Help us furnish our indoor-outdoor space!
October 2, 2012 12:49 PM   Subscribe

My partner and I are considering an apartment that has a private patio that's as large as a room. We'll be furnishing the new place mostly from scratch and would love to get living room furniture and dining set that work equally well on the patio or indoors so we can switch things up a lot. Can you help us find the perfect stuff?

We already have and will be keeping leaning ladder-type black shelves a small black leather couch. We had been hoping to get a sofa large enough for a guest to sleep on but I've never seen an outdoor sofa that you would be able to sleep on.

For dining, there are 2 of us but ideally would have table and chairs for 4.

We're in our early 30s and want grown up furniture, probably not ikea. We've been casually browsing West Elm, Crate and Barrel, CB2,

To give you a sense of our taste, her furniture is black-painted wood and black leather. She's got great style and can be particular in ways I can't always predict. My taste leans towards natural wood, mid-century inspired design, and white, cream and various neutrals upholstery or leather. I enjoy We know the will be a lot of compromising and we're excited to set up house together!
posted by palegirl to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
I've loved some of the Strathwood stuff from Amazon. These chairs are huge favorites on our roof deck. Looks substantial and not cheap, and they're quite comfortable with pillows and/or an ottoman.

Also check Restoration Hardware!
posted by TG_Plackenfatz at 12:55 PM on October 2, 2012

Have you seen these Tillary sofas on West Elm?
posted by drlith at 1:02 PM on October 2, 2012

Seattle is kind of damp. I would lean towards a round dining with metal base and something weather friendly like a tile top. I might get metal chairs with detachable cushions. (Round because they are more forgiving of varying the number of chairs. If intended to seat four, you can probably squeeze in a fifth but it won't look funny with three.)

Daybeds are common substitutes for couches on sleeping porches. If the area is adequately sheltered, you might google up info on "sleeping porch furniture" and see how that takes your fancy.
posted by Michele in California at 1:07 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Go to Molbak's in Woodinville, they have a fantastic selection of high end outdoor furniture. Seeing their "room" layouts might help you visualize the space.
posted by crazycanuck at 2:17 PM on October 2, 2012

Ikea's new outdoor furniture range is pretty nice and apartmenttherapy-type style-wise. We almost bought an outdoor sofa set to use inside because of the clean lines. I would strongly recommend getting Ikea or a similar price range for the first year - a patio room's use depends hugely on the local weather conditions, and what you start with changes. We've lived in houses with big balconies in the tropics, but how we wound up using them changed because we realised the rain came in on this side, or that we wanted to be able to eat a family dinner here, not a big dinner etc. We ended up moving furniture around a lot.

The big thing I'd look for and invest in first would be attractive and weatherproof outdoor storage. If you end up using the space a lot, you want to be able to stash cushions, cutlery, garden stuff etc either in the patio or just adjacent so you don't have to haul stuff in and out or worry when the weather turns and you've left things outside. A lot of the storage cabinets that are weatherproof are ugly fake-wood plastic, so your shopping energy should go to finding attractive sturdy cabinets/benches with storage first IMO.

Also see about getting a small bar sink piped into the patio. My brother-in-law did this for his patio space and it's great - you can wash hands and refill drinks and kettles without having to go back through the house to the kitchen.

The fabric for anything soft outdoor will be expensive. Doublecheck whatever the brand is on furniture you buy for an outdoor space. You need something that won't fade badly or get mouldy. We bought some sun-proof material at $40/m and made some of our cushions and they did better than the ones that came with the furniture. If I had to do it again, I would choose plain cream canvas and wash it frequently like my neighbour had - it always looked fairly new and she didn't have to match faded colour shades.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:33 PM on October 2, 2012

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