Skip to main content
Accent colourAdvice for HomeownersBefore and AfterBlueColour lessonDecorating AdviceHow to Choose ColourtablescapesTurquoise

How to Get One More Season from Your Patio Furniture (Before & After)

By 06/02/2017July 16th, 202127 Comments

Four years ago my sister Elizabeth and her husband bought this outdoor sectional (below).

It was too modern for their house, but it was reasonable, so they snapped it up for the patio.

Elizabeth and Bill love to entertain, and they also host their staff parties throughout the year.

When it came time to pull out the outdoor furniture this season, I suggested that we select new stuff because the list of complaints about the old furniture was long. . .

But new furniture was not in the budget, we’ve been working on decorating their family room (full reveal coming soon), so Elizabeth and I decided it was at least time for a refresh on the cushions and accessories.

Plus the old pillows were faded and tired looking.

This way, we could extend the life of this set another year.

Elizabeth loves blue and her existing adirondack chairs have a lifetime warranty, so we set out to find some new accessories to create some styling magic.

We got to our favourite store and walked around looking at all the pillows. All we could find that were close to the same blue of the chairs were pillows that were too colourful and tropical (similar to this one below).

Plus to really pull off patterned pillows like this, you need solid ones too. All we could find were four, muted turquoise pillows which didn’t work at all.

So we picked up two patterned pillows but we were uninspired.

Elizabeth said, ‘I’m tired, let’s go’. I agreed.


We paid for our items and walked outside with the cart. And there, right in front of us, was the perfect coffee table with a blue and turquoise mosaic in concrete! The blue picked up the adirondack chairs perfectly!

And the muted turquoise (below) matched the four turquoise pillows I had seen sitting in the store, along with white and summer blue fern pillows.

Suddenly, we were full of energy again and we ran back into the store to exchange the pillows we bought.

Concrete mosaic coffee table (HomeSense)

Bill loved that we strung up patio lanterns (since he’s the one outside with his friends until the wee hours of summer mornings :).

Later we trecked out to a local nursery and picked up some white daisies and potato vines for Elizabeth’s blue pot. Happiness right here.

Here’s a glimpse of the white garden stool and second throw we bought (below). Throws are great outside for keeping flies and mosquitoes from biting your legs when it gets cooler at night. These are indoor throws though, you’ll have to keep them under cover when it rains!

The more comfortable your environment, the longer your friends and/or family will want to stay.

And that could be a good thing or a bad thing.

I even got my sweet nephews (OMG they are getting so big) to pose for this post (below).

William and Markus

Here’s the before photo before we set anything up!

And after (below). We moved the old pillows to the Adirondack chairs while the new pillows took center stage.

With a couple of throws and a tablescape with hostas and a faux seashell with a hurricane lantern, we didn’t notice the stains on the cushions anymore!

Turquoise Blue Adirondack Chairs

So if you notice you have just stopped painting in your house because you feel tired. Or you’ve just come to a standstill in your decorating projects because you are uninspired, it might have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you are not that productive or even–gasp–lazy.

It’s probably more likely that you just don’t have the vision for the project that you need to give you the energy to take it through to the end.

New furniture without a new paint colour, lamps, throw pillows, art or accessories doesn’t quite equal fabulous yet.


It’s truly amazing in this instance, how much a single new coffee table (above) transformed this entire outdoor room with the help of a few coordinating accessories!

I’m turning 50 next week- eeeek, and Terreeia is throwing a big party for all my friends this Sunday! I’ll be posting on Instagram and I’ll have a photographer there too so you’ll see the highlights in a post next week!

My Fall Specify Colour with Confidence dates are up, I’ll be in Vancouver, Orlando, Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles, register here!

If you need help with an outdoor or indoor refresh, check out our eDesign packages here.

Related posts:

Happy Outdoor Living: Before & After

Outdoor Vignette on my Patio: Before & After

Market Umbrellas: Which One is the Right Colour for You?

2 pins


  • Laura says:

    So beautiful! I wish you made house calls. I need you to come over to my house and do *everything*. 🙂

  • love the colors! I just updated my sad area rug and added a few pillows to my chairs…what a difference it make! Can’t wait to see the pics from the party. Happy (early) Birthday…welcome to the club!!

  • Bette says:

    The table is perfect! I love when this happens.

    I have the same favorite store as you — and about five years ago, found two square sofa pillows that formed the backbone of the entire room’s design. They even emboldened me to choose a purple sofa, which I still have (and love) today.

  • Adelaide says:

    Prettily summery, and two handsome models to boot. The dark-haired lad has Auntie Maria’s smile!
    Happy birthday, Maria. Enjoy your friends and the party.

