With spring in full swing and all of us daydreaming of summer, if there was ever a year to prioritize your patio or sunroom: trust me, it’s 2020. Traditionally the ideal place to serve guests, sunrooms and outdoor patios now present the opportunity for a sacred oasis to enjoy date nights under twinkling lights and get some fresh air, enjoy morning coffee to prep for working from home all day, and safely enjoy your time outside while keeping your distance from the rest of the world. Personally, mine has become my favorite place to work from home, snuggle up with my pup and people watch, enjoy a romantic dinner with the husband, and have the perfect backdrop for all those Zoom calls. How did I do it?
It all starts with the seating! The first step is to assess your space: what do you have room for? A sweeping sectional, a cozy loveseat for two or maybe one of those IG-worthy personal hanging pods? Whatever you choose, there are SO many different brands and price ranges out there to choose from. From working with designers, here are the three tips I learned about ordering online furniture sets.
- Select a stain-proof fabric. The best way to protect your purchase from red wine, greasy food spills or hurricanes that come out of nowhere is to make sure you’re choosing a fabric that has the durability to last throughout all the wear and tear it will get over the season. While it’s a bit mroe expensive, many of my designers would select only pieces that used Sunbrella fabric- or, if their client really loved a specific piece, they would custom order Sunbrella fabric to fit the exact dimensions of the seating group that stole their heart. The Sunbrella love is REAL!
- Order in advance & double-check assembly requirements. One thing you must realize is that if you’re thinking about your patio, chances are everyone else out there is, too! I can’t tell you how many times I would receive a desperate call begging me to rush-ship a seating group for someone’s son or daughter’s graduation, a holiday barbecue, or that it *NEEDED* to be there for when the client opened their home for the season. Of course, as a girl who is team summer all the way, I TOTALLY got it! Unfortunately though, I knew on the back end that our suppliers needed much more time to get these things together and that was the hardest thing to explain to someone when they were really looking forward to a specific piece for a specific day. Why does it take so long to get your outdoor furniture? Well, not only do the orders all tend to stack up at once (for this reason, I recommend ordering in February or March for a May delivery), but they are large pieces that many times come from suppliers down South who can sell their product year-round. Suppliers will wait until they have a full truck to head out to wherever you are, and if they know they’ll have more orders coming soon this time of year, it can take some time. Once it does start to head this way, since they are large pieces that will require a delivery team to come and set up or drop it off for you, normally there will be what I like to call a “furniture layover” where the furniture will be dropped off at another carrier. Then, you’re waiting on their team to call you and set up a good time for you to receive the delivery that works with both of your schedules, and they need to stock their truck with deliveries heading your way. As frustrating as that can be when you just want to sit in the sun with your tea or morning coffee and soak up the sunshine, I know firsthand from spending hours trying my best to help my clients that to your supplier, no amount of begging or reasons why your life will be ruined if you don’t get this patio set in time can rush this process. Once it does come in, make sure you’re prepared ahead of time on if there is any assembly required- it will usually say this on the item’s page on the website, so make sure you do some scrolling so you set yourself the right expectations for what you’re going to get.
- Be mindful of your color scheme. Yes, here I am again with that rule of three to force it into your brain! When it comes time to pick a furniture set, you want to make sure that not only does your seating group color match your fence (if you have a light pine fence, maybe don’t go with a dark stained patio set, etc.), but make sure the color fabric you select is something you’ll be ready to set your space around. Do you have a really cute sign you absolutely *MUST* hang outside, or a set of string lights that are a specific color? If so, make sure whatever plans to go in that space will match.
Now that you’ve got your perfect seating group all picked out, it’s time to find the right accent pieces! Let’s start with a good outdoor rug. I actually found this adorable rug on Amazon that matched my seating group almost perfectly! On top of the rug I placed the matching wicker & glass table from my seating group. On the table, I placed a matching bin that was a gift from my in-laws to hold the essentials: for me, that includes a candle( I love the Vineyard candle by Yankee Candle!), a speaker, coasters and a cute statement sign.
For the windows in my sunroom, since I have been sticking with a white/gray/light blue theme, I chose to go with silver starfish curtain rods that I bought years ago at Wayfair and light, airy, white curtains. Instead of tie backs, I chose to use decor from around our home to hold them back. For the right side, a giant seashell my husband brought back from a family trip to Jamaica years ago. For the left side, I placed a custom lantern holder decorated for me by my sister-in-law. Using unique items to hold back your curtains is my new favorite trend!
After continuing to decorate by collecting fitting pieces from around the house (we have no shortage of seaside decor around here!), the last thing I needed was a good pair of white string lights. Most of our decor came from gifts from friends, thrift stores, Christmas Tree Shop, or our favorite boutique shops on Martha’s Vineyard to add a personal touch that reminds us of the place that we got married and hold so close to our hearts.
Ta-da! With all of these accents combined, our sunroom was complete. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to host again as soon as we can! If you have any questions on how to make your sunroom or patio look and feel like a relaxing, welcoming space, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m always happy to help!