Inside Out

I don’t really like outside.  Even as a kid I was much happier inside with a book than outside doing, well, anything.

And Kansas City, as much as I love it, it’s not so much about the weather.  Which makes not wanting to be outside easy because there’s always an excuse.  Too hot.  Too humid.  Too cold. But for the fifteen days a year (there might be more) that it is truly gorgeous I’d like a place to sit outside and read my book.

Our outdoor situation has been somewhat pathetic.  In fact, I can’t even show you the “before” pictures as it would have been too shocking and you would have lost all respect for me.  But recently I had new outdoor cushions made and things are looking up.  The furniture is mostly hand-me-downs from Mr. Blandings’s parents and I have always been grateful to have them.  These chairs in particular are beloved.  The downside has been that retail cushions won’t fit.  My life, it seems, leans toward custom.  When I called my upholsterer he said, “You realize that foam is a petroleum based product, right?”  Friend, it’s the story of my life.
I still need to plant some annuals.  I know it’s late.  I don’t like outside, remember?  I’m getting around to it.  Anyway, while a wall around the patio would be nice, it’s usually an extension of the playing field, so it seems like a hazard to put a two foot stone wall in the back field.  But I was thinking some planters might be nice.

Elle Decor, July 08 (which I just received and nearly everyone in the free world has already memorized.)  Home of Bob Weinstein and Eric Hensley in Sag Harbor.  Photographs by William Abranowicz.  As an aside, I think I went to the estate sale here before the current owners purchased it.  As the article mentions, “It needed a lot of work.” 
Then, I noticed as I was going through my files, almost all the outdoor furniture I have pulled from magazines was selected for a potential indoor use.

Domino, May ’08.
This table, available from Conran would be indestructible as the Blandings’ breakfast table.

Or this one, from Sue Fisher King, which is available in these really amazing colors.  Fab, huh?
And finally, this table from Marston and Langinger, also available in about a million colors, would make a handy side table for the kitchen sofa.

 Maybe I don’t have to go outside after all.

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10 thoughts on “Inside Out

  1. Is that white leather or canvas? I would love to see some “black and white stripe” fabric added, some bold “yellow” and some planters overflowing with greenery. Love the elegant ensemble. Perhaps a party will take you outdoors…
    Sending you a photo inspiration….not that you need any, but you will want to go outdoors when you see this. tally ho-

  2. A masonry wall would be handsome but potentially detrimental to the boys & yard games……
    Your big pots would look fab with tall, large boxwood – sturdy & substantial enough to look like something PLUS give the sitting area some life & stay green year-round – perhaps even add a couple more.

    If not boxwood, tall wire or willow tuteurs in the pots and get something climbing.
    With your annuals scattered for a spot of color.

    Oh, yeah, it’s the inside you’ve segued into……Is that a stone top on the SFK oval table?
    Good looking.
    Now, for kitchen chairs to put with it…….

  3. Love the furniture from Mr. B’s family and the crisp piping you selected. That Marston and Langinger table is fab too.

  4. mrs. blanding, would you be willing to share your thoughts on some of the more attractive catalogs, like Ballard Design, and pottery Barn? This talk of outdoor furnishings made me think of them…Don’t forget, big pots of impatiens are cheap and colorful—a really big show!

  5. Love the cushions you had made- the piping really pops…very Dorothy Draper. Some striped pillows and a boxwood topiary or two or a planter with a wire cage in the shape of a cone to grow clemantis and you are good to go. I love how it is tailored and elegant.You really put care and thought in everything you do!

  6. Our outside is a work in progress, too. It may very well never get whipped into shape.

    I wasn’t much on the great outdoors until we lived on the Riviera. It seems like we lived outside for the best part of the day and into the evening. I miss that lifestyle, I have to admit. No complaints, though. Just an unfinished and ill-used backyard in the City.

  7. The cushions are great, but you have the most amazing eye! Why aren’t you treating the outside like a room? You need an outdoor rug to brake up all the brick and place some planters next to chairs where an occasional table would go. Remember different heights, just like in a room. FYI, rosemary is easy peasy in containers, full sun and you hardly ever need to water it. Also it smells AMAZING to sit next to and read a book. Perhaps an umbrella for some shade would bring you outside more frequently? Enjoy! I hope to see pics if you add anything!

  8. Your lovely family-vintage furniture is divine with the new cushions! Yes — needs some classic black-and-white painted flower pots (in dots and stripes and black gloss) with some bright green potato vine, yellow and white flowers. And then add an umbrella or two — and have a party!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  9. Just a quick note before drinkies with the neighbours — dash over to the “Grandin Road” website — check the outlet site (far right hand side of the home page) and then check under “bedding” — lots of black-and-white goodies! BTW — the perfect summer drinkie on your patio would be a classic “Harvey Wallbanger” (sunny yellow!) LOL!

    Cheers! Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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