  • Gadgie says:

    I know I’m different, but that said, I find this area so perfectly safe that it is boring. The muted green pillows do nothing to enhance the furnishings. They don’t hold up against the vibrancy of the adirondack chairs. I would have added a pop of brighter color, or at least a more intense green, closer to the leaves in the vase.
    Maria, I love, love your principals, but taste is a subjective thing, and this is too bland for me. But I’m glad your customers are happy, which is all that matters.

    • Maria Killam says:

      HI Gadgie,
      Well when you’re on a budget and not doing CUSTOM everything, it’s a little more challenging! We did the best we could from what we could find out here in the country without stores like the Pottery Barn, etc. Your comments are valid! Thanks, Maria

  • Marguerite says:

    SO great. I love (and create) mosaics…. The coffee table functions like a good rug….pulling together all the elements, and marrying colors that sometimes seem unrelated. What a great geometric pattern, not too assertive, but has the clean turquoise and the more muted aqua to take you thru whatever waves of color trends wash over the indoor living room. Love love love this makeover. and love your nephews. My sons, now 19 , are very close with their aunt and its a lifelong gift for both sides. Now that the boys are young adults and bring more adult input to the relationship, both sides enjoy their time together even more !

  • Nancy says:

    What a awesome transformation
    Your a blessing to your family .
    Have a Happy Birthday!
    One day you will look back and think 50 is young
    So just enjoy !
    Happy Summer !

  • Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful! I love the blues. By the way, you can stop the seat cushions constantly sliding off by placing pieces of anti-slip carpet underlay under each one. Works like a charm…

  • PMK says:

    That turned out nice enough for more than one more summer, in my opinion. Outdoor cushions without zippers should not be sold, also my opinion. I have a patio set that I have loved for 8 summers and which is still in great condition except for some dirt on some of the cushions. I bought a 20-meter roll of #3 nylon zipper coil and the required hardware online (under $20 all in) so I can add the zippers and wash those lovely babies in the machine whenever I like. Totally worth the effort.

    PS: I have learned more about the use of colour and decorating in general off your blog in the past month than I have in decades of searching, struggling and making mistakes. It’s like the light has gone on. Cannot thank you enough for all that you share.

  • Deb Bruna says:

    You can almost always remove cushion stains with a pressure wash. Be sure to Scotchguard afterwards. If you have good fabric, you can keep it going for a long time and just replace the pillows you tire of. Works great on outdoor rugs, too.

  • mary says:

    Love it!

  • Corinne Koftinoff says:

    Happy 50! And you don’t look a day over 40! Thank you for showing us that you can update your rooms, inside and out, without going through a lot of expense. I try and re-purpose everything before giving it away so it was nice to see the old pillows on the Adirondack chairs. Love the table too! I sure miss Home Sense in Langley now that I live in northern BC. It is hard to fit a lot of their items in my suitcase!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Love it all!!! The blues, the coffee table, the boy models!!
    Can you believe I haven’t done a thing to my patio yet this season? I’m seldom home & when I am, I’m trying to catch up on indoor cleaning & laundry. My poor neighbors…having to view my sad space.

  • Kay says:

    Looks great!

    Last year I persuaded my husband to buy a darling set of two small curved loveseats with back iron frames and cushy, comfy cushions, with matching oval ottoman. On sale. The fabric is a pretty fresh green–your color–and looks great against the pale yellow siding. Of course the fabric got dirty, especially since the cat obviously believes that we bought the entire set just for her. But early this spring I discovered that every cushion cover has a zipper, so I washed everything and it all looks new again. My husband still complains how expensive it was, and now I can point out that the cheaper sets don’t have removable covers!

  • Carol says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Age is just a matter of perspective. Wish I was turning 50…it seems pretty
    young when your about 63!!!

  • Lucy HAINES says:

    Don’t you just love it when things come together like they did. It goes to show how one item can create the rest of the room! The blues are so cool looking and when the hot weather arrives it will even make you feel cooler. The accessories also give it an upbeat look! Well done. Glad that you found a round table instead of the square one that was there before. Much more interesting.

    Your nephews are just adorable! What handsome men they are becoming.

    Don’t worry about turning 50, it is just a number. I wish that I could be 50 again. lol Look forward to seeing your birthday pictures.

  • Keira says:

    I am so enjoying my early 50s!

  • Ellen Shook says:

    You are a mere Spring Chicken, my dear! Happy Birthday! Revel in it!

  • Cathy says:

    Nice work! Is that a bamboo shade behind the sectional?

  • Jana says:

    Truly beautiful, I love the table! The colors go perfectly together, what a great transformation. Thanks for sharing, gives me some backyard ideas for myself!

  • Sandy Beaty says:


Leave a Reply