SUMMER SEATING

in
June 5, 2017
These outdoor furniture pieces are light and graceful and fold up easily when not in use.

Dear Debbie;
There’s so much garden furniture showing that is big and heavy. We have a patio and a small lawn where we love to sit and entertain. Is there another option other than plastic stackables?
Albert

Dear Albert;

There are lots of options for furnishing your outdoor living space. Choices depend on your budget, but also how you use the seating. If you are planning an area that is meant for lounging, then larger chairs with padded seating are comfortable and inviting. Loungers and ottomans can be added if space allows. This roomy furniture comes in the new weaves as you mention, and also teak, cedar, wicker and wrought iron.

For smaller spaces there are pieces that have a more diminutive demeanor, yet still afford comfort. Look for chair sets and tables that fold up. Teak is a traditional favourite. The teak can be sealed with oil seasonally to maintain its signature caramel colour, or allowed to age naturally to a silver grey patina. Here, the chairs and small table fold up for easy storage, and the dining table has a butterfly extension leaf. The old world charm of the detailing seen in wrought iron furniture produces a graceful and airy feel just right for afternoon tea on the lawn. These pieces, including the bench, fold up for easy transport. The powder coated iron comes in cloud white or teal. Soften the seating with colourful cushion pads. Sumatra and Piazza garden sets, urbanbarn.com.

Dear Debbie;
We are building a wood deck in our back yard. I want it inviting, but not like a furnished living room. I know that’s a trend right now but I’d like to keep our outside natural. What do you suggest for furniture and accessories?
Belinda

Dear Belinda;

It sounds like you are looking for a rustic character. Go with natural materials. Country and cottage style seating, such as Adirondack chairs, barnboard plank benches and a wooden picnic table belong in an outdoor setting. Don’t shy away from adding some colour with natural textiles. A gingham tablecloth and denim cushion covers will enhance the mood. Plates, cups, glasses and other tableware are available in a plentiful array of colours, non-breakable and dishwasher proof. Or go really basic with metal plates and utensils and other camping supplies. Lanterns fit the bill for lighting, but you can go modern with solar or battery operated lights that look just as good. Container gardening is a perfect, easy-care way to bring flowers close to the house. Plant in wood barrels and metal buckets. Look for an old hutch at flea markets that you can transform into outdoor storage. A fresh paint job and layers of varnish will keep it waterproof.

Dear Debbie;
I enjoyed reading about your mosaic tile table project. How do you finish the edge of the tiled table?
Jeannne

Dear Jeanne;

This tiled garden table is one of my most popular projects. I have seen tile work that shows the raw edges around the perimeter, and also edges surrounded with a moulded lip that the tiles butt up against. However, for this project the tiles were placed close to the edge. When the grout was spread into the spaces between the tiles, grout was also spread around the outside edge. Use a damp cloth to smooth the edge before the grout sets.

Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to house2home@debbietravis.com. You can follow Debbie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit Debbie’s new website, swww.debbietravis.com.