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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Outdoor Room: Budget Version!

The deck outside our kitchen is the outdoor living & dining room when the weather is nice.  I wish we had a screened  porch too....maybe someday.  We had the deck built shortly after we bought this house16 years ago.  It is much different than the style I would choose now but, we've taken good care of it and it is very well constructed. So with all the other changes and improvements that have been underway at the A&A House, it's not going anywhere, anytime soon! 

However, besides a good cleaning, a few updates were in order.  Our old wood table had become wobbly,  full of splinters and needed to go. We purchased a new table and 6 chairs.....2 years ago!  And, if truth be told, it has been sitting in the garage for as long waiting to be assembled!!! I just figured there was no point while my husband was out of the country.

These days there are tons of styles of outdoor furniture at all price points to choose from.  From Target to Janus et Cie.  And plenty of choices in between! When it comes to purchasing outdoor furniture my perspective is one based on the reality of the situation. And, my reality is that it didn't make sense to buy expensive furniture for a deck that is so average. 

Janus et Cie-Georgetown store
 I've had a fantasy or two about owning the perfect teak set and I love wrought iron.  My parents owned the same set forever.  I spotted a vintage iron set last year outside a favorite shop. Round table and 4 chairs that had the most exquisite little acorn finials atop the posts of the back rests.  And the color was french blue...sigh! I still think about it and wonder why I didn't buy it! It would have been perfect for our someday stone patio. But, definitely not this deck.

I also love rattan and wicker. We've had the rockers (above) for years and I still love them. But, for dining, this time around I really wanted easy maintenance and unlimited mobility. Without any effort or assistance, I wanted to be able to move chairs, tables, pots and umbrella at a moments notice.  So aluminum and plenty of items on casters was the decision.

Want to see how stylish Sears has become?  Let's see if you agree...

So finally, this past spring everything came out of the boxes.  The assembly according to the crew was very easy...

Their supervisor kept a close eye on their work, while she patiently waited for them to clear off the rug...

Everything was wrapped and packed with great care.  A repair kit with touch-up paint was included. I was so impressed! Garden Oasis table and 6 chairs ($500 on sale. Originally $850) from Sears!

The seating is crazy comfortable! Especially the 2 end chairs...they swivel and rock!!! I did not care for the rust colored tile on the table top and I can easily and inexpensively switch out the 15 tiles.  It also came with a decorative metal inset to hold an umbrella.

I prefer to use a tablecloth most of the time and I like my umbrella to be mobile so here is how the table usually looks:

I purchased the Navarre 8x10 outdoor rug ($170-15% off) in chocolate from Ballard Designs:

Worth Noting: Even when it's not a sunny day as well as at night I always have the umbrella open. It gives your outdoor room atmosphere and intimacy. Think of it as the ceiling!  And, truly bigger is better when it comes to umbrellas! Just be sure to purchase a sturdy stand that is weighted. I replaced my old 9 ft Pottery Barn market umbrella with a new gorgeous 11 ft. market umbrella ($160), and a stand ($47) with wheels, both from Costco:

And, from Target came possibly my favorite items. These 2 ottomans ($60 each) are for his & her feet! Not only do they double as extra seating or extra tables with their tray tops, but also can store newspapers,  magazines, summer paperback and a throw for chilly evenings!

In addition, we have 4 large aluminum club chairs (I forgot to photo-oops!) with densely padded seats that bounce! They are definitely the favorite seats of family & friends and round out the furniture grouping for our outdoor living room.

I highly recommend the iron plant trolley ($20 each) from Lowe's:

We are so thrilled with the painted pots I showed how to do here and wonder why I never did this sooner! It was a terrific starting point for this years update! Last weekend we found a local nursery that carries clay pots identical to the ones we already have.  We plan to add 3 more next year for a total of 6 for a really lush feel.  Plus they help so much in softening all the siding that graces the back of the house!

Now is the time to plan your outdoor rooms and shop for's all on sale...ready to be stored in your garage! I'll be shopping for a new rug...I'm just not convinced this will look good next year...and besides I'm quite sure I will want to change things up a bit...stripes perhaps?

All photos courtesy of A&A.


  1. Absolutey beautiful!! And, who would've thought Sears? It's so charming - I love your patio set, rug, chairs, ottoman, and the supervisor!! So cute! Last summer, while in Portland, we bought a teak table and chair set for $500 (on sale). Wouldn't you know it is still in our garage waiting to be unwrapped - I'm holding out until I have my stone paito!

  2. HOW FABULOUS! Though I love all your posts, this one is one of the faves, I love out of doors so much, outdoor furniture and wrought iron, and adore a peek at personal touches! Thanks!

  3. Your deck looks wonderful! Just the thing for a casual summer evening. Love the second photo, those chairs and sofa are to die for!

  4. Gorgeous! All of it, from that beautiful rug, those amazing Tarjay ottomans to the paint job on the pots...I am in awe! You are so talented, the deck is just lovely!!!

  5. Beautiful! Your so lucky to have all those lovely trees as a back drop, I'm seriously envious! I'll be checking out Sears, thanks to you! I hadn't even thought about them.

  6. David, I know! My husband and I sat in the store taking it all in. The furniture was all so beautiful and very elegant! The sofa is actually a settee and can be yours for a mere $5,000!!!

