Renovation & Design

Stacking the deck against style

Woven, wood or aluminum chairs a nice switch from PVC

QUESTION: We are considering replacing our outdoor, white, plastic stacking chairs. Hey, we needed something to sit on! Our four-year-old has no problem pushing one across the backyard, they're so easy to move around. I've noticed patio furniture going on sale now. Our house is a no-style, semi-detached with a modern wood front porch and back deck. We're not the most stylin' people, but we'd like to dine better.

ANSWER: If you're talking about upright, white, plastic stacking chairs with slats and a rounded back that cost less than a pack of gum, yes, you do need to replace them. They're another item on my list that I'd like to inform the decorating police about. They cheapen the look of every house and condo balcony; plus they're uncomfortable and will make your legs so sweaty in the summer that the lightweight chair ends up sticking to you when you stand up. Ouch!

There are so many fantastic-looking chairs on the market right now. If you're going for something cheap and cheerful, wovens look more luxe in darker colours, such as slate grey and dark brown while pine chairs look best painted.

Good-quality outdoor furniture, on the other hand, can sometimes do more for a backyard than landscaping. And, the good stuff won't rust and collapse on you like a 1970s swing set.

Some things to keep in mind: stacking chairs can be stashed in a condo locker or a garage in the winter. Wovens and wood furniture will give your home a relaxed vibe, but you'll likely need a place to store them during the winter. From a style perspective, larger woven chairs are my top choice for larger backyards because I love Hamptons style.

I think colourful modern furniture works best with modern exteriors, though I did see a bright pink uber-mod Acapulco chair in front of a Tudor-style home. The unexpected pairing broadcast that "totally kitch and cool people live here."

Happy and comfy dining!


-- Postmedia Network Inc. 2014



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