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one room challenge week 5: i’m a bench

I’m laughing to myself at the title of this post. When my sister was little, she didn’t know the words to Meredith Brook’s song, Bitch, so she would sing “I’m a bench, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a mother…” She was, and is, totally adorable and the best little sister in all of the lands. Now that she’s older and a soon-to-be college graduate, she earns her “best sister” status not by sweetly singing the wrong words to pop radio, but by dragging her hungover butt to Home Depot with me to help me build a bench for my patio. FULL CIRCLE!

DIY patio bench

(If you need to catch up: I started the One Room Challenge on week 3 with a mission to overhaul the patio. In week 4, I pulled the trigger on some chairs and a side table, this week (week 5) I built this bench, and next week is the full reveal!)

There she is, in all of her incredibly simple glory. Eh, glory is probably a strong word, but it’s a word I get to use after bumbling through Home Depot and sweating through hoisting nine cinderblocks into my car and onto my patio. Hey guys: cinderblocks are HEAVY. My sister can attest to this. Did I mention she was hungover?

DIY patio bench

Nine cinderblocks, you say? But there are only four cinderblocks used in the bench? Yah, I had some grand plans for this thing. They looked much better on paper. The final product was…so, so bad. Tim Gunn would call it “overworked.” So, we lugged around five more cinderblocks than we actually needed. And for whatever reason, my sister hasn’t shaved my eyebrows off in my sleep or burned my apartment down. Like I said, she’s the best.

DIY patio bench

I’m putting some of the extras to use as a plant stand, as you can see, so it’s not a total waste. Bench details are as follows: One 2″ x 12″ piece of pressure treated pine cut to 4.5 feet, plunked on top of four 8″ x 16″ cinderblocks. That’s it! All sources for the accessories that you see will be shared in next week’s reveal, so yall come on back now, ya hear?

DIY patio bench

I’m pretty much done at this point…just need to grab some more plants and pots, style it up, and take some pics for next week’s reveal. The bench was definitely the hardest part of this makeover if sweat level is the main unit of measurement, which I think means this was a pretty freaking easy room. Lots of the other participants are doing much tougher work–if you’re interested, check them out here!

DIY patio bench

We’ve already started using the patio (I’m writing this post from it tonight!) and it’s so awesome having essentially an entire new room in our apartment. I’m kicking myself for not doing this sooner. Much like my sister was probably kicking herself for agreeing to go to Home Depot with me. Big ups to her for being The Numero Uno Sister and to the One Room Challenge for motivating me to finally get this space together. Onward to the full reveal!



  1. Holly Twitchell Holly Twitchell

    I’m laughing too – can hear Sarah singing in her carseat. So MANY songs she memorized slightly incorrectly and never should have been listening to in the first place. Ex: Bangin’ on the Bathroom Floor and Sunny Came Home With a Vengeance. Now it is out there – I was a bad Mammaz.

    Cannot wait to see the patio finish next week. It is so cute already. You did good, Little One. xoxo


      Oh puhlease with your “bad Mammaz.” Sometimes you just need some Kiss FM to get through your minivan days.


    Very 1960s!


      Jean, you made my day! That’s kind of what I was going for…glad someone else could see it. 🙂

  3. LOVE the rugs and texture you’ve used here!!! I had a similar bench pinned on pinterest to try to make, but have never gotten around to it. I LOVE It!!!


      Thanks, Stephanie!! Jumping over now to see your reveal, this whole ORC thing is too fun and way addicting.

  4. Molly you are so clever and I can’t wait for the reveal! I love the direction the space is going in. As a fellow ORC participant it’s been wonderful to gather some fantastic inspiration. I’d love for you to share your progress at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Our readers would love to see it. The gathering is at


      Laura, thanks so much for the invite! I was out of town/away from a computer last week, but I’ll definitely hop over and share today!


      Thanks, Amy! Bonus of using cinderblocks is that it has to count for at least two-three strength training workouts…that’s my official calculation, at least.

  5. I LOVE the rugs and throw you have there. And well done on the bench! I’ve been wanting to get my patio act together and this is such good inspiration.


      Thanks so much, Arielle! Textiles are my favorite, and I’m tickled with how they all came together here!

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