Senior editor Morgan Michener shares her favorite outdoor furniture finds.
Spring and summer in the magazine world is always super busy. As well as our regular stories, we add cottages and gardens to our list of projects to be photographed. Personally, I really look forward to this time of year — an early morning start shooting a beautiful garden is a glorious way to begin the day. It’s also very interesting to see how homeowners, in our mostly chilly climate, maximize their outdoor spaces.
Beyond the garden beds (or a great planter for our condo friends), furniture and accessories are clearly as important outdoors as they are indoors. I’ve rounded up some of my top picks for the season ahead. One key point to remember is that the early bird really does get the worm — you will find planning ahead and getting stock early will set you up for a longer season outside. So get shopping folks! And remember what my mother used to say: “Nature doesn’t clash, only the outdoor furnishings might.”
Whether it’s for the city or the country, anything made of rattan or bamboo is super chic right now. This hanging piece feels fresh to me because it’s a bench, not the chair we have seen in the past. It would be perfect on a covered porch.
At $30, the Jassa folding bamboo coffee table at Ikea won’t last long on the shelves, so snatch it up while you can. (I’ve seen it in person and bought two. It’s only about 24” in diameter so it can easily be used as a side table as well.)
We always talk about the importance of art and statement pieces within your interior, and the same goes for your exterior. New from Made Goods, Cedric is the perfect piece to act as a focal point and add sculpture to your garden.
I always think a classic is a good investment, and you simply cannot go wrong with an Adirondack chair. Also known as Muskoka or Cape Cod chairs, they have staying power for a reason. These chairs from Polywood come with various back styles to fit any look. Made of a plastic resin that has been purified and UV protected, they are super easy to care for (no more painting!). I have to say I’ve seen resin chairs before, but these are especially well done. The graining is spot-on (they look like wood) and they are really comfy.
Regardless of the style of furniture you choose, you will likely want to add some soft bits — if not for chairs then for the occasional nap outside. I really like the two pillow styles above as they are neutral and will work with both traditional and contemporary exteriors. Both are made from a solution-dyed acrylic fabric and can withstand outdoor weather.
The HAY Palissade Outdoor Collection was designed for a variety of environments. I love that it is intended to be left outdoors all year long, and with so many pieces available in the collection there is something for everyone. Made of powder-coated steel tubing, the furniture is resistant to wind — perfect for a balcony! It is available in stock through
Klaus in olive green and black (other colors are special order).
Products: HAY Palissade Outdoor Collection
, price available upon request
Adding planters to any exterior space always helps visual interest. I stumbled upon these at Canadian Tire the other day. From their Canvas line, the Lorna Urn is made of terracotta and has a drainage hole in place. I love the look of the piece, with its classic shape and geometric edge. If you haven’t planted in terracotta before, be sure to empty the planter of all dirt when the weather gets cold. I keep my pots empty and upside down all winter so they don’t crack. A bit of care and they will last you a long time (and get a great aged patina).
I’ve had stock tanks on my radar for a while as I’ve seen quite a few people convert them into water features. Stock tanks are watertight galvanized vessels that farmers use to provide water for animals — who knew that you could order them at
Home Hardware? The one shown here sells for $240, but is a whopping 6-feet long by 2-feet wide by 2-feet deep, and comes in a few sizes — that’s a lot of planter for your money. With holes drilled into the base for run-off, and a coat of bright metal paint, this container would make a fabulous year-round planter!
Products: Galvanized Oval Stock Tank
, available in-store