...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Many of you want to know what’s become of our outdoor furniture this winter. We don’t have room for it in the garage. We don’t have a shed. We don’t have an off-site storage unit.

snow covered outdoor furniture 1In the fall, we arranged the sectional, chair and coffee table pieces into two rectangular shapes (kinda like a 3D puzzle), covered them with two outdoor covers and pushed them up against the back of the house under an eave. Everything sits up off the ground on the platform deck. I washed the cushion covers and sealed them in plastic bags then took them and the cushions up to the attic to hibernate for the winter.

On a tangent, you can see more of our newly organized attic here. The Home Depot contacted me earlier this year about collaborating on a storage / organization post. Seeing as how we had been living with two pieces of foam board taped over our attic access for months in order to prevent heat from escaping into the attic, it seemed like a good fit. I love it when collaborations work out that way. When they give us a kick in the butt to tackle something we should have done already. Deadlines are good motivators!

Anyhow, the outdoor sectional cushions are up in that tidy, blue-carpeted attic space waiting for spring.

snow covered outdoor furniture 2

Let’s get back to the sofa. (I feel like this is a very scatter-brained narrative. Steve is out of town this week and I’m running on two hours of sleep sooooo…yeah, that explains a lot.) Our hope was that the deep eave would shelter the furniture from the elements somewhat. It does okay. Obviously, snow and rain still get on the furniture but that’s where the covers come in.

We bought the covers online. I don’t remember where (Steve has all that info. I’ll ask him when he’s back.) but I do remember we opted for ones near the “high quality” end of the spectrum but they weren’t the most expensive option we came across. We figured it was worth it to protect the not-so-cheap furniture we invested in. With the way this winter has been, we’re happy with our decision.

snow covered outdoor furniture 3

The one drawback is that snow, water and ice tend to accumulate on the covers causing them to dip. Every few days I go out and brush them off. The worst is when it’s water or ice. Water and ice are HEAVY. I use a pitcher as a bail to scoop and dump the water. When it’s ice, I gotta put my back into it. My fear is that the weight will pull on the covers and rip them. So even though the covers are protecting the furniture, our setup isn’t completely maintenance free. Then again, it’s been some kind of winter.

You may have noticed the outdoor dining chairs hanging out under the eave as well. They’re plastic and don’t hold snow like the bigger furniture so we left them uncovered. They’re swell.

snow covered outdoor furniture 4

The outdoor dining table is uncovered, too. We left it open to the elements all last summer and it was fine so no cover here either. It has a slatted top so water can drain off. If anyone’s been wondering about the DIY wood art, it still looks brand new. No worries.

And now this is the end of a very boring, snowy post. Wish it was the end of a very boring, snowy winter instead.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to browse beach cottage rentals online just to torture myself a little more.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

16 Comments

03.March.2014

OH MAN. I am envious of those basket-looking chairs. I can’t remember… where did you snag those?

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replied on March 3rd, 2014

I’m positive they are IKEA because I’ve got my eye on them!!

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replied on March 3rd, 2014

Ikea! LOVE them. I think they look great indoors or out.

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03.March.2014

We have a shed but it holds our riding lawn mower, etc. and is completely full. One day last summer, our neighbor told J that his shed is completely empty and to feel free to use it for whatever we want. Uh, hello! That’s where we’re storing all of our outdoor furniture and I am so thankful! (Who has an empty storage shed???) Your option is our Plan B if our wonderful neighbor ever moves.

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replied on March 3rd, 2014

You win for having the most awesome neighbor.

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03.March.2014

Hmm, I’ve got a darling cottage for rent in Empire, MI in the Sleeping Near Dunes National Lakeshore. Perfect place to hit the beach, bike and hike- your kids will love it. Our cottage is featured in Cottage Style- the issue that just came out last week, page 126. We are on airbnb.com if your interested! Love, love, love your blog.

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replied on March 3rd, 2014

Wow! I’ll definitely check it out.

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03.March.2014

Hello! Have you thought about putting something under the covers (such as a traffic cone) to create a tent so that the water runs off, rather than settle? Let gravity do the hard work!!

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replied on March 3rd, 2014

That would be smart ;)

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replied on March 4th, 2014

Was thinking the same except a 2×4 grid to keep it square. Traffic cone is brilliant.

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03.March.2014

How do the furniture covers hold up to wind? We receive a fair amount of wind at our place and last Fall I attempted to cover our furniture with covers such as yours but couldn’t figure out a way to securely tie them down so the wind wouldn’t turn them into big parachutes into my neighbor’s lawns. Unfortunately I had to return the covers and haul all of the furniture down to the basement for another Winter.

Also please update with the details about the covers and where they were purchased. Thanks!

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04.March.2014

I’ve been eyeing those basket weave armchairs from Ikea, but I’m wondering about the comfort factor. Do you feel like they’re pretty comfortable sitting on them as-is or would they need a cushion? I’m so ready for this winter to be over and to be able to use our outdoor spaces soon!

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I keep telling myself I’ll get some outdoor furnishings but it never happens because I have no where to store ‘em and was worried about covers. This sounds like work, but not like too much work. Hmmm.

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Our (cheapish, Ikea) outdoor furniture came with a warning: Protect from the Weather. That made me laugh. Our deck is covered, but we did turn our table & chairs upside down, reasoning that it might protect against cosmetic wear. I also wonder if tilting or turning over your furniture might protect it a bit more. Even the covered items if turned upside down might not let snow pool on them as much.

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05.March.2014

We bought the modular sofa covers from the-cover-store.com. Not cheap, but the quality and fit are terrific.

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30.May.2014

[…] after finishing the deck. You can read more about how we stored the furniture during the winter here. In the fall, I washed the cushion covers (they’re removable) then placed them in plastic […]




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