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Outdoor furniture

Amazon's Strathwood outdoor sofa HERE

So, I am having an outdoor furniture dilemma.

I want to get an outdoor sofa and a chair or two so my people can lounge around when Seattle finally decides to embrace spring weather. I need a metal, teak, or resin job that I can abandon to wet Seattle weather (and the hot sun of August) and not worry too much about it.

What does everyone think of this new fangled "all-weather wicker." I don't like the matchiness of getting a set. And there is this weird element of "let's have everyone's backyard look like a hotel poolside!" (see THIS which is, well, ambitious). But it is a nice idea to have a low-cost option that will stand up to the elements. I don't want anything that looks too matchy, or that I will hate in 2 years.

Ok, you get the idea...
What have you seen out there that you like?
If you have a backyard, is it relax-o-rific?
How do you have your little slice of Eden all done up?
Backyard lounging suggestions or ideas?
What's your dream yard like? Are you pool people or plant people?


(Oh, and speaking of enjoying your backyard... did you see THIS? It's a bucket full of cuteness....)

More from Target. Eeh.


mamacita said...

I mock your concept of "hot August sun." It gets up to what, 75 degrees there?

I see where you're coming from, but the matchy-matchy isn't as much of a problem when you're outside. You will have so many other elements in the "room," such as hanging plants, flowers, grasses, etc.

Jennifer said...

I am in the market for the exact same thing. And unfortunately, I'm in love with the options at Restoration Hardware but seriously? There is no way in hell I'm going to (or can) pay $5000 for a sofa, two chairs and a coffee table that I'll use maybe 4 or 5 months out of the year. Now matter how good it looks. *waaaah*

Anonymous said...

why don't you consider vintage or antique options? you will tire of them less quickly, probably spend less money overall, and you won't cry as much if they get a little banged up. mix it with a new daybed or sofa and you'll have your own unique look.

maison21 said...

ikat! pretty! decorno posts about decor!

love tis stuff, no idea what it costs or where to buy it tho'

Little Miss said...

Oh dear miss D,

I do hope that the post office humors you and delivers your domino very soon, as (am i going to hell for telling you this?) they appear to feature a whole swag of outdoor furniture in this issue.

so hurry it up mr. postman-- there are very important decisions at stake!

Little Miss said...

But I put my official vote in for flea market/vintage selections -- they've already lasted this long, right?

morrismore said...

We have a combination of old Woodard pieces and Bertoia chairs on our terrace right now. Both are almost indestructible--we leave them out year round.

I'm not crazy about the new wicker.

Anonymous said...

Matchy can work because you will add pillows/cushions/lanterns etc. that don't match.
My 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Teak will never let you down.

pp said...

I love that target set! I found this sweet awning-sofa collection earlier. Check it out.

Habitually Chic said...

All I've been doing for the last week has been sourcing outdoor furniture for a client's house in the Hamptons. Most of which will be delivered mid to late summer. Our poor clients are going to have nowhere to sit!

Anyway, I'm afraid everything I can suggest is expensive or to the trade. I really love Janus et Cie for their European looking designs. The new Domino might also help you. They have an outdoor furniture feature but their suggestions weren't that cheap either.

Anonymous said...

I hate the all weather wicker, almost as much as a bombe chest in blue with seashells. I agree with people who've suggested plantation grown teak, but it is expensive. I've been picking up vintage wooden porch stuff here and there in the $25 range. I also inherited with the house some metal and glass stuff from the sixties and seventies which sits outside all winter in my brutal northern winters. I just bring the cushions in. I also have an old 40's hospital bed made into a couch which everyone loves. It was free.

Decorno said...

Thanks for everyon'e suggestions. A few updates/answers:

I already have a teak table/chairs that I adore. Not cheap, but worth it since they take all kinds of abuse.

I have done "vintage" before, but because the cute chairs were just wood (pine?) with woven/wicker-y seat, well, they got destroyed in the rain. We have too much rain to bother putting chairs inside (basement) every time a cloud comes. Plus, I'm too lazy to do that. Hence why I need a teak, metal, or all-weather solution.

Vintage is a great idea. I did see a very cute vintage iron daybed/sofa on Craigslist, but I wasn't sure when I would get around to having custom cushions/etc made and I knew I would get thrown out of my house if I brought home yet another "project." (I am sure many of you know this feeling.)

I suppose there is a reason I haven't purchased an "all-weather" sofa yet. The ones at a price I am willing to pay don't really delight me, so my search continues.

Might need to reconsider the vintage iron sofa/custom cushions thing after all.

(Mamacita - our high temp last year was 98! We start withering and dying. Our pasty asses can't take that kind of heat!)

Anonymous said...

