We’re a family that enjoys being outside a lot, especially in clear weather. I have to admit, though, I can’t always just stand around or run around with the kids. Sometimes I like to relax outdoors.
Last week I shared our patio after a freak storm destroyed last year’s gazebo and decor and left us with bare bones.
This year I had the chance to work with Raymour & Flanigan to create an outdoor dining room space. We wanted a place to relax, entertain, chit-chat, and still be able to watch the kids while they ran around. Also: pretty was a must for me! A trip to our local Raymour & Flanigan showroom gave me so many ideas to reinspire this much-used summer space! The home furnishing consultants catered to my every whim as I considered a variety of options for our outdoor patio.
So ready for this? Here’s the before again:
And heeeeere’s the AFTER:
Voila! Awesomeness, right? Let me walk you around our new outdoor dining room!
Shapes and textures are a big deal for me. I like to go for the more unusual, so when I saw this square table that could seat eight in the Raymour & Flanigan showroom, I knew I had to have it over the traditional rectangle or round table. Plus: seats eight!? Sign me up! Now we don’t have to have the “kiddie” table if we have another family of four over! I love the metalwork design in this table because it is lovely without a table cloth.
I also like to have a place where people can cluster and “mingle” while not being on top of each other. So we also decided on a beautiful tiled fire pit (runs on a hidden propane tank). It’s so beautiful even when off, but add the flickering fire, and you’re eased right into relaxation zone! The tiled top is wide enough to safely put a plate or cup to rest while you’re chatting. And so easy to use – no need to consider “should we have a fire tonight” because the easy ignition switch makes it a no-brainer!
Since we bought two pieces (the table and the fire pit) and we don’t have tons of room at our disposal (either for set up or storage in the winter), I mixed and matched our chairs. All the outdoor chairs at Raymour have metal scroll designs or motifs and beige cushions, so everything blends well between sets. I opted for four of the padded chairs, and two of the spring lounger. All of them can fit either around the table or at the fire pit, and are easy to move back and forth.
Both styles of chairs are extremely comfortable as well. Very important for late night chats by the fire or around the table.
The main thing I love about our new patio furniture (other than the obvious: having some!), is the pieces are big and make a bold statement. With our space being a bit awkward, I needed furniture that wasn’t diminuitive or faded into the background. I needed these pieces to be able to stand on their own if needed, and they can certainly do that with their classic weathered bronze finish and detailed patterning.
And now the fun part – adding home decor elements.
My initial thought had been to add in a few of the silk plants and trees Raymour & Flanigan carries but then I saw so many great tabletop decor items, I couldn’t pass those by! A few I had to relunctantly say no to, simply because I have small children, but I ended up decorating the table with this gorgeous glazed pottery bowl and pitcher set. Lovely by itself, and perfect for icing down beverages, fruit and more!
To spruce up the rest of the patio, as I mentioned in my last post, we did get another gazebo, but I still had the matter of the driveway to deal with. We used a split bamboo fence to redefine the space at the end of the driveway, and also block some of the messy details of the backyard and our neighbor’s yards as well (not that they are messy but it’s like there’s four backyards staring at you from where we sit – it gets downright distracting!). The fencing provides a pleasant relief to the eye, and yet is “screen-like” enough that we can still see where the kids are playing with their toys in the lawn below us. Perfect!
A large outdoor rug took away some of the “driveway” feeling, and again, here’s where having large pieces of patio furniture helps out – they are the focus now!
Add in all the hanging plants and planters we could find, and the patio once again feels like a conversation is just waiting to happen. Plants and planters help blend the two parts of the patio together, and soften the edges of the fence. Having several levels and heights of pots is best to let the eye flow over the space.
We’ve been enjoying the dining and fire pit area as a family, and I cannot wait to have our first party (my son’s birthday party!).
What’s your favorite piece from the Raymour & Flanigan outdoor furniture collection?
Thanks to Raymour and Flanigan for providing products to facilitate this post! Thanks to them our backyard is now a place for enjoyment again! All opinions are my own.