The Outdoor Furniture Set I’m In Love With.

We are doing a little back yard revamp this summer (some new bushes and plantings, trimming back some trees and swapping out some furniture). With a third Nor’easter in sight for us this month alone, it makes me feel like Elsa is real and has put a curse on our whole area of the country (side note: will I ever not have a Disney song stuck in my head ever again? I woke up this morning and said to Andrew “I’ve had “You’re Welcome” in my head for the past two days and he looked at me and said “”I was up all night singing “Love Is An Open Door”.) Bahahahahaha #toddlerparentlife

Anyways, when Else does decide to defrost her frozen heart, we WILL be enjoying our patio once again.  And there is nothing more chic and classic than a black and white patio.  I have my vintage Brown Jordan dining table and chairs I inherited from my grandmother (similar here although mine in rectangle).  And while I still love my Ikea chairs that everyone asks about (you can see them here in this post about my patio project) , they are getting a little janky and they aren’t made any more (so dumb).  So I’m looking for some inspiration for our little facelift.  I love how black and white lets nature be the star of the show and the pop of color.  Green plantings look perfect paired with crisp black and white.

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The Season For Outdoor Dining!

I get sooooooooo excited when it turns time to eat outside. I just adore alfresco dining- be it at home or when out to eat. Seeing as we get out a lot less than we used to now that we have Henry, entertaining on our quaint back patio will be more frequent this summer for sure.

image via Cote de Texas/ House & Garden

Melamine table wear is essential for patio dining (and also an excellent choice for indoor dining too- especially with little ones).  And the advances in melamine style-wise has been crazy amazing in the past couple years. I spotted these marble patterned ones at Pier 1 and designed this whole tablescape around them– it’s elegant, rustic and all shatterproof!  I think I need to make this whole situation happen for my own house STAT!  Using real flatware and linen napkins makes an outdoor table feel substantial even when everything else is acrylic.

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Three Pretty Perfect Porch & Patio Looks!

A few of you asked that I do a post about outdoor furniture after seeing some great items in catalogs you’ve been getting. Well believe me, I get the same ones and was thinking about this too! I want to give my little patio a freshen up for the spring/summer and my new office has a small, narrow urban patio we want to style up as well. So this was needed!

So here are three looks using some of the items I’ve had my eyes on lately- I’d love to know which board is your favorite look?
GLAMOROUS/ FEMININE: I saw these gold daybeds in CB2 and died– and love this look that is glamorous and modern and yet natural and feminine too. Also those Frontgate dining chairs are INSANE for outdoor furniture!

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MODERN: Black, white and green– graphic and yet a perfect compliment to nature! I love the black metal sofa and chairs as they are contemporary with a traditional soul.  The bistro style loungers are durable and so cool and the ping pong table doubles as a dining table when you take the net off! Genius!

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COASTAL:  Probably the most popular look for outdoors, blue and white with woven textures and wood is a classic combo! You just can’t go wrong with this look- even if you’re landlocked!

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A few tips when buying outdoor furniture:

  • Pay attention to the materials– some furniture labeled “outdoor” is only for covered porches and spaces that don’t get direct abuse from the elements so make sure what you are buying is for the type of situation you have!
  • Buy covers! I didn’t for years and my furniture got ruined– even if it says “all-weather” it’s always good to have covers for those really bad days (or if you leave your furniture out through winter!)
  • Outdoor fabrics have come such a long way in recent years- you aren’t limited to just solids and striped anymore.  Other than retailers, also check Etsy for custom pillows made from designer outdoor fabrics (search ” outdoor pillows” with fabric brands like Schumacher, Quadrille, China Seas, Kravet, Duralee and Peter Dunham!
  • Don’t buy everything in sets– unless it’s a mix and match set like this one below from World Market.  Combine fun chairs with a more simple table and pair a streamlined sofa with woven or more styled chairs. Mixing materials and textures creates a more custom look.


Outdoor Decor: Black, White and Rad All Over

That was the cheesiest title, no? I couldn’t help myself.


Black and white in any combination with always be classic- and that stands doubly true for exterior and patio decor!  I love a good black and white patio scheme- it’s so crisp and classic and gives you perfect base to add a pop of color or just let your greenery and scenery be the vibrant focus of the space.  My favorite places to shop for outdoor decor are Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, CB2, Crate & Barrel, World Market, Williams Sonoma Home, Target, Homegoods, Ballard, Frontgate and Terrain.

My few tips on outdoor decorating:

  • Always make sure you are using the right materials in the right spots- not all furniture deemed for “outdoor use” can withstand the elements- many labeled as such are for covered patio use only.  A good example are many of the bistro style chairs we all love- the woven seats can take just about anything, but if the frame is made of real rattan or bamboo they can’t be left out in the rain and snow.
  • To really be safe and maintain the quality of any patio furniture invest in a set of covers!
  • Avoid buying everything in sets- sure, having a matching sofa and chairs can look great, but don’t buy the coffee table and side tables too.  Mix up styles, finishes (woven wicker with sleek metal for example) and vendors for a unique look.


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Weekend Green Thumb

On Saturday we had gorgeous weather here so I thought it was high time I got rid of the dead Christmas greenery splayed sadly in my window boxes and plant some colorful stuff for spring. A was able to do our little refresh during one of Henry’s (very quick) naps and now I feel much better about pulling into my driveway.


I wanted to compliment the chartreuse color of our front door with the plant choices- and also add a complimentary color, in this case a deep plum.  So I came up with a plan (on the fly at the plant store, but we can pretend I was as thoughtful enough to do a Photoshop layout of it beforehand):


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