Sharing the pool furniture moodboard with my selections
for our poolside seating area and patio
The main focus on improving our home this year has been on getting outside and enjoying our yard more, and we needed some pool furniture to do that. As I mentioned in our backyard intro/tour (video on IG here), until now we’ve barely used the pool deck as a lounge/hangout area because the kids were too little. It was very much a get in the pool and stay right next to the kids then towel off immediately after getting out and bathe before dinner situation.
Now that they’re older and have gotten some swim lessons under their belts and
we feel less terrified of them jumping or careening into the pool on a whim they have a better understanding of pool safety, we decided this was the year to get some real pool furniture. We’re just staycationing this year, too – our usual shore spots were all booked up early, and we didn’t want to venture from what we know too much with our youngest still not fully vaccinated just yet.
The goal was to create as much of a beckoning poolside as possible – very inviting and escapist. I drew inspiration from The Hamptons. You can read about and see a dirty secret in Hamptons outdoor decor in my inspiration post.
Here’s the final moodboard for our pool furniture and surprise patio.
The Pool Furniture Moodboard
The Chaise Decision
Feet up by the pool is my ideal way to spend time outside. Of course this doesn’t really happen with kids in the picture. But we realized that if we continued to have zero chaises, we would continue to have zero opportunities for those rare spare moments for relaxation. So the goal was >0 chaises. We measured it out and decided three to four chaises were feasible, depending on the measurements. This was by far the biggest decision in our decorating scheme.
I did a lot of research (as usual) on our furniture materials options.
I ruled out cast iron quickly even though I love the look of them, because I don’t want them next to our coping – it would lean too rustic mediterranean together. We were really close to going with a polywood chaise, but what really spoke to me when shopping were wooden chaises. I’ve seen a lot of polywood in person, and I don’t like the colors on a lot of it for next to our pool coping in particular. Woods tend to be orangey. There are pieces you can order from manufacturers in more realistic finishes and colors, but the profile of the furniture is not the same as the variety offered in wooden furniture. And, we all know about lead times for furniture as of late and we really wanted to get out and use the pool ASAP. We really wanted a tangible win for some relief from all the COVID stress of the last couple of years.
The options were either 1) waiting 12+ weeks for nice looking polywood chaises we couldn’t see anywhere locally that might not even be comfortable and then I’d be kicking myself for spending so much money
2) waiting 12+ weeks for teak chaises we couldn’t use until the end of summer and then I’d be kicking myself for spending so much money and not even being able to use them for another year
3) buying some ready-to-ship “teak finish” acacia chaises that could be here before Memorial Day for 1/3 – 1/2 as much money as options 1 and 2 and use them all summer.
Which would you choose?
Yeah, we went with option 3.
We had an acacia outdoor set in our first house, so we know it silvers similarly to teak. We’re okay with that. I wasn’t back then, but I should have done some research before impulse buying an uncomfortable cheap outdoor set. Lesson learned.
And, if we want the golden finish back, we can re-oil it.
Of course the comparative durability is a question at a much lower price point. We’ll just have to see how they hold up. Everything I’ve read says they’re durable for many years – just not as durable as teak.
We saved thousands of dollars going this route. Which made more possible. Bringing us to…
The Fire Table
With a new patio and no plan for it, we took a good month and a half to come up with a plan for what we wanted. We have outdoor dining on the covered porch, and we pull out more chairs and tables on the backyard for a crowd if we need to. We decided a lounge area would be good to have for evenings near the pool. I mentioned in my last post on the drainage patio we have a grouping of old all-weather wicker chairs that are still comfortable and in good enough shape to keep, but they haven’t really been given a proper landing spot, and two have been kept inside as a holdover for more indoor seating by our puzzle table most of the time.
After much debate (Adirondacks? loveseats? a sectional?) we decided to use those chairs, and see what options existed for a fire table. We found the one we ended up with at Costco and hemmed and hawed over it and whether it was worth it until the last day of the “special offer” on it – after which it disappeared from their site. Close call.
I was really torn about the side tables in particular, and whether to buy a more ornate, romantic sculptural piece. These plinths from Design Toscano (maker extraordinaire of resin replicas of pretty much everything) were my second pick:
I ended up going with a stone composite contemporary concrete-look table from Frontgate. The Toscano pieces were too small of a surface area to be useful for a plate or two, and I was nervous about going too froo-froo with the fringed umbrellas. I’d love to incorporate more concrete sculptures over time.
Speaking of umbrellas, we actually just replaced the canopies on our existing Target umbrellas – a further savings. I’m convinced the maker of our new canopies makes them for these Safavieh ones as well. We also have an umbrella frame from my parents that had a tattered old canopy that we’ve had sitting around as clutter that we got a canopy for.
The fringe was controversial. I picked these out as my first pick, to which my husband responded by physically recoiling and incredulously saying, “What are we, sultans?!?!”
So I spent a ton of time considering other options (but not white ones – see why at the end of this post) until I finally put together a mock-up of the pieces as I made choices, and as it came together the fringe was still the winner. My husband relented and understood when seeing the whole picture.
Now, I’ll have to make up a post with links to everything I ruled out.
Our first run for the pool was a Memorial Day gathering and we had some old people complaints among siblings and spouses (now that we’re in our thirties) that we needed more lumbar support on the chaises. So, I added that to the list of pillows needed, which already included cushions for the wicker chairs.
I considered an absurd amount of pillows before landing on using a design of mine that was drafted but not ready for production. I decided to finish it up and use it after not really falling in love with anything else except this Clarence House Tibetan Dragon that isn’t available in outdoor fabric. This must be trending, there’s officially knockoffs now on fabric.com/Amazon. There are a lot of interesting ones on Spoonflower too. I considered all of them before deciding I love the original too much to go for an alternative – plus I’m slightly biased against fabric knockoffs (that’s in reference to what’s on Amazon, the Spoonflower ones are largely original interpretations).
Alas, I think these pillows with the fringed umbrellas does take it to a gaudy place. Nevermind that I’d have to be insane or a kazillionaire to spend that kind of money on outdoor cushions that raccoons will crawl on.
If I’m still in love with it I’ll probably get some pillows for somewhere in the house.
Here’s a peek at the fabric. It was just an experimental sketch I did making up a trumpet flower that evolved into these painterly bouquets.
The pillows on the moodboard are rough mockups so the scale and color are off on those – the flowers are a mix of pinks and terracottas, and I used a soft sage green geometric leaf between the flower groupings.
It’s printed on a recycled fabric with a subtle basketweave texture.
Here are links to find what we bought or something similar, with an asterisk indicating where we bought them.
Fabric: Original design
Side Tables: *Corbyn Accent Stool
All-Weather Wicker Chairs (Old Target Deal)
Outdoor Misting Fan: *Amazon
Umbrella Canopies: *Amazon
Rolling Umbrella Stand: *Amazon
Accents & Materials
Full-Color Bluestone Patio
Ceramic Terracotta Pool Coping
Black Grid Lanterns (existing on our home – I will keep an eye out but cannot find anything like them so far except cheap flimsy ones that don’t look durable)