backyard furniture

Backyard Furniture.

One exciting component of moving to D.C.? Having our own (!) private (!!) backyard (!!!). Where we can open a door and traipse around in our bare feet without the threats of city sidewalk detritus. Where I can let the children play without needing to trail them by a couple of feet. Where we can send Tilly to take care of business when the weather is inclement without needing to bundle ourselves up for a walk around the block. Where Mr. Magpie can grill, and we can enjoy private dinners al fresco, and I can cut meandering paths while talking on the phone! There will be kiddie pools, sprinklers, coolers of beer, bushels of blue crabs, birthday parties, Easter egg hunts, long and slow conversations with my sisters, sun-kissed afternoons of reading while drinking iced tea, the focused face Mr. Magpie makes when weeding and the preening pride he wears when showing neighbors around his garden (“that’s lacinato kale, actually–“), and all while a couple of footsteps from the rush of cold air, the promise of the fridge, the phone I left inside. I am delirious with joy at the prospect. The privacy! The space! It is all tradeoff, of course, and I know myself well enough to apprehend the imminence of my “new york me manque” reminiscences, but still — I am ready for this shift in gears, this expansion.

I have enjoyed nosing around the backyards and garages of homes we are considering and imagining the options. Below, a few finds for a lovely backyard setup:

+I adore Aerin’s East Hampton collection from Williams-Sonoma. A splurge to be sure but gorgeous. I’m not opposed to the idea of mixing materials, by the way — in fact, I might prefer it. I was pleasantly surprised by the result of mixing woods and styles in our dining room, which is centered by a gray dining table (will not link because I have not in fact been impressed with the quality despite spending a fair amount of money on it) with brass inlay around the edge and flanked by white wood French oval backed chairs. Anyhow, I might buy two of the East Hampton chairs and then pair with a sofa in a metal/iron, like this.

+Another high-end mix-and-match arrangement: this chippendale sofa with these metal lounge chairs.

+I have consistently heard incredible things about Better Home + Gardens backyard collection — the entire set (sectional, table, two ottomans) is under $900. It reminds me a lot of this high-end Frontgate collection. Classic, handsome, gracious.

+A simple patio umbrella that you can swap out for a fun canopy stripe, or this classic scalloped style. Or you can splurge on this higher-end one.

+This pagoda bench! It would totally make a little backyard nook! Such an interesting and artful focus point against a brick wall or hedge. If that’s too ornate for your taste, a classic LL Bean bench in green is timeless.

+I am drawn to this unexpected concrete and rope side table.

+For dining — such a great price on these on-trend wicker ones (love them around this matching table), but if you’re going the mix and match route, you might consider this great table (upgrade pick here) with these bistro chairs (look for less) or these chic woven chairs. For a smaller dining situation, I like a simple bistro table like this or even this with these chairs. If you’re after a pop of color, I love these sage green chairs and these chippendale-style ones with great coral pillows!

+Adore these chaise longues.

+For a small patio or even porch, these chairs pack such a big punch on their own!

+Many of the brands above offer tailored outdoor furniture covers, but Amazon also has some attractive, simple outdoor furniture covers from their Basics collection that would meet a range of needs — sofa, chairs, etc. Incidentally, I featured these Amazon Basics covers a few years ago and they were one of the most popular items I posted the entire year!

+Miscellaneous other garden and backyard finds:

HOW ADORABLE ARE THESE WOVEN LANTERN STRING LIGHTS?

LOVE THIS GALVANIZED METAL TUB WITH WOVEN WRAPPING

GARDEN STOOL

I LOVE THESE TERRACOTTA PLANTERS

WOVEN HURRICANE LANTERNS

CUTE FOLDING CHAIRS

INDOOR/OUTDOOR RUNNER IN A GREAT STRIPE (SIMILAR LOOK FOR LESS WITH THIS)

A GREAT SET OF MELAMINE PLATES

INDOOR/OUTDOOR THROW PILLOWS AT A REASONABLE PRICE

PLACEMATS FOR OUTDOOR DINING

ACRYLIC (!) GOBLETS (!)

CERAMIC PLANT MARKERS

SERIOUSLY CUTE PICNIC BASKET

SERVING TRAY

P.S. If you have a lazy Saturday ahead, mix up a batch of these addictive crackers and a batch of iced tea and dig into a delicious beach read.

P.P.S. Musings on highbrow vs. lowbrow.

P.P.P.S. My favorite quarantine cocktail is actually better suited to backyard hanging in the summer. And alllll the glassware you need for all your favorite drinks here.

6 Comments

  1. If you love Juliska, Waiting on Martha is one of my favorite woman-owned small businesses. They carry a large variety of Juliska products (among other fabulous brands) and even have a promotion with a free Juliska piece if you meet a spend threshold (not sure of exact dates/requirements).

    1. Thank you so much for the tip! I’ve ordered some gifts from Waiting on Martha before — love that boutique!

      xx

  2. This post is just what I needed! I’m just about to re-do my backyard and need some inspiration. I don’t know what direction to go. Do I want a matchy matchy set? I like the idea of mixing rattan with iron. I like pieces that are interesting with different textures. I want to have fun choosing pieces but at the same time it’s overwhelming. I like your choices, it gives me some ideas and looks that I had not thought about.
    Wish me luck……
    Cheers!

    1. Hi Carleen! So exciting — good luck! Please share what you end up leaning towards!!

      xx

  3. Love this! I have spent innumerable hours daydreaming about the possibility of our backyard. We spent way too long contemplating a patio dining table and after covid caused long delays with the major company’s like Frontgate we ended up with a teak dining table and chairs made by a local company, Kingsleybate, and love it. We were outside almost all day yesterday – lunch and dinner outside- and I love the simplicity. I don’t have to lug pillows out just to have a quick coffee or mess with covers- we will have to stain it a few times a year but that’s worth it to me.
    https://www.kingsleybate.com/product.php?id=963#.YGBzsGT3bDs

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