Patio Plans

Ahhh….the patio.  It is quickly becoming my favorite space in our house….err….outside our house?…whatever it is, I love the patio.  like it’s the glitter in my tiara.   the wings on my butterfly.  the sizzle in my bacon-frying pan.  the extra tight boxer briefs on my boyfriend.  But it wasn’t always like that.

It actually began really barren.

We’ve done a little work here and there….adding plants, putting in some benches we built for my sister’s wedding we had in the backyard, painting doors…small stuff.  But it remained fairly empty.

Here it is before we scored our Target patio furniture.  Emptier than a blood bank in Transylvania.

The benches we used during Nornie’s bridal shower were great for large seating….but not really comfortable enough for lounging a pregnant girl’s growing belly bottom.

But that’s it.  Benches & potted plants.  How drab.

So we decided that in order to really utilize this awesome amount of shaded space in our very sunny property…we would need some zones.

First zone – conversation.

Second zone – large eating/gathering area.

The seating zone was fairly easy (ignore the chaise lounges – they go up on the deck)….just buy (guffaw – this was the hardest part!) and go.

So we really wanted to tackle the eating/gathering zone.

Most of you know by now that once a month, we get a little fire lit under our tush to tackle a space.  The fire-starters are the fine folks behind Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine.  They bring the fire, kindling and issue a challenge.  For June & July, that challenge was to tackle an outdoor space.  So we decided that building one big-bootie table would be a way to kill three birds with one big board.

Jer set up outside.  It’s easier cleanup that way.  I was in charge of measurements.  We actually used an Ana-White plan for a farmhouse style table that we made extra extra long.

It did require some measuring…and calculating…and recalculating (because I ain’t so hot at math).

Will had a grand time balancing the calculator.  He’s like a master balancer.  I need to start him on oreos so that he can win college scholarship money…of course, that is difficult…because duh….they are edible oreos!


He also proved fairly adept at the javelin…aka…the 1×1 throw.  2040 Olympics maybe?

Once Jer got all the numbers marked, he started cutting…

I was in charge of covering a pair of eyes.  I guess he didn’t like seeing wood cut up?    Too violent?


After we sanded the boards, we set on the task of staining.  We used MinWax’s Dark Walnut…it’s my favorite.

Then after lots of drying time, we decided to assemble.

Will wanted to help too by hammering in a screw…

followed with a little mowing of the concrete.

Once we had the main frame up, it was really beginning to look like a table.

I got a little excited.  I know I post about our material lives here a lot…but the real fact is, I can’t wait to gather around a giant table with my big (literally & numerically) family and with friends each week (at our stay-at-home mom’s playgroup).  A table is only as good as the people that gather around it.  Right?!   And that is what this table is to me…just a thing…a thing to serve what matters most.

Okay – so we got to this point – the supports are in, the legs complete, the stretcher and everything in place…ready for the top planks.  And that is where we had to stop.  We ran into a small error with the breadboards (the pieces that go on the very ends)…so we had a good stopping point….and a future task of ripping some boards and a little restaining.

In the end, it’s gonna be fairly awesome.  like fourteen people awesome.  that’s a lot of space for living, gathering, eating and general Bowery.

Next – finishing this bad boy up, varnishing, and the reveal!  I also need to come up with a plan for the rest of the patio…I’m digging red :)



  1. says

    Too funny! We are actually building the exact same table for our kitchen right now…and are at the same point. Base is together just waiting for top planks. I am going to paint our base white, so we have to wait for the top planks until i can get my butt in gear to paint. My plan is to then stain the top grey. So far the table has been super easy to build – not very intimidating at all. Can’t wait to see how yours turns out.

  2. says

    Ugh, I am totally jealy. I keep trying to convince my husband that I NEED this table for our dining room. Me Likey. I told him I would even help build it! But that made him not want to do it even more! Silly husbands

  3. says

    Excited to see this come together Katie! Might have to do something similar in our backyard. O and awesome choice with Dark Walnut. It’s my fave too.

  4. Brooke says

    I have had my eye on that plan from Ana for sometime! I really, really want to build that table. One of the hurdles I have had is trying to locate the right type of wood. Did you just get “new” wood from Lowes/Homedepot? Also, did you find the plans easy to follow and the table fairly simple to build? I know that you said you ran into a problem, but was that because you changed the measurements for the table? Thanks!

