FIVE ELEMENTS OF A FLEA-MARKET PATIO
Whether you have a massive backyard or a tiny apartment patio, combine these vintage finds to create a cozy dining area.
Whether you have a huge backyard or a tiny patio, combining these easy finds will create a cozy outdoor dining area.
• A STURDY TABLE. The focal point of any dining area is the table, and an outdoor patio is no exception. Your table will help determine the style and feel of the space, so get this piece first. If you’re budgeting for your patio, spend the most money here. Before you shop, determine how many people will comfortably fit in the space; then search the flea market for a table that will fit the bill.
• THE RIGHT SEATS. Seating comes next. Once you have your table, decide whether you want the seats to fit the same style or create variety. Also consider space. If your patio is cramped, you don’t want bulky chairs—stools might be best. You might even be able to get them for free—these wood stools were cut from an old ceiling beam.
• LIGHTS. Besides the practicality of lighting, lights will help set the mood. If you want to go all vintage, find a few old lanterns—you could even convert kerosene lanterns to hold candles. If you can’t hang the lanterns, stand them on the ground along the edge of your space. If you do have a roof or cover, you could also look for strings of lights, which would provide more light and a modern look.
• RECOVERED PILLOWS. Let’s face it—most outdoor seating isn’t very comfortable. It has to withstand the elements, so it’s usually bare plastic, wood or metal. Add pillows and cushions to your seats to make them more comfortable. The pillows in this patio are covered in a variety of fabrics, including 19th-century homespun linen. Just remember to store the pillows inside, or they’ll be ruined quickly.
• A TOUCH OF NATURE. Your outdoor space is the perfect opportunity to bring in a bit of nature. Have a few vases on standby to fill with cuts from your garden or bouquets from the farmer’s market. You might also want a few potted plants or hanging baskets with fuchsia or hanging ivy. The more plants you have in the area, the more secluded and private the space will feel.
Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces by Michelle Slatalla, published by Artisan Publishing, © 2016; artisanbooks.com.