Wait. This is Outdoor Furniture? No Way!

Can you believe it’s nearly June? After that horrific winter we had to endure, the days of sweltering heat will soon be upon us. Or, we might also have a delightful relatively cool summer like last year. Whatever, I prefer the heat to the cold which feels like your face is being slapped by a thousand angry stapleguns. But alas… we have many, many weeks of temperate weather before us which means we can actually go outside!

Alright. On to the subject at hand. Outdoor Furniture.

I’m a child of the sixties. I guess those of you who’ve been reading Laurel Home for some time must realize that by now. It was such a fun time to grow up. (except for that icky war and the offing of several of our esteemed leaders).

It was/is hot as hell where I was raised in Evansville, IN. Did you know that Evansville is the hottest place on earth? It lies in a low valley on the Ohio River. There is a ginormous levee to keep the city from flooding. (sometimes)

Alright, it’s maybe not THE hottest place but it routinely hits an extremely humid 100 degrees F or higher.

Hold on!

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Here is my childhood home in Evansville courtesy of google earth. Have to say that aside from them adding on, nothing has changed except a couple of big trees were lost. The rest of the hood is remarkably exactly the same.

My mom was an avid gardener. We had a lovely patio surrounded by flowers and shade trees and we had a couple of these chaise lounges which were always slightly rusted.


Haha! Remember? And we had the chair version too. I remember that they were so flimsy that if they weren’t opened just right, your arse would come crashing into the concrete. Ouch. But we didn’t know any better.

We’ve come a long way since the sixties. Someone decided that teak was a good material for outdoor furniture and more attractive than the plastic/aluminum stuff. And some outdoor furniture was made of iron or an iron-type look. Then someone way back in 1961 (!) invented Sunbrella, a solution dyed fabric made from polypropylene that could go OUTSIDE. The early sunbrella usually had very beach-type, very bright colors. Now, Sunbrella comes in many sophisticated palettes and colors.

In 2015, our outdoor furniture has evolved so much that it’s often difficult to tell whether the furniture is indoor or outdoor furniture. The only requirement for outdoor furniture of course, is that if a monsoon lands on it, it’s going to be okay in a day or so. I think it’s a cool idea to have an outdoor living room if one has the space for it.

I had a lot of fun putting together a little collection for you of cool outdoor furniture. Some of this is so cool, I don’t see any problem with using it indoors. I mean, if you can hose it down outside, how more practical can you get?

Today, I’m sticking to chairs both dining and otherwise, tables of all kinds and sofas, settees and lounges.


12 Responses

  1. I love this post and it is so amazing all of the gorgeous choices we have for outdoor furniture now. One that that I still love is rot iron furniture! We really need sturdy furniture for the amount of wind and sun we get here in Colorado.

  2. LOL – we had those flimsy folding chairs, too! Where did you find that picture? Classic!!!!

    Outdoor furniture (and rugs and fabrics) have come a long way. I love using them inside as well – particularly the fabrics. BTW, I think Restoration Hardware does outdoor furniture so well.

    Gorgeous selections, Laurel.

    1. Hi Loi,

      I know… I found it on Etsy but it’s sold already. I think there are others if you wanna grab one. ;] Have to admit that I like RH outdoor furniture too. Indoor, not so much for the most part, but the outdoor is way cool.

      I’m limited with this program to what I can show but that’s a good thing sometimes! xoxo

  3. I know Evansville Indiana!!
    Had a 3-year stint in Louisville KY in the mid- 80’s and Evansville was in my sales territory…lovely place & lovely people but the time zone thing always messed me up! (For the uninitiated: Prior to 2006, any given Indiana town or county may– or may not–have observed daylight savings time.)

    Your old house looks like a wonderful Brady Bunch-esque place to have grown up in!

    As for the indoor/ outdoor furniture, I couldn’t agree more about its versatility–for people just starting out or parents of babies and toddlers, why not invest in something stylish and indestructible for your interior furniture that you can eventually re-purpose to your patio or balcony in the years to come?

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Yeah that time thing. We had it back in the 60’s too. Most of the state is on Eastern time, but since Evansville was part of a tri-state area that was all on central time, they decided to make it central but I seem to recall them going back and forth for a while. The same holds true for the northwestern cities of Gary and Hammond.

  4. Ah yes, the webbed chaise. We had one. For a family of five.. Others might have multiples of a crappy design. We had one. And one webbed chair. Laurel, you mentioned outdoor furniture used indoors. My Mother did this! In the late ’60’s we moved to a house that had a small room for the TV. We had no furniture for that room. My Mother bought a wrought iron settee with fabric and vinyl cushions (couldn’t afford an indoor loveseat). Way better than bringing that lousy webbed stuff inside and we didn’t have a carpet to sit on either. Only three people at a time max could watch TV.

    1. Hi Libby, It’s amazing how little we could get away with back then. One time, a few years ago, I went on consultation and the woman was bemoaning how insufficient her TWO mbr closets which were each at least 12 x 12. And outside of that was a very large dressing room, bigger than most bedrooms. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. lol That was not someone I could relate to at all!

  5. I so remember those webbed lawn chairs that would spontaneously close up on you! Nice selection of pretty outdoor furniture..sometimes too pretty not to be used inside!

  6. I might die … that double chaise with the little awning from Restoration Hardware?! So fabulous!

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Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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