Outdoor furniture stylish enough to come inside

  • By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013 5:24pm
  • LifeMukilteo

Jeff Barth has a house that could be in a home design magazine.

It’s sleek and modern with humongous windows, a grand piano, white cowhide rug and no clutter.

So when it came time to buy chairs for the kitchen, only the best would do.

The best plastic, that is.

He bought four outdoor chairs that came complete with little holes for drainage.

“There’s a nice design to it,” he said. “It is very well thought out. People sit in them, and they can be there forever. It’s extremely comfortable.”

The cream armchairs are by Philippe Starck, a French designer with a clean, minimalist look. The round metal-and-glass kitchen table is from Ikea.

The plastic chairs provide extra seating for holiday celebrations around the formal wooden dining table in the great room of his Mukilteo home of 12 years. He discovered Starck’s streamlined stylized products when he lived in Seattle.

Many people are finding a place inside for outside furniture.

That cute garden bench might be cuter in the foyer than in the yard.

A wicker ottoman fits with many fabrics and feet.

Those colorful mosaic accent tables at Pier 1 Imports or T.J.Maxx serve as drink tables in family rooms. No coasters necessary.

Barth uses small Starck plastic stools as side tables in the TV room and a Starck tooth-shaped stool in the foyer for putting on shoes.

There are perks to using outdoor furniture indoors.

It’s affordable. Manufacturers know that many people won’t pay as much for furniture for the deck as they will for the den.

It’s durable. Outdoor furniture is often virtually indestructible. It’s made to withstand the elements. Kids and pets can jump and claw away on it.

It’s fun. There’s a vacation or cottage feel.

It’s functional. If you get tired of it, you can always take it outside for good.

Or, you can do what Barth does, move it outside as needed.

“If the neighbors pop over we haul the chairs outside,” Barth said.

Of course, it works both ways. You can repurpose indoor furniture for outside.

A cot covered with pillows becomes a settee. A daybed makes a nifty porch swing. Instead of hauling that scratched-up coffee table to the curb for big trash day, brush on some weather resistant paint and use it as a bench for plants. Reupholster cushions with water-repellent material.

Kick up your heels and enjoy the great indoors outside.

Or vice versa.

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com

More in Life

Co-owner Jason Parzyk carries two growlers to fill as he serves up beer at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. The first brewery in the city is celebrating one-year anniversary this weekend. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Now is the perfect time to design the garden of your dreams

Find inspiration in gardening magazines, on the internet, in your neighborhood and at nurseries.

Around Thanksgiving, gardeners give thanks for the garden

What are they most thankful for? The pleasure they receive from spending time in their yards.

Great Plant Pick: Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’

What: An exceptional selection of the eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis “Degroot’s Spire”… Continue reading

Our annual list of holiday events in Snohomish County and beyond

LIGHTS The Lights of Christmas: Open 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec.… Continue reading

AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64

The older brother of bandmate Angus Young was the group’s key writer and leader.

Garden clubs in Snohomish, Island counties

Alderwood Garden Club: Cedar Valley Grange Hall, 20526 52nd Ave. W., Lynnwood;… Continue reading

Home and Garden calendar for Snohomish County and beyond

Printing workshop: with artist and naturalist April Richardson, 1 to 3 p.m.… Continue reading

Legendary bluesman Curtis Salgado to play Arlington show

The Northwest blues-soul-funk-R&B living legend performs with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons Nov. 18.

Most Read