Invite outdoor furniture inside
Special to Journal Gazette
As the colder months loom, many people cover up their patio furniture or throw it in storage until next year’s warmer weather. There is an alternative, though: Transition your outdoor furniture to the indoors.
While it may seem surprising, you can integrate outdoor furniture with style throughout your home, and there are many advantages to using outdoor pieces inside–from having extra furniture on hand at a moment’s notice to taking advantage of its durability in high-traffic areas.
There are simple, realistic ways to get the most out of your outdoor furniture all year long.
WHY USE OUTDOOR FURNITURE INDOORS?
It’s Easy to Clean
Arguably, the biggest benefit of outdoor furniture is just how easy it can be to clean.
Accidents happen, so when your toddler spills apple juice, or your precious pup runs in with muddy paws, you can rest easier knowing that your furniture can easily withstand a few messes and accidents.
This isn’t your mom’s patio furniture from decades past — today’s outdoor designs are just as stylish and modern as many indoor options. With the wide variety of styles and colors available, you can easily find a plush slipcovered sofa that looks right at home both on the patio and in the heart of the living room.
With the added benefit of stain resistance — a must-have in a household with children or pets (or if you happen to be a little accident-prone from time to time) — you can’t go wrong with the combination of flair and functionality that outdoor furniture offers.
You may also find that there are certain times of the year — like during birthday celebrations and holidays gatherings — when you need an extra seat or table surface to make your home just right. Outdoor furniture can help.
You should bring them inside to prevent damage from any snow or other harsh winter elements anyway, so why not enjoy them at the same time? This could be a bonus if you live in a space that lacks outdoor storage like a shed or garage.
CONSIDER THE FABRIC; CONSIDER THE FUNCTION
One thing you should keep in mind when moving your outdoor furniture inside is the fabric: Some outdoor pieces, such as furniture slipcovers and cushions, may be flammable, so make sure to check the manufacturer’s tags before moving them indoors.
Also, although many outdoor furniture pieces are made with mold- and mildew-resistant materials, they are still exposed to natural elements day in and day out during the summer months. If you or anyone in your family has sensitive allergies, you’ll want to give your outdoor furniture pieces a thorough cleaning with manufacturer-approved products before bringing them indoors.
Certain styles of outdoor furniture are particularly useful for indoor use, both in style and functionality. For example, a wire metal chair is a perfect fit for an outdoor space, but it can also look just as natural as an extra chair in the living room or at the dining room table.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to place all your furniture pieces together in a set like you would outside — instead, space them throughout the home. An outdoor sofa might work best in the basement or home office, while the coordinating coffee table could work as an extra surface in the kids’ playroom.
WHICH PIECES ARE EASIEST TO TRANSITION?
Bistro tables — Whether you use them as an extra accent table in the living room or as your main dining table, bistro tables can come in handy whenever you need an additional surface.
Concrete or wood stools — An extra seat is useful no matter if you’re indoors or out. Stools are the perfect fit whenever you need a space to place drinks, snacks, magazines or remotes.
Outdoor bar carts — The party doesn’t have to end just because the summer months have. Just as fitting as they are for outdoor spaces, bar carts seamlessly function in living rooms, home offices, basements or any room where you entertain guests. If you’re searching for an indoor/outdoor bar cart, look for a style that’s easily portable so you can move it from room to room as much as you wish — have wheels, will travel!
When moving your furniture inside, don’t forget about the décor. The right accessories can perfectly complement the space and give it a cozy, stylish look. And who knows — you may find that after bringing your outdoor pieces in for the winter months, you want to switch to this durable, practical style for all the furniture in your home!
Sara Marie Hall creates original online content about furniture and housewares for Crate and Barrel. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Sara currently resides in New York City, where she spends her free time exploring her neighborhood with her Shih Tzu, Kanye.