  7. We're just now starting to work on the backyard so I'm turning my attention to outdoor furnishings. Love your dining set -- the backs of those chairs are truly fantastic. Definitely will be checking out Sears for the end-of-season sale!

  8. I have been agonizing over outdoor furniture for over a decade. I did have to wait to repair my terrace...then I found some great floor samples during April market, and my daughter thought they were too bright (orange). Sears might be the answer--who knew! Thanks for the tip. And yes, we love Janus&Cie, but the prices are astronomical!

  9. Ok how come I haven't spotted those cute ottomans at Target. Love them. Did you get them online or at your local store. Looks great and love the hibiscus trees by the door. Ann @ Peggy and Fritz

  10. Bravo! Your choices were terrific and such wise advice for us all. Sears..who knew? I had to do a double take at our Walmart the other day when I spied an outdoor set that was very smart. One should never under estimate such stores I've learned. I hope your family enjoys this amazing space. Great memories I bet are made there!
    Thank you for sharing & a happy weekend to you & yours xx

  11. What a great outdoor space you have now. Completely inspiring!!

  12. That looks like such a welcoming retreat.

    And that's one handsome supervisor you have there. ;)

  13. Listen, you have got a great eye, my friend! I love what you are doing to your back deck. You and I were on the same page today with our outdoor related posts! I absolutely love your patio set. We have wood at both homes and well, it's work. I'd like to go with something easier to maintain...maybe, Windexing the top of the table and being done? I'm adding you to my blog roll.

  14. very nice post!!
    the set you have chosen from sears is great looking.
    the chair backs are sharp....and i too love the umbrella ceiling idea.
    it is amazing how much work we put into our homes.
    but it is undeniably rewarding.
    it all looks super.


  15. I love this post
    and how you decorated
    for the way you LIVE
    now and not for the
    way you WANT to live
    in the future. I tend
    to be caught between
    these two worlds and
    then don't move the ball
    forward....New mantra,
    thanks to you: Decorate
    for NOW! Have a wonderful
    weekend : )
    xx Suzanne

  16. Ann@ Peggy&Fritz, I did buy the ottomans in May at my local Target. The brand is Target @Home.

  17. I, as Fran, was stunned at the idea of finding home design items at Sears. I've purchased Sears Craftsman tools for years and only very recently discovered quality and beautifully designed home items at Sears, too---I didn't bother to look! My interior designer friends don't believe me when I tell them so. Thank you for this post illustrating excellent selections at some of the sources not often associated with "high" design.

  18. Beautiful! I am always looking for ways to improve our outdoor space. And I was thrilled to read your comment re: the umbrella. We have a second story deck that takes a serious beating from the sun and could use an umbrella, but I HATE one that's down. Why NOT leave it open (except during thunderstorms and tornadoes, of course!)

  19. I think it looks amazing and I love all of your choices and reccomendations. Like the idea of an umbrella with wheels. I have two on my back patio and they have to be moved according to where the sun is hitting. the ottomans are a great idea, Just lovely and inviting,Happy weekend,Kathysue

  20. Your deck looks amazing! I love the furniture you selected...Sears...who knew, it's gorgeous! Everything came together to make it the perfect outdoor entertaining space, I'm sure you love being out there!

    Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope you are getting the same great weather we had this evening!

    Kat :)

  21. Love your deck...especially love rhe painted black pots... they give the deck a softer touch... Fay

  22. *** What DELIGHTFULLY STUNNING results you acvhieved... "who'dathunk"?!?!?!?!?!

    THANKS so much for sharing your LOVVVVERLY deck ANNND terriffic $$$-saving info/ideas!!!

    "Yer the ma'am!!!!!!!" today, fer sure!!!~~~

    Linda in AZ *

  23. I love it all. You did a great job. In agreement with the extra large market umbrella, and I love the idea of using the tablecloth outside as well. You have a really good looking supervisor. I think I could easily fall in love with him.

  24. this is so pretty!!! i especially love the shot with the white table cloth.

    and thanks for your comment. i think i actually "borrowed" a few of your scans of donna's house!!! hehe. can't remember where I got them but it might have been your blog. send the blog police my way with handcuffs!!!! ;)

  25. I am very impressed! I visited the Brown Jordan showroom in Laguna Niguel, CA last month, and really love their outdoor furniture; I get the impression that the price point is lower than Janus, but not by a ton. I love their mesh back aluminum furniture, so light but hardy - truly lasts forever.

    I asked my designer if we could pick out the outdoor furniture now, and put it in my current house as my dog chewed all of my synthetic wicker furniture when he was a puppy (he looks very much like your dog - even puts his paw that way!), but she said that she wanted me to start fresh.

    But - I need something for this house - the outdoor spaces are a huge selling point (I have a screened room that extends the liveable space) and I might march myself down to Sears and see what they have!

  26. Your deck looks amazing! Sears has changed so much in the last few years. My neighbors also bought their outdoor furniture from Sears and it's fabulous too. I love how your deck looks including the umbrella stand on wheels. I have to find one like that because I get so frustrated not being able to move this one. It all looks so beautiful.

  27. What a fabulous job and it looks so inviting! I 'heard' you all cooled off a bit....jealous! I'm going to get myself to Sears and take a look, you are right, now is a great time to buy b/c fall is coming. Hooray!

  28. Thank you everyone for all the wonderful appreciated!!!

    Oh, and my darling "superviser" is a girl!

  29. looks great! i love it!


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