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three3apples

In search of outdoor furniture.

three3apples
7 years ago

I have three spaces that need outdoor furniture: a covered patio, a non-covered patio that connects to the covered one, and a rectangular patio at the basement walk out. I'm thinking the patio off the covered patio will be where we will want a round table with an umbrella for dining. I don't know if the covered patio should have sofas, chairs, a chaise, etc., and I have no idea what to get for the narrow patio off the basement. But, I also need furniture that is high quality and will work with our Georgian style house. I am not a fan of anything contemporary, so it must work with the house. Any suggestions would be great. I'm looking into Frontgate, Pottery Barn, and a few others. None of our retail stores have anything in a remotely appropriate style for us, unfortunately. Th

Comments (42)

  • kswl2
    7 years ago

    If you want "forever" outdoor furniture you should look for it from reputable companies like Lane Venture, Brown Jordan, Woodard, North Cape, Tropitone, etc. (Not all of these are crazy expensive but they are probably more than the Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel.) We have outdoor furniture by some of these companies that is decades old and still looks good.

    Fwiw, I disagree that, because your house is a particular style you need to use a certain style of outdoor furniture. Most of the very heavy, expensive furniture is vaguely Tuscan looking. If you want to stay in keeping with the architecture, you'd have to put teak furniture everywhere. I don't dislike teak, but a little of it goes a long way (and depending on the brand it can be uncomfortable). Outdoor furniture looks best, IMO, when it is much simpler and a bit more modern than the rest of the house. You may want one distinct type of furniture on the patio that opens from your terrace level, and two more related looks for the covered patio and adjacent open area.

    Plan for cushion storage! Even if your cushions are made from Sunbrella fabric they will eventually degrade in summer heat and weather. I live in the south with extreme temperatures and rain in summer. When we know it's going to rain for days we stack the cushions out of the elements--- or we try to. Even when they tell you the cushion is a special kind of foam that let's rainwater run through it, know that those cushions will eventually get damaged if left out all summer.

    Choose for comfort. I did not like rocker / gliders until I sat in one at my DH's request. We bought two of the same brand that were at a Southern Living idea house, and they are now our favorite chairs. They were less expensive than the Lane rockers ( until we had custom cushions made for them) but are more comfortable.

  • patty_cakes
    7 years ago

    I like to look in furniture consignment stores for both indoor and outdoor things. Many of what they have comes from model homes, some being very upscale, and most of the furniture is like new. I have never been in a consignment store that carries junk.

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  • jackson2348
    7 years ago

    I agree that your outdoor furniture doesn't have to be Georgian to look great on your porches or patios. While I probably wouldn't do super contemporary, I think a good outdoor wicker with traditional lines might be just right. I'd add Summer Classics to kswl's list. The majority of Frontgate outdoor furniture is this brand, but if you google the name there is an online outlet.

    We did order Lane Venture through furnitureland south in NC, and saved several thousand on a fairly large order. You can probably find local samples of Sunbrella and Outdura fabrics to consider.

    Good outdoor furniture is expensive, but worth the investment to me. It makes it comfortable to linger and read or visit, which is what I look for. I would definitely look at swivel rockers, and especially try one with a high back. Linking the one I chose for our new house.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Lane Venture Moraya Bay

  • chispa
    7 years ago

    All our outdoor furniture is by O. W. Lee. Made in the USA. Solid and long lasting. We bought wrought iron ones because we can get high wins in our area, and they are built like tanks!

    Here is a link that might be useful: O.W. Lee outdoor furniture

  • three3apples
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Thank you all for the great advice. I was unaware of most of those brands and am looking at their websites right now. Many don't have retailers in our state, however.

    For our regular patio off the covered patio I'd like a large round table that could seat 8 or 10. I'm having a hard time finding one that large. The patio is a square and I think a round table would look best.

    Which companies make very nice teak furniture?

  • teacats
    7 years ago

    Many styles of outdoor furniture .......

    And check out my fav magazine and their website -- "Veranda" for ideas .....

    Here is a link that might be useful: Kingsley Bate outdoor furniture

  • suero
    7 years ago

    For a large table (and probably $$$$) try Weatherend. They make custom sizes.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Weatherend

  • teacats
    7 years ago

    ..... and here's a link for the Bunny Williams collection of outdoor furniture for Century furniture .....

