Patio Dining Inspiration

Oddly enough, in all the years we have been married and those same years that we have been homeowners, we have never owned a patio dining set.

Lots of inexpensive sets are available at chain retailers everywhere, but I could never commit to a set.

Since discovering blogging, I have been encouraged so often by fellow bloggers and I am better understanding my style preferences. I am learning what I like, why I like certain things, and what works for us as a family.

 As I continue to plan our outdoor spaces, I have realized that the traditional patio tables with all their matching pieces (at least the ones in our price range) have never really appealed to me. The outdoor dining table and chairs that I dream of are indoor furniture pieces used outdoors or mismatched wood, wicker and iron items. Farmhouse tables, hand made plank tables, mismatched painted chairs and worn wood and paint finishes.

I am learning that I prefer a collected over time look. I also like weathered or painted wood. I'm not a big fan of factory finished vinyl coatings. For me. I think matching aluminum or vinyl sets work great for so many people, but I just can not commit to it. I just wish I had realized this before I made the quick decision last year to buy our sectional sofa for our gazebo (photo below.)

Have you been there? Great price, last one in the store, calling hubby on the cell to bring the truck while the kids claim the box? It's nice, I do like it, but I don't love it. Too modern for me. I've got a bit too much "country girl" or "junk gypsy" in me to really be satisfied with it. So, I'm going to try and sell it on Kijiji. We used it for one month and stored it indoors all winter and if I can get close to what I paid I'll part with it. If not, I'll have to make it work.

Ah, but if I do sell it, I'll be using my beloved Muskoka/Adirondack chairs for seating. At least four and with lots of pretty pillows. Reclining at its best.

For the dining table and chairs I will be using these photos from Country Living for inspiration.
Our current metal gazebo will hopefully one day be replaced with a wood pergola. Big chunky posts framing our patio. Filtered sunlight. Solid and sturdy. So my plan is to try and sell the sectional and hit the yard sales for inexpensive mismatched chairs, an old farmhouse table and unusual buckets for plants. Here's hoping!

edited to add: we sold the sectional, and for more than we paid for it because we got it at such a deep discount. We found the farmtable and are searching now for metal chairs in our budget.


  1. Elizabeth, if you don't sell it how about breaking it up into separate seating groups. Cover the cushions with different fabrics to get that mix and match look you like.

  2. Wonderful post.
    (Yes. I have been there!) Good luck selling your furniture. I'm doing a lot of that myself.


  3. Elizabeth I love your sectional but I can relate to wanting a more country "accumulated over time" look too! I'm going through the same thing right now with our patio. I think I'm going to do away with a table completely since our patio is fairly small and just have some seating and end tables out there instead. I love all of your inspiration photos and I know that whatever you end up doing, it will be lovely!

    Kat :)

  4. Your sectional is great and I always love how they look in other peoples gardens. My sister has one and has made it breath taking by adding funky end tables and made a larger table out of pallets...really brought in the country charm. I do love the farmhouse tables with unmatched chairs... look forward to an update to see what you end up with...

  5. Thanks for the comments! Keep them coming! I just wanted to add that your great comments have me thinking. The wheels are turning and I'm in search of inspiration photos right now (I like visuals to keep me on track.)Keep the sectional but still look for the farmhouse table and chairs, and use the Muskoka chairs on the grass. I'll try to mix it all up a bit. That should work with our newer home too.

  6. Elizabeth, I think the sectional is great, and love everybody's ideas for it - even with some great throw pillows added, you might like it better. Love all of your inspiration pictures. laurie

  7. Those are such good insights. We need outdoor furniture, too. I like your "junk gypsy" self-description :).

  8. I'm just borrowing that self-description, I definitely didn't coin the the name :)

    Yes, and lack of pillows is probably a big part of not being happy with the sectional. I've got the fabric now, time to sew!

  9. We have been wanting to get deck furniture too but just haven't been able to find something we liked. Maybe someday, patience is a good thing! :-)

  10. I LOVE your sectional!
    Ship it to me here in South Carolina.
    I think, with the addition of some spring green accents/pillows and your Muskoka chairs, it WOULD look like a page from Country Living!
    Blessings while you dream!

  11. Oh, yes, I can relate. I've bought things that I don't love. How about selling on Craig's List? Or I'll take it for our backyard. LOL. Fun post!

  12. Elizabeth -

    I too prefer mismatched old worn pieces. We have a patio made out of flagstone that was dug up in our yard when they were doing some construction. I also have a pergola covered in wisteria and trumpet vines. The hummingbirds love it. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer much in shade. Thank you for the inspirational photos. I think your plans are wonderful! Looking forward to your progress, my friend.


  13. I caught this conversation late. I'm looking forward to watching you transform the sectional to your liking. Happy decorating!


  14. I prefer the old, mismatched look also, but I think it's a good decision to keep the sectional and just accessorize it ... there is tons of seating and if you change the coffee table to maybe a wooden bench and put some faded fabric pillows on the seats, you'll get your look with what you have.


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