Enjoying winter with outdoor furniture


Having outdoor furniture is a way bigger deal when you can actually sit outside for most of the year.

While I was living in Boston, I would lug out a couple of simple iron chairs on sun-filled days. In retrospect, there were preposterously few of those.

The Martinique Beach Daybed by Zuo. Photo by Michaela Ristaino

The Martinique Beach Daybed by Zuo. Photo by Michaela Ristaino

June was often an iffy month filled with rain and a tease of warmth. July, August and September were full-tilt perfection. October taunted us with shorter sunlit days, and November could be ominous when the day’s light was extinguished by 5 p.m.

There is a name for people who get bummed out as the winter nights grow long; it is called “Seasonal Affect Disorder” or SAD (which is no accidental acronym). I am one of those “SAD” saps who feels claustrophobic as the days get shorter and need to pop vitamin D tablets to keep from weeping by the calendar.

This is my first winter in Florida. To celebrate this snowless season, this is the first time in my entire life that I have indulged in grown-up outdoor furniture. To be utterly truthful, my newly acquired wicker-esque pieces bring me more elation than my last car and first marriage combined.

First, I invested in a double chaise that is as wide as my bed. Every morning I plunk down on the chaise with a strong cup of coffee and sip, sigh, smile and repeat. Delightful.

Then, there is what I call “the nut,” which is my most beloved piece.

It is shaped like an acorn — or, some say, a Hershey’s Kiss. It is nearly 8 feet tall and 7 feet wide. The inside is decked out with a massive oval cushion and a bunch of pillows. I would describe nestling in it as being in a Bali beach hut or the inside of “I Dream of Jeannie’s” bottle.

It sits in a overgrown patch of philodendrons by the lake. It has become my sanctuary and also a well-advised place to take a needed time-out.

Epic backyards don’t just happen — they require excessive amounts of sunlight and the proper outdoor furnishings.

Amy Archer

Amy Archer is owner of Sarasota-based Creating Inspired Design and writes the Barefooted Designer blog. She can be reached by email.
Last modified: March 25, 2016
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