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[I]n total honesty, I was asked to write this post. I’m not getting paid to do it but when the email came through from AllModern, intrigue set in. The inquiry: Curate a selection of the company’s outdoor furniture I’d purchase to decorate my home then explain why. Could I do it? My fake-designer senses tingled. A recent itch to beautify every space of my new apartment mingled with an oft-flaring competitive spirit. And here we are, me typing on my outdoor patio as the white clouds thicken a soft blue sky. The ocean hums waveless and empty. A peaceful Sunday to write about outdoor furniture or anything.
To start, let me talk about my color palette. I’m drawn to natural, neutral tones, hues you’d find in the pampas that sway in beachfront marshes or the deep greens of succulents …
Ha! I interrupt this post with real-time narrative: As I sit and write, a woman walks by and our eyes catch. She’s walking her dog. I’m typing with Austin, an 11-lb. terrier, tucked by my leg.
“I love your patio!” She says. “The furniture is amazing.”
Can’t make this stuff up, folks. OK, onward.
Color? Color. I gravitate toward warm tans, milky off-whites, honeyed woods. They’re effortless shades, (if not inconvenient to clean) and welcoming. It’s the same environmental philosophy that informs my writing. Pull from the outside with little artifice or manipulation. Water the page when necessary and the story grows.
Too much choice is stressful. When an abundance of options are placed before us, we tend to second guess, make rash decisions and later regret them. Why did I think an electric blue couch was the way to go?
Outdoor furniture, as a metaphor for life, is workable. The two are no different beneath the organic varnish. Understanding the things that will make us happy is easier to do when we can define the framework informing our multitude of choices. In life, the framework could be optimism. In design, it could be Scandinavian minimalism, mid-century modern stoicism, rustic farmhouse, traditional with velvet curtains or white-lacquered and mod.
For my taste, it’s neutral tones. Another element: simplicity. Japanese architecture and décor have long fascinated me. The style offers sure lines, angular orientations and inherent naturalism that’s confident without ever being overdone or showy. It’s a quiet confidence that could live peacefully in a small, one-bedroom house on a mountain with a gabled roof and backyard pond, bamboo sprouting wild.
Anyway, well-crafted pieces and purity inform my selection of lounge chairs, couches, tables and the like. I prefer breathing room, too. Empty corners, white spaces. On a patio, it’s important to leave room to just be.
These are my choices, clickable to AllModern, should you want to explore my aesthetic for your own space:

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