Lockdown has given many people the time and motivation to flex their creative skills, and no more so than Instagrammer Daniela Tasca York from Essex who took the time to build her very own DIY daybed out of pallets.
‘Last summer marked our first lockdown, and being trapped at home with no holiday in sight, I decided to bring the holiday vibes to our garden by building my own cabana day bed,' says interior designer Daniela, a keen DIYer.
Now, this may sound like a project for professional DIYers, but Daniela has made it look pretty easy, with the finished result going down a storm on social media. So what inspired her to take on the project? 'We used to live in Ibiza,' she says, 'and our favourite thing to do was chill at the beach on the daybeds until late at night. It was the dream life!'
Daniela's Ibiza-inspired daybed was constructed out of pallets and old garden benches – and all for around £200!
You'd never believe this stylish bed was made using such simple materials, but it looks like the perfect spot for the family to relax on hot, summer days. 'We situated the cabana underneath our willow tree and in the sunniest spot,' Daniela says. 'It's in-between two large apple trees situated in what was an unused part of the garden.'
The project began with Daniela forming the base of the daybed from pallets and an old wooden bench, which she screwed together. 'Obviously, these looked a bit grim, to begin with, but I knew I'd be covering them with cladding and painting them,' she says.
'I based the size on a double mattress that I bought from eBay and used two layers of pallets, so the posts for the frame would have enough wood to be attached to – it made the frame stronger.'
Cladding the sides
Next up, Daniela used some lengths of wood from Wickes to clad the sides and top of the pallets, leaving a 5mm gap between each strip for ventilation. She attached each one by screwing it into the pallets underneath.
Then it was on to building the frame. 'We needed two people for this – and a spirit level,' says Daniela. 'I used three long wood screws that I put directly through the side posts and into the base. Our ground is uneven so we trimmed a bit off the back two posts to make sure they were the same height as the front two.'
Next, measure out the length you need between the vertical posts for the top horizontal ones (Daniela did this by measuring the base of her bed). Fix the cut lengths of wood with L-brackets, using a spirit level to keep everything straight. Once all four sides are on, add a middle post for extra strength – you can use straight brackets for this.
Adding the back panels
Once the frame was built, Daniela added the panels at the back and top. 'This is mainly decorative, but also so you have a "headboard" to lean cushions up against,' she says. 'It adds some extra strength, too.'
Using approximately 20 wood planks, spaced evenly apart, Daniela hammered nails in both sides to secure them, before adding the same strips to the roof. 'I made these ones slightly further apart, to accommodate the willow branches,' she says.
Painting the frame
Daniela painted the frame and all the panels white, using just one coat to keep the look more 'weathered and beachy.' Once the paint was dry, she hung curtains by attaching hooks to the inside of the top horizontal posts, threading cord through and then hanging the sheer white curtains onto the cord. 'This way it's easy to take the curtains down if they need washing in summer or storing in the winter,' Daniela says.
Buy now: AnnaLouisa curtains, £25, Ikea
Dressing the bed
To make a comfortable base, Daniela used two Terry Towelling mattress protectors on top of the foam mattress, which acts as a waterproof barrier from the rain. Finally, some linen fabric was used as a throw and lots of comfy cushions added.
'It's a really simple DIY job,' says Daniela. 'You need two pairs of hands, but other than that it's really fun and straightforward to do. In the winter, I simply rolled up the mattress and put it in the loft, and took down the curtains, cushions and throws, so everything was safe from the rain.'
'It was such a bargain,' Daniela continues, 'and we had so much use out of it last summer – I can’t wait to use it again this year. It still looks exactly like the day I made it!'
You can see this project and more of Daniela's home and DIY makes over at Instagram here.
Have you been tempted to try this at home?
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Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk
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