My patio idea -am I missing something?

bestyearsApril 28, 2009

I recently bought a darling old, heavy, solid wood armoire from CL. I'm painting it in exterior paint and will use it on the patio to store cushions, etc. We've also added an outdoor rug, and have a couple of adirondack chairs. So my wheels are spinning, and I'm thinking, how cool would it be to put a daybed out there! This isn't a covered patio. It's up against the house, but completely exposed. So my idea is to encase the mattress itself in two layers of those zip around plastic mattress covers. And then to make a cover for it out of sunbrella fabric. Add some pillows, etc. The pillows can be stored in the armoire when there is threat of rain. But the mattress of course will be out there all the time. The frame will be primed and painted with exterior paint. This is Houston, so no snow but plenty of humidity. Is this a cool idea or a stupid idea?

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I don't know if this will help but I have 6 cushions covered in Sunbrella that I bought 2 yrs ago. So this is their 3rd Spring. I scrubbed them yesterday and they look brand new...they are light beige. They have stayed out way more often that they should have in the rain and have come to no harm at all. Perhaps what you need to do is make the mattress out of the same filler that is in the purchased cusions so that they issue of covering with plastic zipper bags will be moot. I think that would be the best way to make sure it is all weather proof. c

BTW paint something purple :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:59AM
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I worry that, particularly in the extreme heat and humidity of Houston, your plastic will actually and trap and encourage moisture to build up inside, and you'll have a moldy mess. You'd probably be better off with a new cushion designed for outdoors that permits the moisture to escape.

Some of the catalogs sell fat cushions separately from the furniture for which they are designed. There is also this site (which I have not used, so check it out for youself...just an example) where you can order specific dimensions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Custom ourdoor cushions

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:45AM
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It's a bad idea, IMO. You are not going to be able to completely moisture proof the mattress against the rain and humidity. And moisture is going to get into the folds of fabric. Between rain and dust and stuff just blowing around, I would avoid leaving pillows of any kind outside uncovered.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:58AM
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I think a nice chaise lounge with a thick cushion and trendy throw pillow would look the best. Your not really going to use a bed out why put it out there? If you had a sliding wall(my neighbor put a garage door in her dinningroom so she can open the wall to the creek right outside while dinning)...then I think your doing the couch on the front porch thing....or refridgerator on the front porch careful not to cross that line to tacky.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 10:50AM
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I agree that the mattress would still get moisture & mold, but I would love to see your armoire when you finish it.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 10:57AM
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sounds like the perfect place for a mouse nest..i know the idea is lovely..but even our outdoor cushions get attacked by mice if we leave them in Michigan I can imagine in a warmer area.

squirrels also will chew through and pull out the stuffin.

you might try a day bed with a thinner cushion over some box springs and then roll up the cushion in the weather and store it inside.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 11:24AM
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I want the same thing! Here's my idea! My dh is still rolling his eyes but I thought of using a blow up mattress like you would use to camp with. Then I could just let the air out to store when not in use!

Oh well!


    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 1:35PM
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Where I live it is a city ordinance that you cannot do this. No "indoor" upholstered furniture is allowed on a porch unless the porch is completely enclosed with walls and screened in. It is considered unsightly and they DO go after people for this. (I KNOW that your idea and handiwork are good though.) The other reason for the ordinance is the rodent problem.

Then of course there is the issue of mold when using a mattress.

I have seen chaise lounges that are made for two people. Maybe something like that will work for you? Your idea sounds like it could be real cute in the right setting. You can have custom made patio cushions for the bed frame that would hold up better than a mattress. They could make them in two or three pieces so they can be removed and stored easily.

I like the idea of the amoire painted with house paint. Clever.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 3:06PM
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oh guys! I thought for sure you'd all say, "Oh sounds so cute, go for it!!!! Just to put a few 'what will the neighbors say' fears to rest... This is the backyard, which is fully fenced and not visible to anyone except us. Nevertheless, I still don't want a 'what the heck is the fridge doing in the backyard' look.... LOL! I hadn't thought of the mice/squirrel problem. Sound like I should probably stick to a bench with a smaller cushion. I do like the blowup idea though! I was just imagining settling down with a nice stack of library books and an ice tea on my wonderful daybed... Also thought it would be kind of a cool spot for my daughter and her friends. Hmmm. It takes more than this to discourage me usually. I've got to give this some more thought....

