Patio Sets, Sunrooms & Seals!

Like total procrastinators, Pete and I recently began our search for a patio set, since barbecue season is here and we have nowhere to seat potential guests. His mom and I went looking for a set which he would approve of (the boy is surprisingly picky) and didn’t have much luck. Since it’s so late in the season, most stores only had a few options to choose from, if anything at all, so I began my search at IKEA.

I made my way to the South Philadelphia location, where I was able to snag the Ransby table on major sale for $99 and the last two matching chairs for $40 a piece. I was able to find four more chairs to complete the set at the Conshohocken IKEA location, where the same chairs were priced at $70 a piece. Lame. I asked the employee if she’d be willing to match the Philadelphia store price and she scoffed at me. A girl’s gotta try. Seriously though, when did chairs get so expensive? I’ve been scouring thrift stores to see if I could find any wooden chairs to revamp without having to dish out a fortune, but no such luck.

You might have caught a glimpse of the concrete death pool in the shot of our new patio table. Remember what it looked like when we moved in? Terrifying. Since these photos were taken, the circle had filled up with high weeds overflowing onto our concrete patio.

I made it my mission last Sunday to clear out the weeds and take out all of the stones so I could place them in a more organized fashion. Now Pete and I are at a standstill with the new and slightly improved concrete death pool. Should we wait until we can garden some fresh herbs/flowers or save those for our fenced in garden? We could rig some sort of fire pit situation I suppose, but I’m not sure how we’d go about that without it looking sort of awkward with dirt underneath. It doesn’t help that the circle wasn’t cut with the best craftsmanship, but at least it’s a bit cleared out now. If anyone has any clever ideas on how to make it look nice, I’m all ears!

While in Conshohocken, I paid a visit to Impact Thrift Stores, where I have had the most luck with vintage finds in the past. “Bric a Brac” was 25% off, so I went there in an attempt to find glass pitchers for future summer barbecue festivities (I’m dying to try out some sangria recipes). While browsing knick knacks, I walked down an aisle of artwork and gasped/flailed/squealed. My heart pitter pattered when I saw a signed Charley Harper serigraph print from 1975 on the wall. Charley Harper is my all-time favorite artist, so to find one of his serigraphs signed at a local thrift store, seemed a bit like fate. I looked at the price tag. $175. All of the other artwork on the walls was priced from $3 to $30, so the store knew they stumbled upon a treasure. I carefully plucked the print from the wall and brought it with me as I sat on a hideous, olive green and pink floral couch from the 70’s.

As a gal on an unemployment/freelance budget, I am very careful with my savings. I’m comfortable spending $5 on a glass pitcher, but to spend over $50 on a print on a day other than my birthday, seems a bit selfish to me. After fifteen minutes of mulling, I began browsing Charley Harper signed serigraphs on my iPhone and discovered that the print was going for $350 (unframed). With the 25% discount, I would be spending $130. I decided to make the splurge and rationalized my purchase by telling myself that I would sell something back home to replace my wedding photography savings (keep an eye out for a wedding dress for sale post soon!).

Now that we have a much-loved Charley Harper print to keep us company in the kitchen, I am much more enthusiastic about spending time in there. I decided to make black bean burgers for Pete and I, which I’ll be posting the recipe and directions for later. I’m on a vegetable and fruit-infused water kick now that we have pitchers, which has been incredibly refreshing in this painfully hot weather.

Above on the left is a “before” shot of a table I purchased for $10 at ReStore (I kept the price sticker on it to give it an unflattering “before” look). I plan on spray painting the table and replacing the cross-stitched seashell linen with an old page from my grandfather’s Animal Encyclopedia. The white table above is part of the furniture set we inherited from the previous homeowner. I gave it a fresh coat of white paint with the intention of keeping it upstairs with the rest of the pieces, but decided the guest bedroom was too crowded with furniture and brought it to the previously bare sunroom. When our patio chairs aren’t outside for shindigs, we’ll keep them safely indoors in our sunroom…we certainly don’t want anyone stealing our overpriced IKEA chairs (can you tell I’m bitter that the Conshohocken location charged nearly double for the same chair sold in Philadelphia?).

Here’s where I’d like some reader input—do you think I should spray paint the white table a color (like a deep blue teal) or keep the white on white look? I plan to spray paint the mini end table to match, so I need to make a decision to begin the makeover process. The other treasures in the sunroom include a huge Charley Harper book, a mosaic owl from HomeGoods and a vintage tea towel from 1978 with a vibrant bird print.

