A very happy Monday, MNN readers, and welcome to the eighth installment of "The garden party," a product-centric weekly series geared towards all of you al fresco entertainers, patio partiers and backyard BBQ'ers out there. The emphasis, as you may have gathered, is on outdoor entertaining paraphernalia that boast one or more of the following eco-friendly attributes: a. handmade b. made from sustainable or recycled materials c. domestically manufactured or d. durable/made-to-last so in that they’ll be used not just this summer but for many more summers to come.
This week's installment is a crucial one as, unless you have an ample amount of well-manicured turf and a massive blanket, it's best to have somewhere for your tipsy, well-fed, and possibly exhausted (danced-out or possible suffering from badminton fatigue) party guests to rest their tushes for a spell. Below, you'll find a bevy of stylish and sustainable outdoor seating options (some are indoor/outdoor) worth investing in before your next backyard shindig. All are made from a host of eco-friendly materials including recycled milk jugs, sustainably forested hardwoods, and even salvaged wine barrels and sawdust. For the sake of getting people to leave when you want them to, I've skipped over reclining loungers and things like outdoor daybeds and hammocks.
And, yes, these options do indeed boast price tags that are decidedly higher than your run-of-the-mill white molded-plastic lawn chair. Yet with proper care, they'll last years upon years instead of a single season. Plus, you'll avoid that embarrassing — and potentially dangerous — moment when your potato salad-loving friend snaps a leg and falls backwards while seated in one of said cheapo plastic outdoor chairs (I'm speaking out of pure experience here as the potato-salad friend).
If you're working with a smaller budget, scouring flea markets and granny's garden shed for vintage lawn and patio furniture is always a good bet. These pieces may not always be in the best condition when you get 'em, but with a little DIY beautifcation they'll be as good as new. Also, Etsy seems to be the place to score my favorite variety of outdoor seating: those vintage folding aluminum lawn chairs with the multicolor nylon webbed backs. Whatever the case, now is the time to shop for outdoor furniture as many retailers are slashing prices to make way for fall inventory.
Wine Barrel Chairs @ Gaiam ($349/set of 2)
Antwerp Chair @ VivaTerra ($389)
FSC Certified Eucalyptus Outdoor Backless Bench @ Plow & Hearth ($199.95)
Wood-Slat Stackale Dining Chair @ West Elm ($126)
Tywyn Deck Chair with Fabric Sling and Pillow @ Gallant & Jones ($345)
Coco Chair by Loll Designs @ Loll Designs ($376)
Portable Bling Chair @ VivaTerra ($269)
Nautical Poly-Wood Highback Chair @ Clean Air Gardening ($279.99)
Broom Chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco @ Design Within Reach ($195)
Havana II Sectional @ CB2 ($149 - $349)
Ring Outdoor Chair by LaFuma @ A+R Store ($180)
Regatta Sofa with Sunbrella Cushions @ Crate & Barrel ($1,469)