11 June 2010

Garden Furniture Invited Indoors

My blog got its name partly from the fact that I am a habitual re-arranger of furniture. In college, I moved my bed to a new wall of my room with each of the season changes. A different apartment for each year of study made for plenty of heavy lifting. When I bought a house five years ago, I experimented with every design configuration possible. My dining room and living room switched places and never lamented their former addresses. My loft master bedroom became an office/studio while the smallest bedroom in the house became my cozy sleeping quarters. Placing a daybed in the kitchen turned a cooking space into a year-round haven thanks to the constant sunshine that poured through a wall of windows. Moving the furniture is a way of rediscovering a space--the equivalent of shopping in your own closet. It's a way of reinventing pieces and broadening their purpose. I'm a big supporter of using pieces in unexpected ways. A pair of aqua French doors that now stands in my shop at The Milkhouse has functioned as a headboard and a desk at one time or another.

In this vein, I see no distinction between indoor and outdoor furniture. I love seeing rusty chairs in a dining room or a concrete bird bath being used as a coffee table. A graying cedar potting bench could easily be made into a bathroom vanity and a wooden ladder can be used to hang towels, magazines or shoes. The dining room table in my house of experimentation (now someone else's cherished abode) was flanked by aqua plastic chairs from Ikea and a pair of vintage metal chairs that had probably done time in an outdoor bistro. The following are a few examples of garden furniture and outdoor elements given the indoor treatment to great effect.

A chippy picnic bench and folding chair make friends with a giant industrial spool table. 

Folding chairs join a farmhouse table in a modern kitchen.

Galvanized metal chairs are paired with a simple workbench in a home office. good
 view isn't necessary in a space this inspiring.

This living room is full of outdoor elements: wire furniture, a vintage metal chair painted aqua, 
birdcages and a porcelain pedestal.

Bamboo chairs and a wicker table. All that's needed is a pitcher of iced tea and good company.

A porch swing and duvet.

Images: Old & New by Katherine Sorrell, Ryland Peters & Small 2007. Apartment: Stylish Solutions for Apartment Living by Alan Powers, photography by Chris Everard, Ryland Peters & Small 2001. The Comforts of Home by Caroline Clifton-Mogg, Ryland Peters & Small 2010. Fresh Home Magazine, Spring 2010 issue. Inside Out Magazine, May/June 2008 issue. Country Living Magazine, photography by David Butler.

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