    Here is a link that might be useful: Bunny Williams for Century furniture

  • teacats
    7 years ago

    ...... and for fun .... the wonderful collection of outdoor furniture designed by Rose Tarlow for Sutherland Furniture

    Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Tarlow for Sutherland Furniture

  • teacats
    7 years ago

    ...... and more teak furniture ......

    Here is a link that might be useful: Westminster Teak

  • lascatx
    7 years ago

    If you like wood furniture, I can vouch for Westminster Teak. We ordered a set from them this spring and have been very pleased. They were very nice to deal with, everything was just as they said it would be, arrived well packed, most of the pieces crated and all wrapped together on a palette. The quality of the furniture is so nice and it should last forever.

    After trying two different styles, we got the stacking chairs (shipped back the one we didn't want and had them ship the rest of the set we did want). They fit us well without cushions. I wanted something I didn't have to use cushions - didn't want to have to take them up and put them out all the time or be sitting on them wet or mildewed.

    We got the Martinique table and have 6 chairs around it without in the round. We can do 6 more spread out of 8 as an oval. If you did chairs without arms, you might be able to go to 10, but they have larger round tables. Armless chairs would be a real plus for getting more chairs at the table.

    They still have their July 4th sale banner up -- if you are buying a set, you should be able to get 25% off plus free shipping. They offer it often enough, so if they say no, it isn't available, just ask them to let you know when it is. ;)

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    7 years ago

    We used Brown Jordan for our last house, which was a brick Georgian. They have several more formal styles, both in faux rattan (they call it resinweave... it is very nice, and I am usually against faux anything) and in cast aluminum IIRC (which I thought was cast iron when I saw it but apparently is better for some reason?).

    Anyway, we have had them for 15 years and they look new. They were the most expensive that our retailer carried, but totally worth it IMHO.

    They have several more traditional or ornate styles. I do see people use very simple outdoor furniture regardless of their style of home, but personally I prefer it match the home. Our furniture looks like we may have had it a long long time.

    I'd also recommend a Chippendale style teak bench. We have seveal like this (but longer, which I think looks nice). We bought them from the PO. I really love them, and find them to be almost sculptural.

  • three3apples
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    mtnr, where did you get the Lutens bench? I'm not sure what PO stands for. I do love that look.

    Thanks for all the fantastic suggestions, everyone. I now need to figure out how to make the various areas' sets of furniture "match" even though they likely won't all be from the same line or manufacturer. We will very likely not get furniture for all areas this year. The more I look, the more I find most of these brands are not available in our area. I found some nice styles on Frontgate and Ballard Designs, but am unsure of quality. Home Depot carries Brown Jordan, but none of the styles that make sense for us.

  • chispa
    7 years ago

    A few years ago my parents ordered a whole set of outdoor furniture for their Florida patio from Frontgate. The quality was pretty bad. I happened to be visiting and helped my father unpack and check the quality of each piece. We were quite disappointed and ended up repacking and they returned everything. Outdoor furniture comes in really big boxes and they had all the stuff waiting in their garage for the 18-wheeler truck to come back a week or two later.

    They then went looking at local showrooms and ordered something that cost a bit more, but was of much better quality. You can also see the quality in the showroom and return locally if there are issues.

    I ordered an outdoor chat height coffee table from Ballard and although the quality is alright for the price I paid, it does not come close to comparing to the quality of the rest of my furniture from O.W. Lee.

  • three3apples
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Thanks for that assessment, chispa. That was helpful as there are no online reviews and the furniture looks great in their promotional photographs, of course.

    It's frustrating that we have few options to see in person in our area. There are two semi-local area dealers of OW Lee, so I'll try to see their items in person soon. Would you mind revealing the price points for something like a sofa or settee? It's ok if you don't feel comfortable, i just don't want to go bother looking at them if a sofa will cost something like $3,000.00.

  • chispa
    7 years ago

    three, I found a site on line that has some pricing. Pricing varies depending on whether it is wrought iron or wrought aluminum and on the grade of the fabric if they have cushions.

    Ours is the heavy wrought iron and it has been sitting outside for 3+ years in the CA sun. It looks just like it did when we bought it ... except for the bird "gifts" on some of the pieces! Unless you are in a high wind area, the aluminum should work quite well.