I figured my grandfather’s old bird paintings would mesh well with the overall theme in the room, which is tied together with the nature-inspired Gislev rug by IKEA (yay to scoring a large rug for under $15!). Even though the Julie Rothman rabbit pillow always manages to poke me with its sharp feathers, I still heart it.

Betty White and I don’t spend much time in the sunroom lately since it is scorching out there, but we look forward to the days when we can people watch with a cool drink in our hands (lets just pretend she has hands for a moment, please). It really is the little things that make a house a home.


24 thoughts on “Patio Sets, Sunrooms & Seals!”

  1. What an adorable print! I think it was a good decision to snatch it up–it’ll keep you company for a very, very long time and if it makes you that happy, it’s worth it!

    Also, I love that IKEA table! Shame that the chairs were $$, but it’s such a beautiful set!

    Hope you, Pete and BW are staying cool in this Philly heat & humidity…me and my pups are melting!


    1. Thanks Mandy! The print makes me smile every time I walk into the kitchen, so I think it was worth it 🙂 Yay IKEA, the table smells amazing (I think it’s cedar) too!


  2. I love, love, love all your recent purchases. The table and chairs are so nice. Sucks about the $70 ones. Keep an eye on them.

    As soon as I read “Charley Harper”, I was excited for you knowing how much you love his work. It is the most adorable print. Great find and worth so much more than you paid ~ good investment!

    The pitchers are cool. Did you steal my fruit-infused water idea or didn’t we have that when you were here? Looks so refreshing. Yes, I can’t wait to see you and Betty White holding cool drinks in your hands. You’re so funny.

    Love how the sunroom is shaping up. When the weather cools down, you’ll enjoy many hours of people watching out there. Are you going to keep the table in there too or store that in the basement?

    The concrete death pool looks so much better. You could put herbs in there. Neighbors of ours arranged their herbs with the lower ones toward the front graduating to taller ones. Also the various shades of green made it look more like a flower-type garden rather than just herbs scattered around. You’re very creative, so I’m sure whatever you decide will be beautiful.

    We’re so proud of you and Pete with all you’ve done with the house to make it a home that shouts “Shannon & Pete love me”.

    Anxious to see all the new improvements up close and personal. Love you.


    1. Thanks mom! I think your fruit-infused water definitely influenced me!

      We’re going to store the table in the basement, but we’ll have a few of the chairs in the sunroom.

      Thanks for your comment, we’re excited to have you guys over to visit soon.

      Looooove, Shannon


  3. b-e-a-utiful! I vote white-on-white with poppy teal pillows or other small things. I wanna come people watch with you! ❤ U!


    1. Thank you, that means a lot! We are trying not to lose motivation to keep working on the house, even though it’s so hot and we just want to sit back and watch tv 🙂


  4. Don’t feel bad about splurging-you made an educated decision, and it was well worth it! I always rationalize big buys like that too by saying ‘ am I going to think about this for weeks if I don’t get it?’ ha ha. Shopaholic here!

    I think you could put some big flat stones in your death pit, it might be a nice place for an outside
    table to sit on! I’ll have to reserve judgement though until I see it. Can’t wait for that btw!!


    1. Thanks love, I hate spending money but I really couldn’t resist.

      That’s a good idea about the flat stones for a seating area, I am not sure if it’d be big enough for a table but you could definitely fit like two chairs there for hanging out. Excited to have you guys over!!


  5. I would have had a hard time containing myself finding a Charley Harper print. Awesome find. Definitely worth the money.

    Also, I’d go with white for the little table and add color with the accessories 🙂


    1. Thanks, I couldn’t believe I found it at a random thrift store! I agree, I think white might be best for the tables, even though my color-obsessed mind is like “spray paint it hot pink!” ha


  6. I am a fan of spray painting things bright colors! What if you put large flat stones in the concrete death pit? It would make a nice setting for an outdoor table maybe…I’ll have to wait and see your yard! Can’t wait for that, by the way!

    We need to go Impact-ing, you keep finding so much great stuff. Making sangria sounds awesome and I will gladly help you taste test:)


    1. I heart your spray painted patio chairs, they are amazing! I have been trying to find cool vintage furniture for outdoors to fix up but there really isn’t anything around here. I guess I’ll just look once the season is over and people have tossed their patio sets. I want to have a thrift date with you, stat! And I am looking forward to making some fruity sangria, you definitely need to be my taste tester puh-lease!


  7. you made an absolutely awesome decision to purchase that art. your house is a joyous delight. i love your blog & your photos shannon!


  8. We had white sangria and red sangria that two neighbors made. Both were great, but the red had a slight edge over the white. Would you like me to get the recipes for you? The mucho wine-infused fruit was sooooo yummy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s