One thing I have come to realize over the years is that outdoor patio furniture, namely the pads, has a very short half-life. If you keep your pads outdoors year-round like we do (partially out of laziness, and the other part due to lack of storage space), you probably noticed that two years is the max that the pads will keep in good shape. The fabric takes a beating from the sun, and over time may start to fray and definitely lose its color. Cost to replace? Expensive!! New pads can be as high as $80-$100/piece (sometimes even higher if it's for wicker furniture). Also, replacement pads may not always fit your furniture the way the originals do. Suggestion: Re-Cover!!
What I did this year instead of throwing out the pads was to recover. It was a quarter of the cost, and I had fun sewing and picking out fabric. When you buy replacement pads, you are stuck with their choice of fabric and not your own. I was lucky enough to take a sewing class in 7th grade and have a Mom who loves to sew. She's given me great tips over the years. Even if you don’t sew, you can pick out fabric and take it to an upholsterer to re-cover. Or, there is a way to cover pads without a machine. .. Velcro and hem tape works wonders!
If you decide to re-cover the pads, a couple of tips: get outdoor fabric only! If you buy indoor fabric, the fabric will fade in just days in direct sun. Trust me, I learned the hard way. Also, if you go to Joann’s Fabrics download their app and get the 40- or 50%-off coupons that loads onto the app. I recommend going to Home Fabrics’, as their fabrics are really cheap compared to some of the other fabric stores available.
Back to the project…I picked a color and theme to decorate the area with. In this case I picked blue, and fish & butterflies. I wanted something that would look good next to our pool, and blue is a color that always looks great next to a swimming pool. It gives that resort feel.
The store I am really drawn to right now is Pier 1 Imports. I got the rug at Tuesday Morning and the iron corner shelf at Ross, but most of the other items for this project were purchased at Pier 1. It's a store that can be overwhelming because there are so many lovely things, and you can get easily distracted!! The items I got at Pier 1 are: the vase, the seashell candle (battery operated), the serving tray, the butterfly frame, the mosaic picture frame, and the color lanterns that I hooked up inside the umbrella.
I scattered blue-broken glass and seashells around the base of the vase for a cool effect. Inside the vase I poured in some sand and some seashells. I then put in the candle which I can turn on and off whenever I am outside at night.
I know it seems unusual to have picture frames outside, but I keep the pictures in the shade so that the colors will not fade right away. By the time they do fade, I can just re-print new pictures with photo paper on my printer and replace. Everyone likes looking at pictures, so why not enjoy them outside?? Once winter rolls around, I will take them inside.
I really enjoyed putting this seating area together, but what I enjoy even more is relaxing out there with the family and dog!