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Posts Tagged ‘porch’

When I first started house-hunting, the thing that appealed most to me about my neighbourhood was my developers clever use of space. I live in a suburb – land of cookie-cutter houses and three-car garages. For the most part, developers have been far from modest with their use of land which has resulted in rambling neighbourhoods that aren’t pedestrian friendly and forces residents to rely on their cars far too much.

I’m proud to say that my neighbourhood is different. The density of my community is closer to that of Old Ottawa South which makes it more walkable and dense. My neighbours and I are, for the most part, first-time homeowners: single people, newlyweds or families just starting out – we are a neighbourhood of starter homes. Instead of backyards, most of the houses have decks in either the front or back. Which works just fine since most of us don’t have a real need for a private yard yet. Plus there is a great community park, complete with play structure, so that all the neighbourhood kids still have a big green patch of grass to run around in.

Picture of my deck

That being said, I don’t have much green space to work with at my place, and I have absolutely zero when it comes to my deck. One of my primary goals in designing the deck will be to “green” the space with plants, with a focus on low maintenance and container friendly ones – likes hostas and succulents, which will also provide some much needed colour when they bloom. I’ll also be creating an eating area where I can enjoy dinners all summer long, and maybe even add a barbeque.

Take it Outside - The Plan for the Deck

The front porch is in for some work too, mainly to add some more greenery and to create a comfy seating area where I’ll be able to drink coffee and do crosswords on the weekends.

So how are your spring outdoor projects coming along? Have any advice on plants that I should use on the deck?

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The combination of Ottawa’s latest winter weather episode as well as the upcoming long weekend has me craving Spring, hardcore.  Local stores have started to fill up with cheerful colours and outdoor furniture, and it’s inspired me to start thinking about the outdoor potential of my new place.

The house will have a front porch with enough space to place a few chairs and a small table.  I won’t be entertaining there, but I want a place where I can read the newspaper on weekends and drink my morning coffee.  It should be clean and simple, with outdoor furniture that can withstand the elements, but be comfortable enough to laze about on for a few hours at a time.

I eyed a fantastic pair of rundown mid-century inspired chairs at an estate sale a few weeks back, though at the time, even though I loved them, I couldn’t justify another chair purchase.  So I let them go.  It was only later in the day that the thought of fixing them up with new paint and upholstery struck me.  Lesson learned – remember to think creatively.

Even though I’ve continued to search at estate sales and auctions for similar chairs, I doubt that I’ll be able to find something suitable.  Once again, enter the big-box store, always there when I need them.

After visiting locations and websites of numerous retailers, I’ve narrowed down the field to three possibilities, all from IKEA and all made out of Acacia wood.  As I’ve stated before, Ottawa’s IKEA is one of the smallest in Canada, and their summer items go quick and aren’t replenished, so my goal is to get my chair situation sorted out soon.

Tullerö Chair

With the lowest price point of the trio, the Tullerö chair comes as part of a four-piece set that includes an additional chair, table and a two-seat bench for $159 (seen here with a Rassön cushion, $35 each).  There is good value for money, and I found that the chair was comfortable and provided a lot of back support, although the thin cushion had be wondering if it would remain comfortable after lounging for a few hours.  But, as this chair is part of a full patio set, I’m hesitant to pick it since I don’t want to commit to a patio set prior to moving in. My deck will be small and I want to make sure that I don’t clog it up with furniture.

Äpplarö Chair

At $60, the Äppalarö chair (pictured with a Lövö cushion – $15 each) the mid-range chair with a large collection of coordinating furniture ranging from a lounge chair to a dining table. While I think that this is the most stylish of the three, I can’t get past the pronounced arc on the back of the chair.  When I tried it out, I found that it left my lower back without much support (which might be fixed with a pillow) and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to sit in that manner for a few hours on a Saturday morning.

Nordanö Chair

Immediately upon trying the Nordanö chair (pictured here with the Nordanö cushion – $35) out, it was obvious that it’s $85 price tag was worth it.  My back was well supported and the cushions were plush, I think that I would be completely comfortable sitting in these every weekend.  My only complaint is about the aluminum bracket and bar, I find that they stand out considerably, but they may mellow as the wood and metal ages outside.

I’ll be heading to IKEA sometime this week to re-test all three chairs, although it’s obvious that the Nordanö has a significant lead over the competition.  I’ll let you know how things pan out.

So, what about you?  Have you caught the Spring bug yet?

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