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Outdoor Design Poll!

I keep going back and forth on what kind of furniture I want out by the pool. I have loungers already (they're these all-weather wicker beauties) and can't decide if I want an actual dining set or sofa/sectional/deep seating. The plans are to build an outdoor kitchen, which will have a bar area with stools. Now, things to consider: wet butts, older parents visiting, parties where we stay out late in the night gabbing.

I prefer:

dining tables - you can lean forward, set stuff on it, have centerpieces
sectionals - they're sleek, modern, and you can get a lot of butts on them
chair/sofa sets - you can move things around to suit your needs, people can have their space
bean bags! BEAN BAGS FOR EVERYONE. It traps the elderly and amuses the young.


No cushions at poolside, gross! Sling all the way, baby.
Cushions are fine, they're Sunbrella. Plus, tush cush!
METAL SPIKES. Remember how you like to be alone? Think of it as insurance.

Where was teak? Or metal that is not a spike?

Ah, did you forget I live in Texas?
And did you not realize that wood needs constant care in those temps?
And metal will sear the flesh off your body?
Have you hung your head in shame yet?

The thing is, I need seating for at least 7 (my family + in laws, who visit a lot.) It will be under a large shade structure as well. My only concern with a sectional is that it would block off flow from the back door out to the rest of the area, because of where the space is.

Measurements I failed to add: 16 feet across, 14 feet deep will be the "under shade structure" space.

Things to note: the shade structure is a pergola, but the wooden slats will be very close together with a narrow gap in between each piece (will run left to right, and be very similar to THIS) and the placement of the sectional - if that's what we go with - would make an L on the right side of the posts. Up and down, and then along the house at the bottom, just like the letter L.

Thoughts? *chinfists*


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
seared flesh. Can.Not.Wait.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
NO SEARED FLESH! I'm very decidedly against seared flesh of humans!

...for now.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
You're no fun, Stoney. You know, I hear it smells a bit like popcorn...

Everyone loves the smell of popcorn...
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
It smells like chicken! TASTES LIKE HEAVEN.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm. are you sure about that? :D

Here's an idea for you. You want the cushy for your tushy goodness of an awesome sectional and you also want your guests to be able to eat... have you considered having some Bamboo Lap Trays available so that you can be comfy and still have a lovely yet casual eating surface.

Pier 1 has them: http://www.pier1.com/Catalog/Dining/tabid/493/List/0/CategoryID/893/level/a/ProductID/1571/ProductName/Natural-Bamboo-Trayuu/Default.aspx
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
Lovely idea, but to me, that's the same as balancing a plate in your lap. *shrug* Don't forget the bar, which will have stools, too! Would that + dining table be too much?

Mar. 24th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
ACTUALLY after the tanning salon sometimes I smell like bacons.
Mar. 24th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
Are you trying to tell me you're a pig? YOU ARE BLOWING MY MIND, HOW ARE YOUR HOOVES SO DEXTEROUS?
Mar. 24th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)

no, I just think the historical "long pork" references are prolly pretty accurate.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
I like options. A table for people to sit at and a loungy area for..well even more lounging.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
We BBQ a lot so I think it might be the best option. But! Waaaah. Sleek sectionals are so sleek! Can't decide. :(
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
Maybe you can find a compromise in the patio furniture world. So BBQ would require a nice place to stick your plate right?
What about fancy trays that you can put away when it's you and fam? Thus not cluttering up your completely sleek and sexy pool. Hmmm.
I admit I just really like living vicariously through your backyard luxury until I get one of my own. ha!

In my dreams I have a roman-esque set up with a bit of Morocco fit in. *sigh*
No vomitoriums however.

Edited at 2011-03-24 03:49 pm (UTC)
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
We usually have the neighbors over for BBQ (or the kids' friends - we're that house that always has people coming in and out) so that was a driving force in having the raised bar area be oval - more bodies can get around it. plus, it's a great place to rest your margarita when you run off to do a cannonball. :)

Because the bar will have stools, I think that might be enough table/dining area and have something different under the shade structure, that way I have lounge, bar/table, and sofa-type areas.


I agree with the anti-vomitorium standard. They're totally out this season.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
I agree with the anti-vomitorium standard. They're totally out this season.

Well, we're never getting into the Junior League now.

