Fireplace Cushions…Yea or Nay?

I’m clearing out closets left and right, and stumbled upon these cushions in the back of one of them. The previous owners had the cushions made for our fireplace in our family room. I liberated that hearth immediately when we moved in, but held on to the cushions for later review because I saw their potential practicality. And the fabric is quite adorable. The time for decision is now. I want closets cleared of stuff we don’t need. So…do we need these or pass them along?mid century rock fireplace brutalist sculpture cushions hearth Pros: They are well made, comfortable, in near perfect condition, in a good choice of fabric, and they soften up the hardness of all that rock.Cons: Sections were made to fit around the former fireplace surround, which is long gone, rendering the sections confusing and clunky. They also block access to the built-ins, which house our much used board games. And not that we have fires often, but it sounds annoying to remove them all when you want a fire.I could hang on to them and bring them out for gatherings, but who are we kidding? I’m not a party person. I’m not a people person. I don’t hobby entertain. And I have a gazillion chairs because what I am is a chair person. And these take up quite a bit of storage square footage, which I don’t yield lightly. So unless our family will use them in our daily life, this is where we part. I’ve been uncharacteristically decisive and ruthless with nixing possessions lately, but these are leaving me stumped! Weigh in (or on IG)! And a happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there!!! I don’t normally fist bump, but motherhood deserves a big one! xoxo

Modern Fire Pit Roundup

Any self-respecting suburb lover enjoys a good backyard, myself obviously included. And any respectable backyard has fire. A favorite addition to our backyard was a simple, low fire pit. Even when it’s not fired up, it serves as a gathering spot, as places where fire happens often do.mid century modern landscape mosaic wall firepit fire pit esschert design butterfly chair I purchased ours after a pretty exhaustive search and I’m here to share some of my favorite fire pit finds, just in time for backyard season. I was looking for modern, simple, woodburning (so portable), and a few hundred dollars or less. If you are instead searching for sweet vintage fireplaces for your outdoor fire needs, I’ve got some info on buying right here. But if we are talking fire pits, here’s the goods:

I’ll start with the Low Fire Pot by Esschert Design, the fire pit we own and shown in our backyard above. I landed on this one because it was very similar in design to my first choices but considerably more affordable. There is a 24 inch or an XL 31 inch. I cheaped out and bought the smaller one and wish I’d gone with the XL to be better scaled to our space. Otherwise, we have been very happy with it. It is cast iron and very heavy. (I did give it a coat of high heat paint last summer, and need to do again after this year’s rain, because some rust follows wet weather. I used this paint with initial doubts, but it totally holds up to fire and makes the pot look brand new!)

 

modern firepit mid century

 

 

CB2 has a very formidable contender, the Ember Fire Pit. The design is so sleek and the bowl is a whopping 36 inches, all at a very good price:modern firepit mid century Next up is the fire pit I badly wanted, Design Within Reach’s Cast Iron Fire Bowl. But at only 23 inches and many more dollars, it wasn’t the sensible purchase. Those angles are calling out my name, though:modern firepit mid century While we’re in the $400 range, umm check out this gorgeous 47 inch steel monster:

 

 

 

modern firepit mid century

 

 

 

A smaller 31 inch cousin to the above bowl in an iron oxide finish on steel. So pretty:

 

 

 

modern firepit mid century

 

 

 

Same as mine BUT OVAL:

modern firepit mid century

 

 

An interesting one from Esschert Design:modern firepit mid century

 

So I know I said cheap and this is absolutely not that, but I can’t talk about modern fire pits without including the masterful metalworks of Modfire. Prices are 1K+, but designs are impressive and fun and worth a look…if only for their major Palm Springs street cred.

modern firepit mid century

And that concludes our foray into fire pits. Time to fire up the backyard friends! xoxo

Mid-Century Inspired Patio

mid century backyard patio set dining chairs table wrought ironHey there!! I shared the pretty-much-all-finished-and-so-colorful-backyard a few months ago (with an additional post all about plants and another on that crazy painted wall), but the patio was shielded from your eyes for your own protection. It spent a few months last year looking respectable until we decided to bring that tulip table into the family room. Since then, the patio has been serving time as a dusty alfresco storage unit, making it an eyesore of wasted space.