    I also shopped around locally and there was quite a difference in price from store to store.

    Here is a link that might be useful: some OW Lee pricing

  • three3apples
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Thanks for the pricing. I'm
    Going to look
    at Lowe's today. Several friends suggest they have a nice variety. I'm leaning toward a black cast aluminum dining set for the open air patio. After that I will focus on sofas for the covered patio. I think that furniture will be more investment furniture. The OW Lee dealer I thought was around here closed. There is another one I may go to next week.

  • busybee3
    7 years ago

    i have decided that i prefer to buy less expensive outdoor furniture and replace it occasionally- that way you're not locked into a specific seating arrangement or style-- we spent alot more money on one set(can't remember the brand- but sold at a patio furniture store), and it doesn't hold up to heavy wind, etc without getting chipped/dented either... and it's harder to get rid of knowing you spent alot more!
    i probably would consider spending more on covered patio furniture if i really loved the furniture...!
    i have bought some frontgate umbrellas though and really like them... much nicer than what you would get at the big box stores.

  • kswl2
    7 years ago

    As with any sofas, make sure you sit in them before buying! Dimensions do not always tell the whole story.

  • three3apples
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    I disliked everything on display at our local Lowes. I'll try the high end furniture store next week to see their selection and post back for help. All the cast aluminum online appear too Italianate for my taste.

  • teacats
    7 years ago

    We have a Winston outdoor table (round) and sling swivel/tilt chairs in white ..... since 1998! :)

    Aluminum -- and no cushions to worry about -- AND the chairs are really comfy ..... LOTS of parties around this table! :)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Winston furniture

  • brendapaw
    7 years ago

    We love our Tropitone cast aluminum furniture. Here is our oval dining table https://www.tropitone.com/outdoor-furniture/residential/product/500084SLU

    We have actually bought our set twice. A buyer wanted our set with our last house and in 2010, how could we say no? We missed it and bought it for our next house (and paid more.) We prefer sling chairs to cushions. I understand that they are a seductive opportunity to bring in texture and pattern but our Tropitone slings are so comfortable and easy care!

    I saw that Tropitone makes a 60" round table. I have a 60" round table in my house (not Tropitone) and it seats 6.

  • bac717
    7 years ago

    We have a 60" round table on our patio and can seat up to 8 people at it. I love a round table for conversation and the ability to keep squeezing in "just one more person".

  • kswl2
    7 years ago

    "All the cast aluminum online appear too Italianate for my taste."

    That's what I was referring to, above. It's strange isn't it? The incongruity of suburban American ranches with Tuscan patio furniture....But people must like it because that's mainly what is available at big box stores and catalogs.

  • lascatx
    7 years ago

    I saw a bench that looked a lot like the one in the photo above on Joss & Main last night. If you're interested.....

    Here is a link that might be useful: Joss & Main bench

  • three3apples
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Here is the nearly finished patio the dining set will go on. I like several RH sets, but don't want to pay those prices. I'm thinking of a teak set for 8. My husband worries it will be too much maintenance. Any thoughts on longevity, but also that style for our space? Thanks

  • patty_cakes
    7 years ago

    A couple of years ago I saw the Smith and Hawken collection at Target and it's beautiful. The Avignon Collection is all wood with a little decoration, but IMO, would be stunning in your 'outdoor room '. I don't see the price as being outrageous either. The downside is you would probably have to order it online, but it might be worth it.

    Take a look and scroll thru the catalog......

    Here is a link that might be useful: furniture

  • three3apples
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    That is really nice. Doesn't look like its available any longer, however.

  • patty_cakes
    7 years ago

    Shucks! I didn't notice the 2012 expiration date. But, check thus out.......

    Here is a link that might be useful: furniture

  • three3apples
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    patty, you are awesome. thank you!

  • ravencajun Zone 8b TX
    7 years ago

    Do you have a Chair King store any where around you? They carry many lines of very good quality outdoor furniture. We have bought from them in the past.
    They have several double extension dining tables that would easily seat 8-10 or more and tons of materials and options. You might find one near enough to drive to.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Chair King

  • patty_cakes
    7 years ago

    In remembering past postings and seeing pictures of your home, 'ordinary' certainly isn't 'good enough' for your beautiful patio! I 'll be interested to see if it will be your choice with so many other great ideas you've been given.

