Backyard Furniture on a Budget

It’s a little distressing when you realize after essentially furnishing an entire house that you’re not done and you actually need to furnish an entire outdoor space as well.  Super annoying.

Anyway, this is the year that I am determined that I will maintain my sanity while trapped in my house by creating a backyard oasis in which to sit around in while my kids throw rocks at each other or whatever.  But I need to do it as cheaply as possible because this is also the Year of Austerity and so here is what I have worked out so far:

We already own a lovely dining table from IKEA:

but we only have two chairs for it. I am still trying to decide whether I want to buy two more of these chairs

and maybe a bench, which would cost $200.

Or I could just buy four of these cute yellow metal chairs for $100, and then I could also buy a storage bench for my $200.

I am leaning towards the yellow chairs because they will work better for entertaining. Opinions?

The storage bench would be to keep dog food in. I am well aware that a $70 dog food storage bench is ridiculous, but the crappy plastic dog food container just makes me sad.

I have an umbrella that I bought last year from Raley’s and I should have just purchased the matching base because the one I bought from Home Depot was an absolute piece of crap, so this year I need a new base for it.  I have considered making a holder for it out of a large pot, but that sounds sort of annoying and time consuming and expensive.

I also have decided that when you have a big backyard and you spend lots of time in it, you need dining furniture AND you need lounging furniture. I looked at a lot of sets last year and this one from OSH was actually my favorite and didn’t make me want to stab myself in the eye over paying $2500 for plastic outdoor furniture. I’m waiting for weather warm enough to use it and then I am snapping it up.

We have two adirondack chairs in the backyard and we’re always moving them around, but really, we just need two more. I’m going to buy two unfinished ones from Home Depot and paint them myself because I already have the paint and this way they are only $100 total.  We need the two we have in the backyard because we use them all the the time and they look great where they are, but I also love having the two red ones in the front yard and so that’s where these new ones will go.

I also need a potting bench and a composter.  It’s ridiculous that we do as much gardening as we do and we don’t have either one of these things.  I am pretty sure someone I know is going to get both of these for Father’s Day.  I know you can get or make composters cheaper than this but we need an enclosed one because of rats and our stupid dog and Mr. E wants a spinning one, so there you go.  And I love that the potting bench is foldable.

We have a large side yard which we never use for anything. It’s ridiculous and I might still change my mind but I love the idea of putting two of these string chairs in it. I think they would look so good. It’s possible we will never ever use them, except that every Friday night ish in the summer we hold happy hour for the neighborhood in our driveway, so the more chairs we have around that we can grab, the better.   If I find something cheaper at IKEA or at a garage sale, I will do that, but I almost never find patio furniture at garage sales and I like that these are foldable. Buying all this furniture but not wanting it to be out all year round in the winter to get ruined starts to get problematic because you need a spot to keep it, so some of it being foldable is nice.

Speaking of which, I am dying to buy this collapsible table from West Elm for happy hour. It’s SO pretty, and while I am sure I could DIY something similar, nothing I can come up with has the shazam! that this table has, with that red and the wood legs and the shiny top.  However, a $200 ish collapsible table is not in the budget for now, so I shall continue to dream about this lovely thing from afar.

Maybe I will give up on the string chairs and buy the collapsible table, but I do really love those string chairs. Hmmm. Opinions?

I would also love to have a giant lounger that I could drag into the sun so I could nap on it, but I think I just ran out of room for lawn furniture.  We’ll see.

And I would love to string some cafe lights around somewhere but a surfeit of electrical outlets is not something I have been blessed with in this house so this too remains a pipe dream.  Someday.  Someday.

Anyway, this puts my budget for summer furniture at:

$100 for dining chairs

$70 for ridiculous dog food storage

$25 for an umbrella base

$350 for lounge furniture

$100 for adirondack chairs (but I will be using a gift card for these)

$150 for a composter

$120 for a potting table

$120 for string chairs

Which brings us to a grand total of:

$1040 dollars, which I think is totally a super deal for almost an entire back and front and side yard’s worth of furniture.  Want to come hang out in my backyard? You’re totally invited. Bring your blender, though, mine’s broken.





11 Responses

  1. Solar powered outdoor lights? I’m getting some for my son’s clubhouse this summer. And maybe a strand or two for the grownup section of the yard.

  2. I love that set from OSH! Also, for umbrella bases check out Overstock. Cheap shipping too

  3. So jealous about the neighborhood happy hour thing. That is exactly what I want out of life and a having a hard time finding it.

  4. I don’t have a blender either! Mine broke in October and we have yet to replace it AND I MISS IT!!!!!!!! But I also have no patio furniture. I’m thinking I’ll buy a blender, you buy the patio furniture and we will meet in the middle!

    Happy Hour, yo! When does this start again? Is it spring yet? I’m sooo ready!

    • As soon as it gets warm enough that I don’t have to clean my house, it’s on. Because my main goal in life is never to have to clean my house. And to drink margaritas. I will let you know!

  5. What, NO HAMMOCK? Am I NOT INVITED or something??! 🙂

    • the hammock broke and we still have it shoved in the corner of the yard in pieces. the whole frame rusted through! But after Turf Wars we had no room for the stupid thing anyway. You are always invited, though. 🙂

  6. I think you can totally justify a $70 dog food container because it can serve as extra seating…probably for little people, but still. I can so picture your kids sitting there eating popsicles while you lounge in your new loungy furniture 🙂

    • I was thinking along the same lines–maybe toss a pair of outdoor pillows on top of the bench (if it’s strong enough to hold a person or two, obviously), and you’ve gained a place to stash dog food AND two extra seats. Win-win!

  7. You have a dog? I had no idea you have a dog!

  8. You should check Michales for the unfinished Adirondack chairs. I am pretty sure I have seen them there. They might be cheaper and if you sign up for their mailing list, you can usually get a 20% off coupon! Sounds like your backyard is going to be “the place to be” this Spring!

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