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 4:52PM
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In an effort to get the creative juices flowing here,

Here's a daybed I just love (and yes, I did notice it's INSIDE LOL)

Here's a neat idea to make a bench from the headboard and footboard of a twin bed:

And here's my armoir. The door is off in preparation for painting. I'm doing it a dusty green with a light blue/light lavender inside. I'm putting a new board on the back because of the hole. It's a heavy, heavy solid wood piece, looks to be handmade. The drawer on the bottom is on beautiful drawer glides. Just love it!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 5:03PM
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I am here in Houston also, so I am familiar with the trends here, and I love what you want to do. But, there are some modification that will make it doable! Using the outdoor paint as you stated will slow down the wear-and-tear so you should get at least 3-4 good years out of the armoire. I would NOT go with the daybed because it just does not look as if it belongs outside, and I agree about the humidity buildup. You CAN look for a piece of outdoor furniture that is either a couch or loveseat. I'm sure you are familiar with what I'm talking about, but if not look at target, Lowe's or Home Depot as they all carry this sort of outdoor furniture now. (If we had money in the budget right now, this is the sort of furniture I'd be getting...LOVE the idea. In fact, a friend has this sort of furniture out by their pool and it is so homey and comfy to curl up on.)

How did you fare with last nights thunderstorms? Hope you did not get flooded out! I live in Copperfield (W-NW Houston...just a few miles from Bear Creek.) and we were fine. My son didn't have school and I opted to not drive to the office. (I live between Barker Cypress and Hwy. 6, and both were impassable for at least part of the day.)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 6:06PM
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Hi houstonmom - we did fine with the storm, though FortBend ISD was closed today. Pretty amazing considering it was the all important TAKS testing day! I think I'll go take a look at the places you mentioned, and a good friend of mine was mentioning that Sam's Club has some much newer style patio things right now... I probably didn't make it clear with the daybed -that was just one I love, not THE one. I haven't actually found it yet. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 6:11PM
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Hi Bestyears and Houstonmom...I'm also in Houston (Northeast corner)...we were okay here too with the rains. Just a thought on your outdoor plan: I have an outdoor cabana in the backyard, with built in kitchen and fireplace. One wall is solid, one half-way up and the other two wide open. I have wrought iron furniture (two loveseats and two large chairs) by Summer Classics with cushions covered in Sunbrella fabric...also have pillows on all these pieces. So far, after 3 1/2 years, I have no mildewing. I did, however, have the cushions cut open and velcro sewn inside, so I could take them off and wash them often. I bought everything from Patio One on Richmond (or Westheimer) and have been pleased except for the few spots on one chair where the black paint is chipping off the iron due to salt water from the pool. I also have a patio set from Patio One that is totally exposed...bought it over 15 years ago....the brand is O.W.Lee and the cushions are still the original ones! Great choices at this store...lots of lounging furniture, like big futon type seating, covered seating, etc. Hope you have a chance to look there.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 11:27PM
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Thanks Angelone, I forgot about Patio One -when we were in California, I bought a wrought iron set from them, which is still going strong 20 years later. Of course, their prices are considerably higher than Craigslist, lol!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 8:02AM
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I have friends in France with an old iron daybed on their patio. It is just the most charming thing and I think you should go for it. (There....feel better? :-))

What you need is open cell foam which allows any moisture to pass through. I agree with others that the double covering is a potential petri dish.

I would also use marine grade enamel rather than just any old exterior paint. It is available at any boating supply store and will give you a more durable end product.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lots o' foam!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 8:18AM
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I don't have a daybed on the patio, but I do have indoor furniture out there.

In Southern CA, we have a stretch of several months when we don't have rain. For six months of the year, on the patio, under a pergola, I have a comfy sofa with lots of pillows and a matching love seat. Also, an area rug, an indoor coffee table, and a floor lamp. It is the most relaxing comfortable place to lounge. When friends come over, that is the first place they head to.

I do have to cover it from the sun and it does get dusty. When October rolls around, I unzip all the covers from the cushions and wash and dry them. The pillows don't have zipper covers, so I just put them in the washer and dryer as is. When everything is completely dry I store the pillows and cushions inside and cover the sofa and loveseat with outdoor furniture covers.

I haven't worried too much about rodents, since we have cats that sleep on the couch. Although, it does cross my mind every once in awhile.

At first people say "You have indoor furniture outside??????" But after the initial surprise, most mention how it is so much more comfortable than patio furniture.

