When we updated our porch earlier this month, we replaced our outdoor sofa with banquette-style seating along the back lattice wall. We'd first considered designing a built-in, but we decided instead to keep this small space flexible to best accommodate our ever-changing needs. I selected two, 4' teak storage benches, and worked with the delightful folks at Cushion Source to create custom outdoor cushions that transformed the storage benches into one long couch that spans the entire gap between our two tiny cottages:
We opted to order two 4' sets of cushions rather than one 8'-long set, so we could separate the benches and still use them for seating if/when needed. The results ended up being EXACTLY what we'd hoped for. The benches contain patio accessories and larger toys, while the cushions are durable, waterproof, and can easily withstand the wear-and-tear brought on daily by the pups.
Cushion Source also created custom cushions for the surface and backing of a low wooden step that sits on the right side of the porch next to West's bedroom door:
The step can't be removed, as it covers utility hardware that juts up above the surface of the porch. I was worried that West was going to fall and hit his head on the sharp corner of the wood, so we decided to convert the step into toddler-height seating. The new cushions extend just beyond the corners of the wood, making it much safer. Now all of us use this little step-chair every day.
Since the redesign of the porch, we've been using the space every chance we get. As the weather grows warmer, I'm sure we'll lounge, play, work, and even nap out here more and more with each passing day.