Ah, Decorno. I have been trying to solve the very same dilemma! Here in Toronto, the winter snow, spring and autumn rains, plus summer swelters makes the selection next-to-impossible. I have some beautiful vintage rattan but it spends it's life in the garage 'cuz - seriously! - who has time to drag it in and outside depending on cloud cover?

Hate the fake plastic "woven" stuff. Keep hunting!

Anonymous said...

Do you remember, about 15 years ago, when every bridesmaid dress "out there" was a frothy polyester ruffled concoction?

Then, out of the blue,in the span of about 20 months, for the first time in history, fabulous bridesmaids dresses began appearing everywhere. Vera Wang entered the fray, Thread was founded, every other designer worth her salt jumped on the nuptial bandwagen and everywhere a girl looked, she saw brides being escorted by friends wearing chic, flattering little numbers.

This is what I hope will happen to the outdoor furniture sector. For so long, neglected and down-trodden, it will be given life by some smarty-pants designer who sees the dollar signs flashing that niche market.

The economy may be flagging, but there will always be money for some well-priced, stylish, weather-proof furniture.


morrismore said...

How about an Aiken sofa?

Anonymous said...

Even easier: Just lower your standards.

Shelley said...

Take a cue from the europeans and use cedar, teak and iron furniture. You don't have to get 'custom' cushions for vintage finds, buy the cushions at Target, Marshalls/TJ Maxx, etc. I have a beautiful 40's wrought iron set that I use outside in the Northeast in all year round weather and just switch out the cheaper store bought weather proof or regular cotton cushions which come in fab stripes, colors, florals, prints and solids. I just several at $14.99/cushion in black and white awning stripes. Works for Adirondack chairs/chaises as well. Domino had several ideas last spring/summer for outdoor furniture. Pull your old issues for some inspiration!

Decorno said...

"You don't have to get 'custom' cushions for vintage finds, buy the cushions at Target, Marshalls/TJ Maxx, etc."

Do they sell cushions in all-weather fabric?

pve design said...

Take a look at Patricia Gray- she also posted about this... the outdoor furniture
dilemma. Lights always help to add a spark as well as any kind of rocks...
I love a combo of items, and vintage pieces to keep it real.

jax said...

I just received a CB2 catalog in the mail and I am enjoying many of their outdoor collections.

Check this out:

buena park bench

In(side) the Loop said...

Aww Decorno - thanks for the mention. I had a blast throwing that party and can't wait to do it again. I, too, am in need of some great furniture out there. Looking forward to seeing the new Domino!

Shelley said...

The cushions I just bought at TJ Maxx for my vintage wrought iron chairs are all-weather cushions and they are graphic gorgeous. They are not the smallish cushions either they are nice and wide and fit the 40's style seats beautifully. I bought them about 2 weeks ago. There were also a few sets of some beautiful bright blue and white cushions in a batik-like print. I stood there for about 1/2 hr. trying to figure out which ones I liked more! If they don't have any in stock, the store usually gets a new shipment in on Tuesdays. They go fast so buy them immediately if you see some you like! With a few black planters from Ikea mixed in with the vintage sets and new cushions it strikes just the right mix of old and new fabulousness that I think you are going for.

My Notting Hill said...

I visited your blog last night - 3minutes later I bought 2 of the Falkner 3 seater outdoor sofas from Amazon (classic X design -posted about it today on my blog) I know it's matchy - matchy but I like Mamacita's point about the outdoors providing alot of diversion. They were marked down to $299 a piece so hopefully when they arrive I"ll still be happy.

My Notting Hill said...

oops - meant 30 minutes not 3. It was an impulsive by but not that quick.

Designerbee said...

I found a really affordable cushion source.

You can choose from several Sunbrella fabrics and give them exact dimensions for the cushions.

I just got some for my balcony chairs and I'm really pleased with how they came out.

There is another one called
It's more expensive but you have a few more options and they offer indoor fabric as well.

S.HOPtalk said...


I second {third, forth} the motion on try to find a vintage set of Woodard wrought iron--it's extremely durable. I found a dining table and six chairs for a very reasonable price last year on Craig's list. A month or so later I stumbled upon a pair of matching "occasional" chairs (matching, but not matchy, matchy) at an antique fair for next to nothing. Both sets are in their original paint, slightly worn, {I happen to like that look}. It's also easy to repaint if you want to freshen it up.

For now, I have Euro cushions on the two occasional chairs and they fit perfectly (I've also seen this done on settees). I switch out the shams (found inexpensively at Homegoods, etc) when I want to change up the color/print... and I like that I can just throw them in the washing machine. Smaller seat cushions from the above mentioned places fit the dining chairs.

Hope this feedback helps. Good luck with your search!

Fifi Flowers said...

Have a look on ... good pricing for "sets"

Ethan Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wheelchair said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
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