Saturday, May 12, 2012

Patio Picks..... what would you do?

This is the wooden outdoor
patio set 
(photo from last summer) 
we had purchased 
from a catalog seven years ago.
It has been great.... until now.

This year we will have to replace it.

It is completely rotting 
and falling apart in several places. 
I am so disappointed!  
They said it was weather-resistant. 

Did I not read the fine print? 
(Maybe Chicago winters are excluded?)

we are going to have 
to buy another set this summer.

The table is falling apart
and has been repaired twice, 
and now the chairs 
are falling apart.

The "X" on this chair completely fell out last week! Ugh!

So.... what would you buy
if you were me? Should I revisit
a wooden set, which I prefer....
or should I go for a metal/iron set
which might last longer

Let's see what's out there.

What would you purchase
for my patio if you were me?

Don't forget, it needs to coordinate with black Chippendale benches under the covered porch.

Here are some of 
my options.

Villano Outdoor Dining Collection
Aluminum set from Grandinroad

Kipling Dining by Summer Classics
Aluminium set from Frontgate

Metal Outdoor 7-Piece Staunton Dining Set With Slatted Top Table, 6 Chairs And Olefin Cushions
Metal set from Plow and Hearth

Smith & Hawken® San Rafael 4-Piece Metal Patio Arm Dining Chair Set - Mist.Opens in a new window
This is a Smith and Hawken set with tables to match.


What would you pick?
What do you suggest?

I am all ears.

Can't wait for the flowers to start blooming again!


Rebecca said...

Of the ones you've posted, I like the 3rd and the last really well. I would hate to be in your shoes :)

So many to choose from.

Your "old" ones were so very attractive. I can imagine you're sad to see them go - especially when you'd hoped for more longevity...

AntiqueChase said...

I am in California so our winters are very different than Chicago! Not sure I can give good advice there BUT I will tell you that I have had HORRIBLE luck with everything patio! My nice gorgeous umbrellas don't last, my teak wood looks crappy, my metals rust... I'm soooo over spending $$$ on patio stuff. I would rather buy inexpensive stuff and know I will need to replace it rather than invest and still be disappointed! So I will follow this post to see what others recommend!

Blondie's Journal said...

These are all so pretty, Alison...I can identify with the weather, of course! ;-D

I have learned that the glass tables blow over easily, especially with an umbrella. We bought a wood table and chairs from American Sales and then I ordered a really sturdy umbrella from Plow And Hearth. I've been really happy with the set. Good luck!


NanaDiana said...

I love wood, too, but we are in WI and it does not hold up-AT ALL! I really love the Frontgate set but I know it is pricey. I also LOVE that last set you posted. It has a romantic, yet sturdy, look to me. It will be fun to see what you decide on. xo Diana

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I love your current set, Alison! If you go with wood again, I would just realize it will probably have to be replaced again in however many years this one lasted you. I've had aluminum sets in the past with the webbing seats. It lasted probably about 7 years before the one rocker/swivel chair just broke {the webbing}. Plus the "powder coat" they put on them sometimes doesn't weather well. Ours was green and if you leaned against the edge of the table you wound up with green on you! Maybe the newer, better sets won't do that. And, of course, probably covering them in the winter would help. We didn't do that.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

I wish I had a big pretty patio outside. I am sure you will find just the right set.

Pamela Gordon said...

Alison, that is a shame that your beautiful wood patio set is falling apart. I think it's gorgeous and suits your patio really well. Of the photos you shared, I like the 1st aluminum one best. With aluminum you won't have to worry about rust. I would also store it for the winter. I wish I had your beautiful patio and furniture! :)

michele said...

i love that plow and hearth set. it has such a delicate elegance to it.

i have to be honest. the x part of our barstools in the kitchen has popped out a few times! i know they need to be relplaced, but i have teenagers in the house all the time! i'm terrible! i don't want them destroying the new!


I love the Frontgate and the last picture outdoor table and chairs, although, they're all great Alison! Patio furniture never lasts in Chicago, or spring weather, like here, or summer weather is the worst as they take to much of the outdoor feakle weather.
Happy Mom's Day.

Babs said...

Alison, it's too bad that your patio furniture hasn't held up well. It's so pretty. I haven't had any luck with wooden outdoor furniture here in GA. We've always had metal which holds up pretty well, except it tends to rust, but a spritz of spray paint works to take care of that.
Bottom line is, regardless of price, you probably will have to replace it in a few years if it's out in the open all year.
Good luck, looking forward to seeing what you choose.
Oh, I like the Grandinroad one. The Plow and Hearth one is nice, but it looks like you might not be able to use the chairs without a cushion. I learned that becayse the chairs on our old set were that way. If the cushions got wet and they were removed, the seat wasn't designed to be sat upon without the cushion..does that make sense?

