Sunday, 22 April 2012

Update on balcony furniture

It's been a few weeks since I wrote about the balcony furniture I was considering buying for the red brick building.  I did take part of the plunge and bought two of the wood block rugs from West Elm in the lighter color. (They have since gone on sale - I guess they're going to discontinue them).

The runners shipped separately and West Elm accidentally sent me a completely random other item (from PB Kids!), so I had to call, point out the mistake and wait extra time to receive the second rug.  As it turns out, though, the wood block rugs are perfect.  The fit couldn't be better and they look really good.  Plus, they'll keep our bare feet from scalding on the black metal on sunny summer days.

I also ordered two Pottery Barn Seagrass Stools, which turned out to be surprisingly sturdy and comfortable to sit on.  (Sitting cross-legged on them actually works really well.)  They're a smidge big on the balcony, though, and I wasn't crazy about having to lean against the RBB instead of the back of a chair.   I debated whether or not to return them for a couple of weeks, rationalizing that if I could find a different chair that they would work with, they could be used as occasional tables next to the new chairs. 

Then I came across these chairs, I think in one of the online design magazines (sorry, I forget which - maybe High Gloss?):

The color was what grabbed me right away - it's very similar to our front door's color, though of course one can never be sure based on a photo.  When I checked their dimensions, it turns out they're really shallow, which is exactly what we need.  They're made in France, so I rationalized that they're probably have quality construction.  They also fold flat for storage.  Finally, the price was great.  I ordered, they came on Friday, and it turns out they they are really nicely made.  The seat is actually some kind of rubbery plastic so it's a bit cushy.  The color unfortunately is a bit darker and less pretty than our front door, but it's in the same family.  Finally, the fit on our narrow balcony couldn't be better.  I'm going to keep them, which unfortunately means I can't use the PB Seagrass stools as side tables because their "x" bases look weirdly repetitive beside those of the chairs.  It's okay because by now my husband has also fallen for the seagrass stools, so we're going to keep them as extra seating/end tables indoors and if we get tired of them, bring them to the beach house, where they'll be appropriate too.

I spent a few hours today trying to figure out how to finish off furnishing the balcony and here's what I came up with.  I started with the planters, which you'll remember I had wanted to be black iron urns.  I've looked at a lot of iron planters at various price points.  They're expensive!  But also, they're really heavy even when they're empty and I don't want to add more weight than necessary to the balcony.  I came across these fiberglass urns today at Terrain:

I have no idea what I'll think of them in person.  Maybe they'll look hideously fake and plastic-y, but I am going to give them a try.

Finally, I looked for end tables that would tie together the wrought iron railing, the wood block rug, the blue chairs and the fiberglass urns.  It's amazing how many fantastic garden stools/end tables are out there!  But I kept coming back to this one that I've been eying for years:

Then I bit the bullet and ordered.  They're a little pricey, so I only bought one.  I'm planning to place it in the center of the balcony, opposite the front door, so that's what you'll see when you look outside.  Then the chairs will go one on either side of the door, and the urns will go at either end of the balcony.  Here's hoping that everything looks good and that the proportions work.

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