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April 17, 2018

Our New Outdoor Furniture | Ballard, Signature Hardware, Pottery Barn & Hayneedle

This will be our fourth summer in our house since we re-built it.  We had plans of new outdoor furniture the minute we moved in, but the interior took priority - we did need a sofa and kitchen table, after all.  Then, each year that passed, we sort of got comfortable with the furniture we had.  It was fine.  Sure the old love seats we had on the porch didn't have great cushions, and the wood was sort of rotting a little.  The picnic table was great, too.  We could squeeze 8 for dinner and it was easy for kids to get in and out of.  But it wasn't that comfy for adults.  And, because of the set up it created an awkward conversation barrier for those sitting on the love seats on the porch, since half of the people at the picnic table had their backs to them.  

This year, I determined that we had waited long enough.  As soon as spring showed up (little by little), we would have nice, new, grownup outdoor furniture.  

In Mike's perfect world, I would open up the page of a catalog and order everything on that page.  Easy.  Done!  He'll say - they've picked all of this out to go together, who are we to decide to mix and match?  They've done the work for us!  

I, on the other hand, can't help but not be satisfied by exactly what I see on a single page.  I need to mix and match, I need to pull from one source and pair it with another, and another.  It is how I'm made : )  

My requirements were : 

All 100% unfinished Teak.  I love that real, old fashioned weathered classic like we typically saw in New England and on our vacation to Nantucket last summer.  Classic.

Small Round Table
A small table that can grow for parties.  We have a small family - the three of us.  We use our backyard every morning and every night of the week.  I love our little Wednesday night dinners on the patio.  I don't want to sit down to a giant farmhouse style table with my little family of three.  I wanted it to feel cozy and sweet like a backyard garden should.  BUT, I want to be able to have 8 for dinner, so expandable was a requirement, also.  

Love Seats
We have loved the configuration of having two love seats on our long back porch.  They do all of the symmetry things for me, flanking our French doors.  I come out every morning with my coffee and I sit and watch the seasons change.  

Replaceable Cushions
I wanted to be able to easily replace the cushions each year if needed.  I didn't want to have to have custom cushion covers made.  So, sources like PB and Ballard were perfect for this because they have repeat styles each year with coordinating cushions.

What I didn't find...
A sectional.  I really wanted to add a sectional sofa to our patio.  I thought it seemed like such a comfy idea - perfect for parties, and for afternoon naps in the sun.  It looks like Ballard discontinued the sectional from the line of love seats I selected.  However, this was a happy accident, because I don't know that we would've had room on our patio.  The table and chairs are so comfy with our pillows and seat cushions that they serve as a second lounge area.

I ended up mixing and matching from several different sources to get the look I wanted.  It can be risky to mix and match, but these turned out so great.  I 100% love each item and the way the work together perfectly.

Resources : 

Did you get all of that?!

I like to stay pretty neutral outside (and inside?!).  I love our creamy house with creamy upholstery + the soft natural teak wood and lots of lush green.  It is an easy theme that I stick with all summer long.  Of course, there are little pops of seasonal colors in potted flowers like pansies now and mums in the fall.

I took a zillion photos.  Sorry : )  It finally felt like spring outside and I just went crazy.  I could've edited harder, but I just want to be surrounded by it right now so I didn't.

The softness of the natural teak is so good.  It is so, so buttery smooth.

I pile lots and lots of little pots filled with herbs and pansies to greet us.  I mix and match my pots, and layer on lots of different plants to create a cozy, lush feel.

The boxwood hedge is growing up nicely.  I'll probably let it get about 6 inches taller, then start to top it off.

Emma painted some pots that she was super excited about and has displayed them on the steps.

These exact planters are not available anymore, sorry.  I got lots of requests from Instagram about their source.  I love them, too!  We do have access to similar versions, but because of freight charges are too expensive to ship.  If you are local to KC, we can arrange a local pickup.  If you are interested, email us at

The big 22" Pillows in Natural Cream Check make the loveseats so comfy.  I use the euro square inserts from Ikea ($9) to fill them out.  The covers aren't technically outdoor fabric, but I'm going to see how they do.  Someone also told me that Scotch Guard offers a spray that helps them resist fading from the sun.  I might try that!

This is a flowering Vinca that has a tiny blue flower in the late spring.   I thought they were a fun change from a mini potted boxwood that I would typically do.  They are similar color and leaf but with a little more of a viney growth.  We'll see how they do!

I tried to take some cute photos of Mr. Darcy, but he just kept looking at me like this.

And this. 

The table only hold the umbrella when it is expanded, which I didn't realize.  But, I love the shape of it expanded, so I'll keep it up for a while.

I love how classic and luxurious the natural teak looks and feels.  It is so solid and heavy.

I chose the Sunbrella Linen Sand cushions because I thought they would be a little forgiving.  The white piping really sets them off.

To make each chair super comfy, I am using on of my 20" Pillows in Natural Cream Check.  It coordinates with the seat cushion so nicely.  

I LOVE how this came together... from so many other sources.  The checks, the stripes, the white piping.  All coordinates so well, without being too matchy-matchy.  

For those of you that are new, we built this playhouse for Emma a couple of years ago.  Here is the DIY post I created >

Emma's cherry tree is in full bloom!  Best $90 tree from Home Depot, ever.  It has grown sooooo much.

This little formal garden will be full of roses and the hydrangea standard will be in full show in a couple of months.  More details on the rest of our garden, here>

Emma's been in our raised beds setting up some fairy gardens this spring.  I am just now realizing that those are quarters... I need to go get those for the car wash!

Well, happy Spring everyone.  Working in the yard is maybe my very favorite thing to do.  I'm still learning all of my gardening skills, but I love experimenting, walking around with my barefeet in the grass, potting, planting, moving and peeping at everything as it grows.  And lounging.  Lounging on our very comfy new furniture : )


  1. Your yard looks amazing. You have such a classic style...I love reading your blog. It has really helped me when choosing furnishings and decor...I love how you have a neutral base and add pops of color depending on the season. Did you put pavers down in your table area? I seem to remember some sort of crushed stone before! It looks great....

    1. Yes! It is not quite finished, as we still need to grout it. I'll share details once it is!

  2. Beautiful, as always! This came together so nicely, Jenny. Did you post a stone patio tutorial and I missed it?

    1. Yes! It is not quite finished, as we still need to grout it. I'll share details once it is!

  3. Anonymous11:16 AM

    It looks lovely. I'm thinking you're going to want to leave your table extended all this summer so the teak extension will wear as evenly as the rest of the table ... its a little thing, but its all in the details ...


    1. That is an excellent point! I would've been so irritated if I opened the extension for a party and it didn't match ; )


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