Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Design for Outdoor Living

I have a weakness for outdoor furniture.  I love to browse through the Frontgate catalog, or the Pottery Barn catalog, or the Kingsley Bate catalog and imagine having the outdoor space-- the pool, the seaside view, the manicured lawn, the deep covered porch -- that would allow, or even require, all those wonderful cushioned rockers, chaise lounges, wicker picnic tables, and hanging swinging chairs.  Get me into any big store and sooner or later I'm in the "seasonal" section checking out the lawn chairs.  It's not that I'm unhappy with what I have, it's just that daydreaming about other possibilities is a so relaxing and fun to me. 

While I often look at outdoor furniture, I rarely buy it.  But this weekend, I found four chairs that I just couldn't pass up.   They were all on sale and work perfectly on the deck and patio. 

At the local Offenbacher's outlet I found this comfortable chair with a gentle rocking motion....

....and these two stacking teak and aluminum side chairs, all of which work perfectly on the deck. 

Up there we need the maximum flexibility; basically no furniture during the early spring when the maple trees drop so much pollen and then seeds, and then switching between a small table (when it's just us) and a large table (when we have friends over).  The tables have to fold up and the chairs have to be very movable and very weatherproof.  We don't have any place to store furniture during the winter and I've learned that we can't deal with cushions.   There are entirely too many afternoon thunderstorms around here to be pulling cushions in out of the rain and too many birds in the maple trees to keep them clean. 
The fourth chair is a folding teak chair that mostly matches two others we have on the patio.  Since the seating is tucked next to the sidewalk leading up to the house, the furniture has to be small-scaled, and this new chair fit in perfectly.  


Finding the right solution to design problems like these takes thought and time, but I like the challenge and think the results are well worthwhile. 

The rhododendron in the front of the house is blooming now and is very pretty.

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