Monday, April 30, 2012


Outdoor Furniture

OK- I did it!  I went to the beach and put my toes in the freezing water.  Yes, freezing. My daughter, Posy, and her friends didn't think anything of it.   Posy got the surfboard, paddled out to the docks, slid down the slide into the water.  Then, the girls dove into the sand to become "sugar cookies" and ran back into the COLD water.  

Posy and her new mermaid tail:-)
Going down the slide!

All of this warm weather has gotten many of my clients thinking of the outdoors and the fun things they like to do outside- lounging, entertaining and eating with families and friends. Maybe they played telephone tag, because I am working on four outdoor areas right now. There are so many great outdoor furniture lines that it is hard to chose.  You can have outdoor wicker, metal and wood- new and vintage.

My advice is not to get the cheap stuff.  Prioritize what you like to do outside.  If you love to entertain and eat outside, then you should focus on a great dining table and chairs.  If you have a pool and enjoy inviting the neighbors over, get a couple of lounge chairs or a sofa/sectional so you can hang out and drink wine while the kids go crazy.  

I often make "wish lists" with my clients.  It is a list of everything that they want to do. Then, we prioritize the list.  You can do this for your interiors as well.  Once you figure out what is important, you start at the top of the list and work your way down.  It may not happen in 1-2 years, but stay the course and follow the plan.  Then, you will achieve what you set out to do.  If you can only get two lounge chairs this year- do it! Then, next year you can add on.  Before you realize it, you will have everything you want.  You can get new cushion covers made when you have all of the furniture you wanted.  

Getting new cushions will be a good call anyway.  The cushions don't last very long in California.  We keep them outside all year round.  So, although some fabrics are guaranteed to last 8-10 years, I have NEVER seen that happen. It's not because they are worn out, they just get moldy and dirty.  Sunbrella says you can wash the fabrics in bleach as long as you rinse well. The bleach will not change the colors.  But, the reality is, that we Californians are not running out to take off the pillow covers every week to keep up on the maintainence. This may not be a California thing either...

When you have an amazing hang out area outside, you will use it.  So, who cares if you need to change out  pillows every year or two?  Seriously, look at this area with Dedon furniture.  I would never go inside!  One of my clients has this lounge and with new covers for the cushions it will look this good again!

Dedon Lounge
The kids love playing in the Dedon Orbit!

Dedon Orbit
I adore this Italian line by Emu.  It is so retro fun!  I have a friend who has a mid century modern home and the two lime green Emu chairs look hot.  Now, do you want to hang out in these all day?  No way.  They are just the little jewelry in the backyard.  They are paired with a cozy sectional.

I mentioned that investing in good furniture is a great idea because it will last.  McKinnon and Harris is a perfect example of great quality.  Their furniture is made from aluminum and is hand crafted in Richmond, Virginia.  Each piece of furniture is signed and dated by the craftsman who works on the piece.  They guarantee the furniture for life and consider it to be heirloom quality.  

McKinnon and Harris

McKinnon and Harris

duVal Alexander by McKinnon and Harris
Another great company is Kinglsey-Bate.  They are known for the premium teak they use in their outdoor furniture.  The gray the teak turns is gorgeous.  They also use mortise and tenon joinery so the furniture lasts a long time. 

Kingsley-Bate has expanded their line to include stainless steel elements which work with modern homes.
Here is another product expansion- outdoor wicker.  It looks traditional with modern lines.  
Have you done your summer purchasing yet?  I want to have some new pillows made.  I looked in my pillow cover stash and didn't find anything I love.  So, I am off to hunt again.



  1. Posy looks so cute!! She makes a good little mermaid ;)

    I do agree with you: invest in good, quality pieces that will last...especially to withstand the elements outside. That sectional from Kingsley-Bate is gorgeous---I'd even use it inside.


  2. Oh my goodness, Posy is gorgeous and what an adorable name!! I'm jealous of your lovely weather. Here, we go from winter to about a month of nice weather to so hot it's unbearable. If I lived there I'd want to never come inside!

    1. Thank you! Posy is the nickname of my best friend from boarding/high school! However, it is her given name:)


I love your comments! Thank you for reading. Best, Kathleen