If there’s one piece of advice I’d give when designing an outdoor space, it would pretty much be the same as my advice for an indoor living space: Don’t buy the set. But if you’re like me and already own several matching pieces, there’s still plenty of ways to mix and match outdoor furniture styles. I tweak my porch setup a little each Summer. Here’s my latest arrangement and a few tips for mixing things up.
We bought our dark patio furniture from Target (now discontinued) when my husband turned forty and let’s just say, fifty is coming quickly. It’s held up well (both him and the furniture) but I do love the lighter, more modern outdoor pieces I see everywhere now. However, patio furniture is expensive and ours is staying. So over the last several years, I’ve tried to add lighter accessories and accent pieces to keep it from all feeling too dark. And although it needs a fresh coat, I still think our green painted floors help the overall feel of the space.
This year, I added a real outdoor coffee table. It’s sturdy but lightweight enough that I can easily move it around by myself. I went with white since it’s smack in the middle of the dark seating. Another tip: break up your space with a lighter rug. This sisal/jute blend isn’t technically made for outdoors but works fine on our covered porch.
A dose of pattern is another great way to break up the monotony of a matching patio set. Instead of outdoor pillows, I ordered some very inexpensive covers from Amazon. I think any porch pillows get gross by the end of the season, so I’m going with the buy-cheap-toss-later approach. (I linked to similar ones since mine are no longer available.)
I’ve been using this same industrial console table on the porch for a while. It’s too sturdy to give up but I was over the style of it. I updated it by painting it a matte black. It looks so much cleaner–and the contrast is better against the brick. (See more of this little project here.) Painting is always a great last ditch experiment before you toss it.
I added more white this year with a small (foldable) bistro table. Occasionally, the kids will eat here or play games. The chairs are older from IKEA. Again, even in these same shade, I rarely buy a matching set of anything.
Finally, I added other color with a thrifted green lamp (also not outdoor, but inexpensive enough not to matter) and a pair of navy blue garden stools.
Want to see more? Here’s a 30-second tour of our Summer porch.