FOR THOSE of us with out the price range to buy high-end manufacturers, so-called “catalog retailers” generally is a godsend. But among the many reasonably priced finds these shops’ web sites and print catalogs provide, there generally is a good bit of merely generic design. Here at The Wall Street Journal we’re within the enterprise of serving to you make knowledgeable selections, so we requested inside designer Laura Hodges to comb by way of the alternatives of three reliable large home-furnishing retailers. Ms. Hodges utilized her choosy, skilled eye to singling out what she considers the chicest, best-value items from every in terms of this season’s most urgent want: finds for our outside areas. Here are her suggestions.
“I would not have initially looked to Ballard Designs for outdoor décor because it leans more traditional than my typical style,” stated Ms. Hodges. The Baltimore designer grew to become a convert, nevertheless, when she noticed these washable, fade- and stain-resistant polyester rugs in a blown-out plaid on the web site. She likes the best way the navy sample is about on ivory—“much easier to live with than white”—within the indoor-outdoor Bowman rug. The heathered beige base helps cover ice-tea spills, and when the rug is reversed, it turns into the distinction colour on a navy area. “I’d probably flip it each year,” she stated. Bowman Performance Rug, from $129, ballarddesigns.com
Bucking the development towards chunky outside furnishings, Ms. Hodges leaned towards the slim seat of West Elm’s outside eating chair, which measures below 20 inches in width. “It doesn’t feel like outdoor furniture—it looks like a chair that I would easily put inside,” she stated, admiring the modernity of its skinny, tapered legs and easy low-slung again. Its stature provides to its versatility. “It would fit into even the smallest of backyards,” she stated. The seat is accessible in two colorways: washed brown with a lightweight grey cushion and weathered grey with a darker, washed-charcoal cushion. Ms. Hodges would go for the latter for sensible causes, she stated. Despite its water-repellent cloth, the sunshine cushion may not keep mild for lengthy, “unless no one uses it.” In addition, the brown teak would naturally patina to a grey anyway, so why not go along with the darker chair and pad? “They are easy to maintain and live with,” she stated. Teak Wood Low-Back Outdoor Dining Chair, $599, westelm.com
Ms. Hodges appreciated the freshness of Pottery Barn’s al fresco spin on their Mason glazed-stone dinnerware. “[It] feels more like an extension of your home than generic, big-box floral melamine,” stated Ms. Hodges. In a low-key matte end, the straightforward dishes are available in charcoal (proven) and ivory, they usually let the meals stand out, she stated. They additionally pair simply with backyard greenery and flowers. Each piece—from plates and bowls to platters—sells individually, and Ms. Hodges recommends mixing the colours. Mason Modern Melamine Dinnerware Collection, from $9, potterybarn.com
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