Now that it’s May, summer is quickly approaching and it makes me incredibly excited. As a Chicagoan, I long for the long summer days when we can spend a majority of our time outside. It’s the best feeling, after being cooped up inside all winter long and during the chilly and rainy days of spring.
As you know, we are starting our big outdoor renovation project this month, so we’re still a ways away from the “fun” part of any project…the decorating. In fact, I’ve barely thought about how I’ll decorate and furnish our outdoor space. Instead, I’ve been far too concerned about the details for the renovation – the decking, the stones, the plants.
But I’m sure many of you are getting your patios and backyards in shape for summertime and you might be in need of some new outdoor patio furniture. I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorites right now. I will say, I know that lead times for outdoor products are bonkers right now, with lots of furniture taking over six weeks to arrive. Yeesh! So, if you need some new stuff, I’d get on it quickly!
Outdoor Patio Furniture – My Guidelines
Let’s discuss my general philosophy when it comes to outdoor furniture. In our old condo, we had a small little balcony and we truly made the most of the awkward triangle-shaped space. In our current home, we’ve enjoyed using our deck and made it as nice as possible over the last two summers. I’m all about cozy furniture and then mixing in plants, rugs, and shade sources, when possible.
For the most part, I like to buy nicer furniture that will last and I’ll pair it with inexpensive rugs, planters, and accessories. I don’t ever expect my outdoor rugs to last for more than one season, so I don’t end up spending a ton on them. As for outdoor pillows, planters, and lanterns…I’ve had lots of success at HomeGoods and Target over the years.
I also think it’s important to have a rain plan. In our condo, we used to always cover our big couch when rain was in the forecast and it stayed looking good for years. (I shared more tips for keeping things dry in this post.) Here, we haven’t been that great about covering our outdoor sectional and luckily, it doesn’t look too bad. We bring the cushions into the garage over the wintertime and then I’ll power wash them when I bring them out in the springtime. It’s worked out well for us.
Oh, and I must share my outdoor lights! These are the only ones I’ll use and they last for YEARS. Seriously, years. We hung these on our deck railing the summer we moved in and they still look fantastic. They are the same ones we used at our condo and we’ve had to replace a few bulbs, but for the most part, no other maintenance has been required. We use this timer plug so they turn on automatically at night. We’ll definitely incorporate these into our new patio design.
My Favorite Outdoor Dining Tables
Here’s a look at some of my favorite outdoor dining tables right now. I tried to incorporate a good mix of sizes, shapes, and materials so there is something for everyone. Also, some are sold in sets, while others are a mix of tables and chairs that are bought separately.
My Favorite Outdoor Seating
When it comes to outdoor furniture, there are so many retailers to choose from. If you’re looking for pieces that will last many seasons, I’d opt to spend a little more. (Pottery Barn, West Elm, Article, and CB2 always have good outdoor collections.) If you’re wanting to stay on budget, I usually check out Overstock, Wayfair, and World Market. There are thousands of options out there, but you do have to do some digging to find styles that aren’t too dated.
My Favorite Outdoor Rugs
Now, when it comes to rugs, you should follow the same rules for sizing as you would indoors. Oftentimes, bigger is better and you’ll want at least the front legs of the sofa to sit on top of the rug. This post goes into my guidelines for buying rugs. I think rugs can be such a good way to cozy up any outdoor space and really define a “room.” They are also a nice way to add some color if you’re going for a bolder look outdoors!
My Favorite Outdoor Accessories
Finally, accessories! These are the best way to really bring a space to life. I always like to add lighting with string lights and lanterns, some outdoor throw pillows to the seating area, and then other fun accessories like trays and citronella candles. Plus, I put planters in every spot I can fit them!
So there you have it! My favorite outdoor patio furniture and accessories for the 2021 season. While I’m still a ways away from having a completed backyard myself, I’m excited to give you a little nudge to get your outdoor space looking good for the warm months ahead.Casey