Hooray! Our outdoor furniture has arrived… 4 days early!
In London, Mark and I had a tiny balcony (it was only a little larger than a Juliet balcony). When he bought the flat, he got a folding table & two chairs set. The space was so small, however, it was awkward to get to one of the chairs when the table was open. It also lacked any privacy, so we never used it, the set weathered, and was eventually disposed of.
Our balcony here in San Diego is far more spacious and useable. We lucked out, getting an extra-large space and we totally love it! It’s basically like having a second living room (which, considering our sofa is still being built and likely won’t arrive until late next week, is a very good thing!).
Having never had a real patio or balcony before, we didn’t anticipate furnishing it until everything else was done. However, last Friday, buying a tape measurer in Sears, I noticed the outdoor furniture was on sale. Another great part about living in a mild climate is the ability to buy end-of-season summer sale items, and use them right away. I liked two Sears sets, in particular. Standing in store, I quickly searched for them on Sears’ website to send to Mark, and found they were even cheaper (in one case by nearly $300!) online. The fantastic deal convinced us now was as good a time as any to furnish our outdoor space.
That evening, I brought Mark to see them in-store. Unfortunately neither was quite perfect. One was an all-weather wicker set (which we wanted), but a lighter color than we wanted. We also weren’t in love with the cushion pattern. The other set was the right color, but metallic rather than wicker. Before compromising what we really wanted just to get a great deal, we decided to do some more research online. We jumped on Target.com, sorted by ‘customer rating’ and bingo – found exactly what we were looking for! It was a nice, dark outdoor wicker with a neutral, no-pattern cushion set and had fantastic reviews. It was 50% off, and $100 cheaper than the preferred Sears set. Before ordering, I also searched for Target coupons. We didn’t find much, but did save an extra $5, which is better than nothing (especially considering the set was already marked down).
Estimated shipping was a week, putting the expected delivery date next Monday (27th). This was re-confirmed by the delivery company, which rang a few days ago to say it would be in their warehouse Friday (today) and delivered Monday. You can, therefore, imagine my surprise at answering the door yesterday to a gigantic box from Target! I double-checked the label on the outside – lo and behold, it was our patio furniture!
Obviously I stopped what I was doing immediately to assemble our new outdoor gear! It took a little longer than expected, with one bolt and 3 nuts per arm plus 2-4 more nuts to attach the seat and back… all to be done with a single open-end wrench. An hour and a half later, I was sitting outside in our comfy new patio loveseat, and it was all worthwhile! I was even more pleased with it when we enjoyed two hours outside, drinking Pimms with a friend last night, and again this morning eating our breakfast, drinking coffee and smelling the light summer rain. Thankfully the patio is covered, sheltering it from the rain and ensuring it won’t ever get too hot on sunny days.
The space is divided into two semi-triangles connected in the middle (like an uneven W). The triangle outside the living room is about 30% larger. We’ve put the furniture there; due to its size and location, it will likely get more entertaining and eating use. We’ll buy a smaller set (2 chairs and an accent table) for the other area, just outside our bedroom. We have romantic visions of sitting out there reading before bed. Considering we already have plenty of seating inside and out, we aren’t in any rush though.