Tartan Terrace said...

I think that I like the Smith and Hawken the best. It has a little of the Chippendale look and it's metal, which I know will hold up much longer than the wood. I have the old wrought-iron type of furniture that our parents had, and I love it. It will last forever, even under the hot Texas sun, if it's taken care of properly. Every few years my husband lightly sands any rusted areas and then re-paints it with matching Rust-Oleum spray paint. Doesn't take long and looks brand-new!

BTW, as some other readers have suggested, you could put those covers over the set during the winter. If you're like me, however, I like to be able to look out on my patio furniture during the dead of winter and be reminded that at some point we'll be able to enjoy eating al fresco in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future.

I still can't believe that you have an office!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Alison they are all so pretty but I really love that last one and it's such a great size too!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

We have metal, under a trees and works best on our deck. I think the Smith and Hawken set would match the best...which ever your patio is gorgeous!!

Linda in AZ * said...

*** Hi! I just finished putting together a wonderfully coordinated (if I SDO say so myself! Grins!) "new section" of our few patios" a few days ago... WE LUV IT, so I'd be glad to shareMY INPUT ON what I'VE learned/discovered, if it might help you in your decision- making!!!~~~

IMHO, of the choices you've shown, the SMITH & HAWKIN is t*h*e way to go, especially if you want a more cohesive look... ITS straigter lines marry up BEAUTIFULLY w/ YOUR fab black "COUCH" & CHAIRS, and is in GREAAAT, obviously in like-new & condition ( IS it new?) and that you're keeping. The X on the back works sooo well w/ it, too...Anything too "ornate" or curvy would be, I think, more like an "intrusion", rather than a new "member of your patio" family. Sharing/mixing-up those great pillows in strategic places, and adding a 3rd black & white pattern that "works" (and maybe even w/ a color piping (?) should really look WONDERFUL.

We had purchased four large, uber-fab & quite $$$ chairs that I just "H*A*D to have" when we moved into our new home over 7 years ago... adding another hunting dawg recedntly (to join our 9 year old sweetie), meant having just ONE CUSHION destroyed by those baby-teeth... ONE was bad enough, tho, as obviously we couldn't "just pick up a replacement", sooo went ahead & ordered new, even better made custom cushions w/ double piping... eeks, Q*U*I*T*E COSTLY, (& they look practically like the OTHERS we had!)... buuuut, we HAD used them for 7 years (not very much, tho), & the DESERT SUN here CAN be very hard on fabrics, even SUNBRELLA, which is OK because I'm loving the more WHITE/CREAMY COLORS on fabrics...(darker colors are "gone waaay too quickly, for sure!)!!!

OK, that's probably MORE Info than you want/need, but I KNOW how difficult SOME decisions can be ... (and I've learned, from personal experience, that it sure never hurts to hear what's gone on with someone else, if they can take the time to share that!)...

Sooooo, good luck & pleeease let me/us know what you decide!!!

Warmest wishes for a beauuutiful, happy & light-hearted summer!

Linda in AZ
(NOTE: I always love reading your FAB BLOG! So, THANKS for that, too!)...

Olive Cooper said...

Too bad that gorgeous wood set did not last. I pick outdoor furniture by the comfort factor here but you must also consider weather. I like the Smith and Hawken set the best.

Ron said...

I would choose the Frontgate one. I love it best. We purchased our from Frontgate at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta years ago with coordinating pillows, the set is over 7 years old and looks new. The quality is outstanding! It is a good investment. xoxo

Cindy said...

The aluminum set from Grandin Road (1st pic) seems to carry through/marry with the theme of your existing pieces the best. All those choices are great though.

I've had an aluminum set that I have repainted multiple times for 5 years in Kansas City (unprotected), 11 years in Springfield, MO on a screened porch, and 3 years in Oklahoma. It needs painting again but the style is pretty outdated, so I may get something new. Still like it though.

I do recommend the metal because it rarely falls apart.
Good luck!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Alison..I have the cast aluminum in all of my porches...They are from either Summer Classics (they have made furniture for Restoration Hardware, some for Frontgate, etc)...All of the patio furniture at the Biltmore House is Summer Classics...

My fav from Summer Classics was the spider back design but they have since discontinued that line..Paula Deen has or had it on her patio...One of my sets is under the pergola exposed to the elements 24/7...It has endured storms and snow...and is still like new and it has been there for 7 years....It is a tough decision as you have many gorgeous choices...

I so love the design from Frontgate..I will need to look at those further (for me!)..but do not know if they coordinate with your existing set.

You are a fabulous designer and I know that you will choose the perfect set!!!...Have fun!!

Patricia said...

As I learned the hard way, "weather resistant" is NOT "weather proof"! Wood does not stand up to our wet summers here in Miami!

