Outdoor Living with Frontgate

August 11, 2017

It was always my hope (or dream, if you will) that my husband and I would eventually live in a place that included a backyard area that could have an outdoor furniture set up. After living in San Francisco - he was there for three years, I joined him for the last two years - one of the things we were most excited about with our move to Dallas was having a yard for our pups and getting a private space of our own. Don't get me wrong, the mild and typically chilly weather in San Fran makes being outside year-round an actual thing...Dallas might be warmer (ok, a lot warmer and borderline boiling in the summer) but having access to more housing options (especially ones with outdoor space) along with several other factors made it somewhat easy to leave the city we grew to love. After being in Dallas for a year and moving three times - not a joke and yes, it nearly killed me - we're renting a home that we loooove and one of our favorite parts about it is the backyard set up. It might not have a pool or an acre of grass but it's perfect for our pups to romp around in, has a great garage set up, and it has a covered patio area that's the perfect size for an outdoor living situation!

Before we even moved I was so excited about the prospect of potential outdoor furniture, it was all I could talk about. Molly (and my mom, and my husband) all told me to cool my jets and get through the move, birth of my baby (he came two days after our move in day, yes it was crazy), get settled then jump on outdoor furniture. Well, Frontgate must have heard my frantic thoughts of making an outside gathering space become a reality because they reached out and generously offered to help us find pieces that fit our vision and lifestyle. To say that we're loving our simple, comfy set up is an understatement!


If you already known of Frontgate, then you know that they’re a one-stop-shop for all things home and that they especially excel in their outdoor furniture and outdoor living offerings. There’s an abundance of styles – from ornate and traditional to sleek and modern – and they truly have something for everyone no matter what your aesthetic. I enlisted the help of my mom to hone in on what pieces would be the best fit for us and our outdoor space.

The first place we started was the seating. The main thing I wanted was something comfortable and clean looking that wouldn’t be a nightmare to take care of. Given that I’m not super traditional I determined that the aluminum pieces, while absolutely beautiful, weren’t going to be for me. And because I’m all about durability and ease I also knew that upholstered items (also insanely beautiful) wouldn’t be a good fit. After going back and forth between various wicker and teak options I became convinced that teak furniture would be the best fit. Teak is a hardwood that’s naturally resistant to moisture and fairly low maintenance compared to other types of outdoor wood due to the natural oil it produces. It’s a really pretty honey color and left untreated or sealed it develops this weathered, silver grey hue over time.

I fell in love with the low profile and simplistic design of the Harbor Seating set and liked that the pieces looked very sturdy but not so heavy or dense that we couldn’t move them around or re-configure the set-up whenever we wanted. I figured that the couch and two chairs would be just what our space needed and I was definitely right. And of course, the comfy-looking seat and back cushions fit my “comfy” criteria. The cushions are available in a really pretty pale blue and white stripe fabric but I went with the “salt” color to keep things clean and neutral.

Speaking of neutral, when looking at the options for an accent table and rug I wanted them both to compliment the couch and chairs while not looking super matchy-matchy. My mom’s the one who suggested the Ensoleille Coffee Table and at first I was unsure about it looking too modern…but she assured me that it would anchor the whole set up with it’s weighted look and she was completely right. When it first arrived I was so scared that it was solid stone or concrete and that I wouldn’t be able to lift it! But it’s made of “monolithic crushed stone” and while not light as a feather, it is easy to move and not nearly as heavy as it looks to be. It’s also incredibly easy to wipe down and the perfect size for holding food and drinks – the bigger diameter means that it’s not as easy for our dogs to snag snacks! My family jokes that I’m an absolute freak when it comes to rugs. I’m honestly so obsessive about keeping the ones I have inside clean and constantly scolding our pups for tracking in mud or shedding all over them. The one thing I wanted for our outdoor rug was for it to be something that looked great and could withstand the elements (and dogs) so I wouldn’t freak out over it all the time. The Avoca Braided Rug was just the right amount of “pattern” – the contrasting camel colors in two sizes of braids make it have a subtle stripe – and it promises to be exceptionally durable and able to stand up well to high-traffic areas with strength and endurance. Maybe I need one of them inside my house! I love that the tones of the rug compliment the teak hue now but will also still look good when the furniture eventually gets a patina.

Last but not least, I couldn’t say no to a couple of throw pillows. Frontgate has just the right amount of options when it comes to their pillows…great styles and color combinations to choose from and no cheesy patterns. Who knew weather resistant pillows could look so good?! To add some color without going over the top, I picked the Scalamandre Oasis Sky Pillows. I’m always a sucker for anything Scalamandre (so classic, amIright?) and the blue and yellow were the perfect happy addition to the set up.

Like I said, it’s a pretty simple look but the un-fussy and relaxed vibe is exactly what I was wanting and after wanting an outdoor living space for so long it feels like a “pinch me” moment to have such beautiful pieces from Frontgate. Even better is how much we’ve used it in the past months! We can’t wait for fall to hit so that we can spend even more time alfresco.

P.S. My MacKenzie-Childs butterfly pieces were another summer addition and I specifically picked them out for the purpose of using them for all our outdoor dining and entertaining (the pitcher, serving platter, and dinner plates are hopefully just the start to my collection). They might be hand-wash only but the enamelware is ideal for using outside!

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