I'm not sure how feasible it would in your climate, but where I am, it can work.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 9:53AM
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One more suggestion: try posting this question on one of the other forums like Pools, Patios, Decks, etc. I did this when we had security issues with our cabana and got so many great responses!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 9:57AM
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I love your armoire! Can't wait to see it finished. That is a good idea about using a different type pad for the bed instead of a regular mattress.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:45AM
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I can relate to what you're envisioning - it sounds lovely. But, to have indoor wood furniture and a bed outside without any cover at all, I'm having trouble with it. I have patio furniture with the "special" cushions, and I would never leave them outside all summer rain/shine. They won't get ruined by the rain but it takes days for them to dry out enough so when you sit your butt doesn't get wet. Especially, if the days following the rain aren't real sunny. An entire thick mattress would take forever to dryout and with alot of humidity, it might start to smell before it dries completely. It probably rains more often in the summer in Ohio - does it rain alot in Houston?

I think if you want an outdoor lounging bed you need to invest in some type of canopy, screened porch something that will protect you from the sun and rain.

Probably it's me, but I need some shade from the sun before I can relax with a book! Do you sit outside now for extended periods without any shade? I just remember how hot it was in Houston when I went there in the summer. I went from my car to the house and that was the extent of my outdoor lounging!!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 11:43AM
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Someone on here has an antique iron bed in their screened in their dock gazebo on a lake. maybe its allison with the glass balls ;)? It is quite a long dock no where near the house. The photos are amazing. And she uses an air mattress! And I think she has had it for a number of years. tada! problem solved. I think it will be great! Whats the harm in trying anyway?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 1:29PM
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Oooh that cabinet is soooo cute. I would definately put on a coat of Spar Varnish to protect it.

I've seen those large benches made from head and foot boards. They are larger than regular patio seating and look cute. You would have to have custom cushions made for it unless you build one around the dimensions of 'replacement' cushions that you purchase from a store.

I'm just not "feeling" the daybed though. It reminds me of those 'trash to treasure' artsy people who put a bed out and plant flowers in it. (Get it? A "flower bed." Haha.) I have a person in my neighborhood who did one of those. There is a bed on her front lawn. It has flowers planted in it that of course only come up in the summer months. The rest of the year it is a bed on a front lawn. Even when the flowers are up it still looks like carp. I'm hoping that some passerbyer sees it, and thinks it is a curbside find and takes it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spar Varnish

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 3:34PM
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I just realized that my post didn't get posted yesterday so I will try again!

As I said I am right there with you! I have 12 x 12 covered deck that isn't quite finished yet but I did find an armoire for $35 at the local fleamarket that I painted last year and put up against the house on the deck for storage. I also have a kitdchen island cart painted out there. Dh just got an air compressor so I've bought a paint gun and plan to use a better quality paint on both of them.

Just off the deck steps there is a huge patio that we poured last fall for a hot tub. The contractor decided to use up the concrete and it ended up being alot bigger and that put enough room for the hot tub on the other side of the door into the garage.

So... I painted an old set of outdoor furniture and put it on there but it just isn't enough and I had gotten the air mattress idea from here and planned to build a daybed like I've seen on HGTV. My dh is not well so it wasn't looking good about getting it done. But he would love a place to pile up out there. After this post, I went to a local antique/thrift store and found a full size iron bed that will be perfect once I either paint it or use a marine grade wax on it. I can't wait to see it in action. The only problem is a cover for the air mattress that will look like it belongs out there. I will try to post some pics over the weekend. I plan to borrow my mom's truck tomorrow and pick up the bed.

You encourage me!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 1:51PM
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Having a daybed outdoors is a great idea. But I would not use a regular mattress, for the reasons mentioned upthread. Instead, I'd either

(1) order an outdoor daybed (walmart sells one that is not super pricey and there are several more expensive versions)
(2) use an iron daybed frame, painted wwith weatherproof paint, BUT use outdoor cushions instead of a mattress
(3) use outdoor sectional furniture * cushions and just select pieces that could be joined together to resemble a daybed, like two pieces with an arm (ikea has the cheapest version, pottery barn has a more expensive version, and other sites have things in between and or more expensive).
(4) google 'make outdoor daybed' and try one of the techniques listed in those results.

I leave my sunbrella outdoor cushions out on my chairs all summer and spring, rain or shine, with no pest or mildew problems. The key is that they are designed to be used outdoors. If I put an indoor cushion out there, I think there would be problems.

Here is a link that might be useful: walmart outdoor daybed

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 2:43PM
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