As others have suggested, I recommend you purchase something you like and feels comfortable but you don't spend too much because you will have to replace it.

And as I should have said first, I love your blog!

michelle said...

Unfortunately, we had the same experience. Turns out furniture is like a is for a screened porch, etc., where it may occasionally get sprinkled on, but not exposed constantly. Weather-proof is what you want for true outdoor pieces. I think my vote is for Grandin Road!

Garden, Home and Party said...

I've been through a similar deal with patio furniture. One of my favorite sets was wood and just didn't hold up, and I live in Southern California! We've since bought a "Indonesian hardwood" set from Costco--I like the teak look once it grays. The table has held up and 2 years ago we purchased Kooboo wicker chairs to replace the "killer" chairs it came with. (when I say killer it's because they would collapse on you when you tried to scoot up to the table). I like the Frontgate chairs but wouldn't want a round table if it couldn't accommodate 6 people. I like the last image a lot. Comfort is critical for the chairs if you enjoy dining outdoors. Kingsley Bates makes amazing teak furniture and it's simply a matter if you want to buy a car or Kingsley Bates. :-)
I love the black furniture you have, darn shame it didn't hold up!

andrea@townandprairie said...

I have had the same patio set for almost ten years. It is black wrought iron and I love it. We wrap it with a tarp in the winter. The table top needs a little spray paint this year, but it is always rustic and goes with mix and match other pieces! I bought it at Menards on clearance. Wood furniture doesn't tend to last too long outside... not even adirondack chairs, which we have replaced once. The only thing wooden that really lasts for us is the picnic table! Some of those catalogues are really pricey. If you can afford it, I guess they are okay, but I myself would be leery of an investment like that for something that gets exposed to the elements so much. A screened in porch might be better for some fancy designs. Good luck on your search for the perfect patio!

Barb @ The Everyday Home (formerly Grits and Glamour) said...

We just went thru the same process. My budget was limited since we had just done a major home repair. Ugh But, we ended up getting a pub-height six seater in a style which looks like rattan/wicker and I love it!

It has cushions, which meant we needed to buy a "cushion keeper" bin. All I knew was I did NOT want anything glass top. We had that and that glass stayed filthy all the time. You have some great options. I just love your patio benches and furniture.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

We only buy Brown Jordan outdoor furniture. It is the best on the market, trust me.

Bonnie Schulte said...

DH and I live in WI. Have for the 48 years we have been married. We have had wood,not so nice after several years,stained it to last, but it looked crappy and started to splinter. Bought a BHG wrapped, fake plastic wicker, chairs and glass table top, for 1200.00 did not last 5 years. wicker started to come off, I tryed glueing it several times, using clamps to hold it..did not work. We still have our black wrought iron set, that we bought 20 years ago...It was out in the winter..still looks the same as when we bought it. Not as fancy, but a very good buy, and not expensive to start with. We would never buy a glass top table again, even tho it held up, it was a pain to store this set in the winter, and like I said, the fake (plastic wicker) was useless. Oh..and our wroght iron is what we kept. Looks good, no rust...just take the cushions inside before it rains, and of course in the brainer.. works for us. Good luck...

Patricia said...

I love your black wooden set, but I wouldn't risk it again.....I think the new iron sets look very nice - they've really improved on them over the past few years.
I think the last one looks lovely - sturdy and a good size too.

Bliss said...

Mine has rotted to the point two chairs are unusable. I've had metal, I've had cheap, I've had expensive, it all seems to go bad equally as quick. Here is a link to some recycled stuff that isn't suppose to rot, crack etc.. I don't like their tables, but the chairs I have seen.


Late Bloomers said...

I'm in a 'caned' stage.. I love caning... so that Cane set is it for me.

The thing I like abut metal is you can repaint it very easily if the finish goes south.


Anonymous said...

This is your favorite cousin. I won't say the name so you better know! I picked the first set. Luv you

Anonymous said...

This is your loving aunt from Pennsylvania. I also picked number one. Love you.

5th and State said...

hi allison

the only wood that goes on and on is the real teak

i have a grouping from kingsley bates and it is now 15+ years, here in illinois. they need to be stained not painted because paint traps moisture.

my vote is for the smith and hawkins it is a nod to your current bench and chairs, the ones with scrolls is too opposite. let us know what you do, your patio is stunning!

Dixie Delights said...

I loooove the Frontgate set! Your patio is just gorgeous. I'm sure whatever you choose will look perfect!

Sarah said...

Alison, we had wooden outdoor furniture before, but now have metal by Summer House. Have to say I like the metal. It's been a great investment. Good luck with your decision.

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

I like the Grandinroad set. It looks like it would blend well with the Chippendale. Your patio looks like a lovely space.

laxsupermom said...

It's not just you. Wood won't handle our winters either. I like those Frontgate chairs. Looking forward to see what you end up getting.