  • WendyB 5A/MA
    7 years ago

    I was in the market this spring for two super comfortable chairs and ottoman for my deck. I didn't want to pay a lot of money, of course, but was willing to pay for comfort and I was not going to buy online w/o being able to sit on it! So I checked out BedBathBeyond, HD and Lowes. HD (only) had a set that was terrific. It is part of a Martha Stewart collection called Charlottetown. I bought it online so I could select from a wider selection of available fabrics. If they didn't have that set, I would have ended up at a furniture store paying lots more money for sure.

    Total was $477 for two chairs and 1 ottoman (no tax/free shipping). I went with a non-Sunbrella fabric choice to save $100 or so plus I liked that color the best of all the fabric choices. The set is faux wicker, which was fine for me.

    If I was doing much larger areas, that would be add up a lot and a lot of assembly!!!

    I also don't think you should get eating table & chairs to identically match seating sets. Seems like it might be too matchy-matchy, but it might depend on the particular style and your actual physical layout.

    I was in HD last week and the outdoor seating department was being taken apart :-(

    I also purchased 2 awesome cushion covers for rain. I love them. Easy to use and good pvc-lined fabric, really blocks rain and no mildew inside if left on extended periods. special ventilation.

    http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Veranda-Patio-Lounge-Chair-Cover/8207328/product.html

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    7 years ago

    Threeapples,

    We have a lot of patio here , it almost surrounds our meandering home and has multiple levels. We have a lot of outdoor furniture, a fair amount of it teak that was the PO. Whether or not it requires a lot of maintenance depends on the look you want. If you like it weathered grey, no. If you want to keep it honey colored, yes, annual maintenance is considerable. For our home, we wanted the grey.

    Here is teak allowed to grey (my guess this furniture was bought when the PO built the structure associated with this patio area, approx 15 yo). It is all stored indoors for winter.

    Here is similar vintage teak that has been oiled:

  • patty_cakes
    7 years ago

    Mtn'dux, love the bench, but I have a question for ya. First, do,you hsve a dog? Second, if so, how do,you keep the greenery surrounding the patio alive if he's peeing on it? I have almost the identical patio, and had 17 boxwood planted around it, and it took approximately 2 months to kill every one. Also plants along the flagstone pathway. Landscaper is of no help , and has no other answer but to. 'get rid of da mutt', really? The only thing that survives are trees, but I want some bushes! And yes, I've been on the garden forum, several times.

  • patty_cakes
    7 years ago

    3apples, have you looked here?

    Here is a link that might be useful: here

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    7 years ago

    Hi Pattycakes, Yes, we do. She hasn't caused any issues. In our last house though we had boxwood right near our sidewalk and dog passers-by killed the boxwoods, too. Can you make some other area of the yard more attractive to her some how?

  • three3apples
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    I did see the Grandinroad options, thanks!

    Now the pressure is really on--I fear doing something too "ordinary." I am really out of ideas. I do like many of the RH options, but they are very expensive and more than we want to spend now considering the interior of our house still requires two rooms of furniture and we have major hardscaping going on outside.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    7 years ago

    First and foremost, don't buy anything that is not good quality. Outdoor furniture leads a tough life and if it isn't good quality you may regret it. Especially as IIRC it is not covered.

    Don't worry too much about ordinariness ... you also have the cushions, pillows, hardscape, flowers, plants and planters, lanterns and umbrellas (also pricey, especially as you should use wood).

    If it is "more than you want to spend NOW", keep in mind ... we are talking furniture for next summer. Its very hard to find anything nice in stock at this juncture, in my experience. So you can back burner it until early spring; perhaps giving you time to hit a major city with appropriate choices?

  • patty_cakes
    7 years ago

    IMO, I would purchase pieces from a collection that's been around awhile and is on summer sale. Even better if it's a style which could easily be matched up with something else, possibly another brand, but with a similar style. Why NOT get a little more for your money? That's all the more you'll have to spend on landscaping or catering for that first party!

  • luvbdr
    last year

    We’ve had Homecrest outdoor furniture for 30 years, kept outside. It still looks brand new.