relaxing.
Here’s what happened when I was trying to take these photos.
Oh and to protect the hobo mattress in our wet Chicago weather I bought a waterproof, zippered mattress protector at Walmart for around $19. This is what the packaging looks like when it’s being transformed into a robot by a 10-year-old.
For added protection I added a waterproof mattress cover we still had from when the kids were potty training. If the forecast calls for thunderstorms I bring the mattress in just to be safe but so far it’s stayed dry during our regular rain showers and humid days.
Next we plan to add a back and arms but we’re starting to rethink the design based on how we use the bed so far. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.
What do you sit or lay on when you’re outside. Do you need to be horizontal to relax too. Or is that just me?