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Furnishing the abode, alfresco style

March 22, 2010

This past weekend I reveled in the warm spring weather while doing two of my favorite things:  furniture shopping and home decorating.  Shocking, huh?

My patio upgrade is by far one of the most useful projects I’ve done here at the Borrowed Abode.  Every spring, summer, and fall,  the menagerie and I can often be found hangin’ on the back patio area. As of this weekend, we’re now hangin’ in style.

When it came to patio furniture I – surprisingly – knew exactly what I wanted:

  • Solid wood that was ready to weather the outdoors
  • Not made in China
  • Table space for 2-1o people
  • Seating for both dining and lounging
  • Reasonably priced (but of course!)
  • No wicker

I did a ton of research to find the perfect pieces.  I’m confident that Ikea has the best deal around. They have a slew of outdoor dining and lounging options, all crafted from solid Acacia wood.   Acacia furniture  is resilient enough to live outdoors  from spring-fall, and it only wants occasional oilings to keep in shape. The only catch?  Each Ikea gets one shipment of the Acacia stuff per year.  Once they’re out of furniture, you’re outta luck.

And that is why I dipped into my savings to score a patio set early Saturday morning.  I didn’t want to miss out.  An hour later,  Strawberry-Basil Caipirinha in hand, I set about assembling the furniture.  It was the easiest Ikea furniture assembly I’ve ever performed.  I was done in a jiffy.

These sturdy and adjustable armchairs can do double duty for lounging and dining.   I sprung for the slightly pricier versions  ($70 instead of $50)  which can be adjusted from an upright position into a slightly more reclining one.  I passed on the matching taupe cushions.  I can DIY colorful ones for much less than $30 each.

And at only $20 a seat, these folding wood chairs are awesome and uber-useful.  They’ll provide classy seating for a bbq – but can be folded and stowed in the closet when not in use.   Heck, they’d even look ok if I had to pull ’em out for guests at an indoor party.

And now for the pièce de résistance.  I wanted a table with extra seating options, and boy did I get it. The Applaro Drop-Leaf Table can seat anywhere from 4-10 people.  In its smaller form, the leaves can hang at each side – or they can be removed altogether in about 5 seconds.  Here she is in her smaller form, with the leaves attached:

And here she is in all her extended-leaf, 10-seater glory.  Isn’t she fabulous?

Now for the part more impressive than my ability to assemble the furniture alone.  She’s only $99 at Ikea.  Isn’t that fantastic?

Sure, I could have gotten a table and chairs for less, maybe on Craigslist.  But this set was worth every penny.  As I write this, I sit at the table with the dogs at my side, and the cat rolling happily on the table top.

Bonus:  The furniture wasn’t made in China, and was made of sustainably harvested wood.  Plus, with no need for stains or paints, it’s pretty environmentally friendly to maintain!

But what do you think?  Are there better bargains elsewhere?  Or are you as impressed as I am?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2010 10:43 AM

    Gorgeous! I think you picked the PERFECT patio furniture, and it looks like your cat approves, too. Love the look and the environmentally-friendly aspect.

  2. March 22, 2010 12:30 PM

    Oh, man, can I get to IKEA this afternoon before the insurance inspector arrives at my house? I NEED that table! Fabulous shopping job, and your responsible choices are terrific.


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