By Nancy McKeon
THE DOG DAYS are here. Woof. We can’t change the weather (or the climate, apparently), but we can perk up whatever outdoors we have available to us—backyard patio, high-rise balcony, patch of sidewalk . . .
Here are a few tiny touches that may make the summer brighter.
The party’s on the moment you roll out this 80-quart Permasteel Rolling Patio Cooler. My brother gave my sister one for her recent porch party; next day, the ice cubes were still frozen solid. It comes in this cool (and kinda vintage) mint green, but also in lime, red, orange, blue, pink, black, and turquoise. It’s $188.99 at Wayfair and holds up to 110 cans. Speaking of vintage, it has a built-in bottle opener and bottle-cap catcher on the side!
While we’re in a vintage frame of mind, bounce into these green (or red or white or turquoise) metal Aubrey chairs. A pair of them is $549.99 at World Market. (They can’t just sit outside naked; cover them when it’s raining.)
How cool. How practical. The Nature Urbaine tablecloth, placemats, napkins and runner from Le Jacquard Français are made of cotton coated on top with a matt-finish acrylic, making it perfect for easy cleanup outdoors (or in, for that matter). Pricing starts at $50 for a pair of napkins ($54 for a pair of placemats), up to $255 for a tablecloth (larger sizes available as well) at R.H. Ballard, which is offering MyLittleBird readers a 20% discount on all coated tablecloths (any pattern) and all coated placemats. The discount code is JustForYou. The offer is good through July 24.
How cute are these die-cut Girasol “paper linen” napkins from Caspari!? The party-size napkins are $8 for a package of 15. At 12½ inches when open, they’re larger than typical cocktail napkins and triple-ply, from artist Susie Ray.
This is faux looking great for real. The faux silver-dollar eucalyptus wreath is 18 inches across and will thrive even on the outside of the patio door. From the Pier Place collection, it’s on sale for $19.99 at World Market.
If you’re starting from scratch in a new outdoor space, the three-piece outdoor-wicker Dorman set from World Market may be just the thing. Comprising two chairs and an accent table, it’s $399.99. Note that the accent table is only 14½ inches across, so good for a couple of glasses of wine and a bowl of nuts, but not for dinner. Made of powder-coated iron and resin wicker in Vietnam. (Needs protection from rain.)
If it’s a bit of extra seating you need, consider the Magis Foldable Air Chair, made of injection-molded polypropylene. It also comes in white. A pair of chairs is on sale for $316 at Design Within Reach.
Even less space? Try a folding stool from Society6. Solid wood frame, many patterns available, regularly $65, now $55.25 at Society 6. Must be stored indoors.
If you’re looking to make an investment in outdoor living, the handsome Marseille Designer Umbrella will turn the dullest patio into an event. The Sunbrella weather- and fade-resistant woven-acrylic canopy, a commanding 9 feet in diameter, comes in seaglass (shown) and indigo, both with contrasting appliqué. The frame, which tilts, can be had in teak or aluminum, each with a selection of finishes. Marseille is on sale at Frontgate.com, for $1,439.20 (aluminum), $1,519.20 (Endura-Teak, aluminum with faux-wood finish) or $1,599.20 (teak).
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