I love the bar area being oval. And because pictures are helpful, here is an example of the shade area I want someday. Maybe not as large, but certainly similar.


p.s. I'm stalking you on twitter under the guise zahtie ;-)

Mar. 24th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, hello! I wondered who that was! ;)

And that picture is awesome. I love that gypsy look. it's not going to work at my place, but I would come over and visit that any time you'd let me hop the fence. Hee.
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
Mar. 25th, 2011 01:04 pm (UTC)
Mar. 25th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Damn, woman you are evil. But it is an evil I approve of and would willingly serve cocktails too. Now if we can get an offer on the property we are looking at, I can move in and REGRADE like a mo'fo. *insert manic laughter here*

Mar. 24th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
If the bar area has stools, do you really need a big table, too? I'd go sectionals with low tables for resting drinks and plates on. Stylish and arrange-able!
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU. See, I'm thinking that, too! I love the low tables/conversation table with sectional look so, so much. Versatile, too.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
I was for wood, because that's what my family had and my dad bought this old, but destroyed table and fitted it with new legs and painted the top in a bright orange and bought a green umbrella which opened up with a crank.

What I am saying is: as long as it's not something you found in junkyard, it should be good, because the most important part of a pool party is the weather, not the surroundings. And the rose-tinted glasses of childhood. Or as the Spanish call it down here: cerveza.
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
Wood here gets destroyed. We have 40+ C days for months, no humidity, and high winds. It just splinters wood if you don't constantly keep up with it, and I would just rather have something that was made to last and not be treated all the time.

But in that built in kitchen will be a beer keg. :)
Mar. 24th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
I know you weren't serious but.. BEAN BAGS! You know they make grown up beanbags now? http://www.lovesac.com/
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
Man, LJ has been a dill hole.

I saw some AWESOME bean bag chairs and ottomans at CB2, and if they hadn't been red, I would have been all over them.
Mar. 24th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Older parents will mean in the future, if not now, that getting up from low-level seating is an issue - so is balancing plates on knees and suchlike. The possibility of a chair or two at an actual table might be welcome to them.

OTOH, don't design everything round possibly slightly frail guests. There's always a way round it.

Comfort. Whatever you choose, comfort FTW.
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't have anything low level, I think chairs tend to be fairly standard, esp. the designs I favor, so that's not an issue. My main thought is for our friends hanging out for long periods of time. We tend to have dinner parties/pool parties that go on for more than 6 hours, so I'm wanting something very comfy. :)
Mar. 24th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
YOU WANT SECTIONALS, STONEY! The choice has been made. *cue thunder*

I don't think you should have furniture. I think you should make your guests dive into the pool and then throw bbq sausages and bits of steak into their mouths as they flop about and clap their hands. You're so pedestrian.
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
(I totally want a sectional, too. They're SO SLEEK.)

Oooh, buckets of fish/steak bites would be much easier than setting a table, too. You're so clever. I'll have a ball for you to balance on when you get here.
Mar. 24th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
I'm assuming by sectionals you mean just having couchy things scattered around. Which are awesome but...my mom already has trouble getting up from her hard-as-a-rock and not-that-low couch - she won't even sit on my comfy couch, it's too squishy for her. And she's 77 and in pretty good shape.

But i hate being somewhere for hours, talking, when I can't curl my legs up and lean my head back and just *relax* as we talk.....

Bar + stools are nice but bar stools are sometimes hard to climb up onto if they're tall, and some are decidedly uncomfy.

Perhaps a smaller table and chairs for those that dislike eating off their knees, and couchy comfort for the rest?

Or perhaps something like this, which gives you a bit of both. But, ah ha, not at that price, sheesh.
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
This is what I have in mind for a sectional, either that curved one, or one that's rectilinear.

(And the link you sent me was to an indoor leather/wood coffee table with stools?)
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
Ah, nice. I like the curved one, if only because more people can see more people and conversation doesn't get broken up into little chunks.

And yes - basically, a coffee table with ottomans underneath. Not, of course, *that* one, which is impractical, but if you wanted to go for slightly less sectional seating, a coffee table like that gives you places to sit that can be moved around *and* a place to put your plate/glass.

Sort of a dining table in spirit but not in form, and not so formal. I like extra seating that's not bulky chairs *and* a place to put your feet. I don't think i've sat on a couch with my feet on the floor in years.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 25th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
OK! But what are the removable cushions attached to? ;)
Mar. 25th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC)
I personally like a proper table and chair, or at least a picnicky table and benches, but this never looks as good as casual retro sectional pieces which are brilliant in easy care plastic, are more flexible, work better with cushions and can be wittily mix/matched with ease.
Mar. 25th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
I think that when the bar is finished, that will satisfy the table/chair needs (like for kids eating hot dogs and chips. SIT DOWN TO DO THAT, KIDS.) Hee. Sectional/sofa I believe it will be! Now to find the right one...
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 25th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't you sit on these forever?! Bean bag sectional, if only it was a vivid blue, I don't do red outside (it's hot enough without extra visual cues.)

I'm thinking sofa/chairs for sure - when the bar is finished, we'll have comfy weather-proof stools for people to sit on so they won't squishify my cushions.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 25th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
I'm leaning towards either the sectional or the sofa + chairs with a coffee table in front. Tables are a must, agreed!
( 38 comments — Leave a comment )


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