    • says

      We used pressure treated pine from Lowes..and the plans were really easy except for the one flaw (the measurements on the breadboard were wrong…which wasn’t because we made it longer)…so I would suggest making sure your breadboard was the right width (it should be as wide as your seven top 1×6 pieces laid next to each other). Hope this helps!
      xo – kb

  5. says

    You have such a great space and I look forward to seeing how you decorate it all! The idea of red is a great one. I’ve thought about red but tire of it easily. We now have yellow on our front porch and green in the back yard. I’d like to add to that some day but like everything else, it’ll slowly happen.

    BTW, Will is super adorable! He is definitely looking a lot like Jer lately. I hope #2 is a girl so she can be a little mini you!

  6. says

    Love the progress…and ♥ that big honking piece of table-to-be!

    You have the perfect area for outdoor curtains at the end of your patio-when I had an apt back in the day, my balcony was soooo great once I hung some sheers-nothing fancy, just polyester pale green ones that I got at Wally World.

    They made such a difference-and because they were polyester, they were easy to keep clean.

    Its fun to start with a blank slate-intimidating, but fun. Enjoy sprucing up your outdoor world.

  7. says

    Can’t wait to see how it comes together. This is what we need to do – set up zones. We have a cozy dining area on our deck, and a grilling area, just need to get a conversation place set up. (Oh..and we need some shade – our backyard gets all of the sun – a good and bad thing!)

  8. Arthi says

    What a huge table! Thats turning out great….can imagine some romantic dinners..with a 7 course meal.;))
    Hmmm.. How did u guys turn the dry lawn into a green bed in a short span, especially in the temperatures u have there…seems like a silly question but we’ve always lived in apartments….and moved to a nice home. I’m just about trying my hand into some gardening. Some lawn food …that i should be using?Also do u have sprinklers…cos we need to fix some;(

    • says

      Well…we aerated…and watered a bunch…and we also paid for a service up until the time of the wedding…so they fertilized…but other than that – the grass was just first pictured during winter and then the bermuda greened up in the summer :)
      xo – kb

  9. says

    I have been eye balling several of Ana’s farm house table plans, too!!! I can’t wait to see it!! Seating for 14, ah! Crazy exciting. I am dream about having a eating area just like the grandparents on Parenthood (if you happen to have ever watched that show).

    • says

      The outdoor space on Parenthood is AMAZING!! I would love having a space like that someday!

      Love the big ol’ table KB! And I hope you do end up using some red in your outdoor area.

  10. says

    That is a BEAST of a table and it looks awesome so far! Can’t wait for the reveal. Also I don’t comment on your blog enough – I should really comment on here more because I read all your posts and think you’re hilarious! :)

  11. Alyssa says

    How awesome is that table??!! and getting tons of use out of it will make the work and the wait worth it!! Can’t wait for the reveal:)

  12. says

    Red is my most favorite outdoor color so bright and cheery. I cant wait to see that table finished, are you going to use your benches or build more chairs???

  13. says

    Katie, I think it is fabulous already! I totally agree with you, a table is only as good as the people around it. Can’t wait to see the finished product and I think red would be a great accent color!

  14. says

    Looks amazing – per usual! Random question – when you’re painting/spray-painting outside in this humidity, how much extra time do you give your pieces to dry before the next layer or poly? I attempted a table last year ( but made so many mistakes (not enough sanding, probably should have lengthened drying time, maybe used a foam roller instead of paint brush?, etc) . Thanks! Hope you all had a happy and safe 4th!

    • says

      Well…it all depends. If the conditions were normal humidity and regular sunny weather, I spray prime outside anything on this giant piece of cardboard…then I drag it back into our garage for night time drying. It takes a couple days for it to fully cure before I can start painting…so then I repeat with the thin thin thin coats of paint. lots of drying time…under cover. It takes more time in the long run but it helps the paint last longer.
      xo – kb

  15. says

    Love that table (doesn’t matter what color)! Unfortunately if I showed this post to my husband and asked him to make one for me too, he would totally take away my laptop forever ;-)

  16. Melissa Irvin says

    Can’t wait to see the finished piece! Makes me want to DIY an outdoor table – I am sick of our old metal set! Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Juan says

    There are’nt the plans or blueprints on ‘ana white’s web’, well actually I cant enter on that web site, so can you help me? Thanks a lot and you guys are an inspiration. Go on it!

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