I don’t think there is any secret around here that summer is my absolute favorite season — and it’s simply the best in here. Boston summers makes all the harsh winter months worth enduring! But dang, it is short and fleeting, so I’m all for making our outdoor space THE place we spend every waking hour until cruel winter comes again.
Part of getting full enjoyment out of our patio included being able to dine al fresca. If you’ve followed the journey of these vintage iron chairs on my Instagram, I got this set of four chairs (frames only) for a steal for $25 from Brimfield Flea Market last year. I knew they needed a paint job and some custom cushions to fully revive them but felt like they had an interesting silhouette and were worth the effort.
I dug into my IGS archives and found the snapshot of where I found them at Brimfield, in case you wanted to full before journey:
As you can see, I was SUPER pumped to enlist my fabulous friend Emily Hopkins to help me figure out the perfect seats for these babies. Emily and I are past work friends turned real friends, and she ended up apprenticing with an upholsterer and teaching herself how to use industrial sewing machinery to really master her craft, and I’ve been so in awe of her garnered expertise.
If I’m completely honest with you, I got a little nervous about how expensive custom work might be, and I spent ~$300 getting off-the-shelf Sunbrella cushions at first trying to make them work. They looked AWFUL, so I learned custom was the only way to go. Plus $300 is a lot for off-the-shelf that doesn’t look good, am I right?
She helped me pick durable outdoor fabric (I went with this fun yet classic cabana stripe), custom templated the shape, and then went back and forth with me getting the appropriate depth (I wanted that welting all around while keeping the design looking elevated and updated rather than too traditional while still offering proper support). She nailed it.
I’m already thinking of enlisting her to custom recover our little outdoor sofa and am so excited to see this space evolving — spending time in this backyard is truly our favorite thing!
For the future, we’re hoping to invest in a longer teak dining table and captains chairs for additional seating but very happy to work with what we’ve got for now.
Hope you all are getting to spend plenty of time outdoors, wherever you are, for this beautiful summer weekend ahead! xx