I’ve cleaned it all up in time for spring – and by clean up I mean I got rid of a bunch of crap. A long but narrow patio can only hold so many patio sets/tables/plants/bar carts. I drag my feet sometimes on letting go of stuff, but am ALWAYS so happy after I clear out. It’s hard walking that minimalist/hoarder line. It may take me longer than most, but I get there in the end.The biggest change is our new patio table, a vintage set I found on Craigslist after a surprisingly long and discouraging search. While I really, really loved our old setup (a vintage tulip coffee table with wood Ikea chairs and bench) my husband strongly disliked eating dinner, which we try to do outside nightly in warmer months, over a low coffee table. Our family room was more than happy to gain the tulip and this new-to-us dining set is so cute, so I can’t argue.I gave it a coat of paint to freshen it up and then searched high and low for vintage style round, outdoor, thin, yellow cushions…an almost impossible feat. I worried I would have to stoop to dreaded sewing. Having no luck, I decided to give these very poofy ones from Greendale Home (mine are in yellow) a shot first. Aside from their thickness, which I’m hoping will mellow with the weight of butts, I love them! They are nearly perfect and are totally giving off that mid-century/desert/resort vibe I was hoping for (Pinterest patio vibes here!) Sidenote: the cushions come in sets of 2 and in TWO size: 15″ or 18″….I almost purchased the 15″, which would have been way too small for my chairs.vintage mid century patio set white yellow chairs table flower wrought ironI went overboard last summer on Acapulco chair purchases when I found them on clearance at TJ Maxx. Six chairs later and no regrets! Two white ones ended up out here, another white pair are in the front yard, the turquoise one floats around the backyard, and a black chair ended up in my daughter’s room (here’s a pic). No waste. We love and use the whole lot.I’ve still got that strange green moonrock fountain sitting on top of our gross hose reel box^ (which I really want to replace with this modern metal hose cabinet and paint it orange or turquoise or yellow, but can’t pull the trigger because it is such a splurge on a such a boring thing…) But that fountain is too weird not to love so hopefully I will find a spot for it in the yard soon (while I wait out a pool).

The side tables (one is a piece of wood on a vintage stool frame, the other an accent table from target) got some bright coats of paint. We are certainly lacking in mosaics out here, so one day soon I hope to make colorful tile tops for these tables. In the meantime, these colorful painted tops are so much better than the haggard wood underneath. Why didn’t I take the 10 minutes and do this years ago? I semi-DIYed this driftwood starburst in order to cover up an unsightly hole in our stucco left when former owners removed an intercom unit, that we really need to patch up but we’ve got some out of sight out of mind going on. Dream hole cover-up would be a vintage ceramic Meridian clock…but I don’t really have a grand lying around for old clocks!There’s that sweet, unnecessary backyard doorbell from Rejuvenation to match our front door. Why does one need a backyard doorbell? Who the heck knows.You can see that I really ran with the orange/yellow/turquoise theme already happening in our backyard. It’s tight and oh so crazy.

SOURCES

Patio set – vintage | Chair cushions – Amazon | Acapulco chairs – TJ Maxx | Tables – vintage and Target | Doorbell – Rejuvenation | Planters – vintage and Homegoods | Wall Hanging – DIY | Birdhouse – TJ Maxx

PATIO TO DO:

  • Repaint table set 
  • Replace mismatched patio lights
  • Replace doorbell
  • Organize patio/toys/furniture
  • Repair sliding screen door that the dog turned into a dog door
  • Find new patio dining set
  • Paint patio set
  • Chair cushions
  • Paint side tables
  • Cover hole in the wall
  • Patch the hole in the wall
  • Mosaic tops for side tables
  • Dining light for table
  • Better looking hose storage

And there we go! The rest of that to-do list is feeling like NOOOO BIG DEAL, for once in my life. Thanks for reading everybody! Hope your weather is warming and your outside spaces are being put to use! xoxo