Budget Outdoor Living

With outdoor living areas being so popular these days, there are lots of affordable options in outdoor furniture. I'm not really in the market for any, but it's all over the place right now so I can't help but look! Also, after having ours for a bit, I have some tips that will hopefully help you choose new stuff or better care for what you already have.

We have a few items from Pottery Barn's Chesapeake Collection. I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but I've been really disappointed with the quality. After only 2 years, the wood is splitting and warping. I've had to re-stain it twice since the dark finish rubbed off easily. Also the wood umbrella from PB snapped in half. If I had to do it all over again, I would buy cheaper pieces, like the ones below (since I can't afford the really good stuff yet). HomeGoods and Target seem to have nice looking pieces too, so be sure to check those out.

From World Market...

From IKEA...

From Pier 1...
From Grandin Road...

The key maintenance factors are covering the furniture when possible (which I hate the look of) and making sure that all wooden areas are treated consistently. I was told to put teak oil (even though it's not teak) on the Chesapeake table, chairs, and chaises after complaining to Pottery Barn about the warping/splitting. Getting this advice AFTER most of the damage had occurred was much less helpful than had PB given it at the time of purchase, but whatever.

With that said...although I prefer the look of wood, metal or plastic wicker are definitely the most carefree options. We have this resort outdoor sectional from CB2 that is resin wicker, and it looks brand new.

We also have some of these $60 wicker stacking chairs from Pier 1. They're great too...just hose them off when they need cleaning.

I love the look of these... Rex Arm Chair from CB2 - $70
Do you have outdoor furniture that you love or hate? Ever bought from any of the retailers mentioned? If so, please share your thoughts!


  1. Granted, we live in the most brutal of summer furniture climates--Phoenix--but things should still last, right? I bought PB's sun umbrellas because I loved the colors. They faded soooo fast that I was sick. And one snapped off, just like yours. Not my fave.
    But I got a huge umbrella from Target last summer that we love, and I replaced the faded PB umbrella was a $70 option from IKEA. And I love it! It tilts and everything.
    Last comment--check Sam's Club and Costco. We got a great deal on a solid granite outdoor table and chairs at Sam's. Love it, and it will match any chairs or benches I throw under it.

  2. KSK, I would love to hear more about your experiences with the CB2 resort sectional. I've read reviews criticizing the cushions for mildew / not being comfortable / etc. Have you been really happy with that piece?

  3. Abby, I like the CB2 sectional overall. It sits under a covered patio at our house so it doesn't get much abuse from the weather. Since our dogs love to lounge on it (with muddy feet, of course) - my only complaint is that the cushions aren't super easy to clean. I wish I had Scotch Guarded them at the beginning bc that prob would've helped. If you're worried about the cushions getting dirty, there is one at JC Penney that looks really similar and is on sale for $999 http://bit.ly/duykgy. Other than the cushion issue, I'm really happy with the CB2 one!

  4. Ooooh, thanks! We have patio furniture for the backyard, but need a bench or something on the front porch. I love that Ammero Chair!

  5. I didn't know IKEA had those striped cushions! Thanks for the heads up. They are now on my list.

  6. The Nordano chair and table can be found at IKEA for $50.00 and 100.00
    Just got mine!

  7. sorry I read it wrong, but I guess the Nordano chair and table prices have gone down.:)