Who loves a good deal?! Yep, me too! Whether you're setting up your patio for the first time this summer, or just giving it a little zhuzh for the season, it's always more fun when you find affordable goodies and killer seasonal sales – more summer for your buck, so to speak. For this shopping guide, I've put together a soft, summer-y version of Mid-Century Modern. Not too edgy, but with the right amount of clean lines and angles – and at an affordable price.
I love a good design influence, so I always start with a look or a vibe I'm trying to achieve (in this case, MCM!). Starting with an idea helps me plan my color palette, as well as the elements I'll need. It's a good idea to plan ahead, as it'll save you from shopping those precious summer minutes away!
This patio look will work in almost any environment. It shares a neutral color palette with a blend of a few colors, grounded with natural wood and black accents. By keeping the palette neutral and the furnishings classic, you can play around with new colors and textures year after year, while keeping the basic furnishings.
And, we're not staying strictly MCM in style, either. Consider this an updated-for-2018 version of MCM, with all the right vibes. Purists can say what they want but THIS is the today-feeling patio that I want to sip cocktails on.
I've included high, low, sale, and affordable selections here (prices are likely to change, of course)…and even a few vintage finds! Overall, I think a little restraint with colors and a style “direction” helps the blend feel pulled together and still casual, instead of edging towards a mix-matchy retro garage sale vibe. Okay, let's go!
1. A bit of an investment (but on holy-moly sale right now), West Elm's coffee table is a serious MCM nod to get the party started: Mosaic Tiled Outdoor Coffee Table; Regularly $469, now $281
2. This petite dining table from IKEA is perfect for morning coffee and happy hour sips: LÄCKÖ table; Regularly $39
3. Another MCM wink here with CB2's updated take on the rope-strung, South American styles of the past: Ixtapa Grey Lounge Chair; Regularly $259, now $199
4. Even if you don't have a full conversation set yet, just toss one of these poufs into the mix and everyone will feel right at home: Project 62™ Ikat Dot Outdoor Pouf; Regularly $49.99
These muted colors act almost as a neutral base for the “room” and would look fab with weather-resistant jute or sisal-look rugs layered on.
5. RugsUSA.com is actually one of my favorite decorating “tricks.” There's almost always a sale going on and they have just about any style you can think up. This sassy outdoor stunner comes in a variety of shapes and sizes: Trans Ocean Ravella Ombre in Aqua, 3.5' x 5.5'; Currently on sale for $147
On the Table
6. I love enamelware over plastic for outdoor use. Somehow plastic never feels like it stands up to the abuse, or looks as stylish: Hearth & Hand with Magnolia™ Enamel Dinner Plate; Regularly $4.99 ea
7. All purpose, BPA-free & dishwasher safe, this is the kind of plastic you want. Pour the piña coladas, please!: Williams-Sonoma Domaine Shatterproof Outdoor Goblets; Regularly $9.95, now $7.96
8. Basic and pretty; another situation where real trumps plastic every time: H&M Home 4-pc matte black forks; Regularly $12.99
9. A cute modern touch that brings the graphic element of MCM to the table. Literally: IKEA HEMMASTADD paper napkins 30 pack; Regularly $1.99
Now, you can spend a gazillion bucks bringing in the final touches. Decorating, styling, accessorizing…whatever you want to call it, this is where things get exciting. Let's start with the patio necessities: plants & light.
10. I can't get over how slick this pendant is, and how seamlessly it would work with MCM, modern farmhouse, Scandi, and just about any style you can think up. Plus…it's solar!: Black Cap Solar LED Outdoor Pendant; Regularly $49.99; sale $34.99
11. Hairpin legs – classic MCM. While these aren't down & dirty cheap, they are another foundational style element and worth the moolah. This one comes in 3 different sizes, too: 9″ White Ceramic Planter with Stand; Regularly $29.99
12. Another MCM-goes-modern twist: Dark Turquoise Ceramic Planter With Wood Stand; Regularly $24.99
13. The reflective gold insides of these cheap candle holders are perfect for extending the summer evenings, and no one will ever know if you're burning citronella tea lights!: H&M Home Small Metal Tea Light Holder in charcoal gray; Regularly $2.99
A Little Something Extra
With any decor project, I like to bring a little soul into the room by way of vintage additions or just a pinch of good fun.
14. These affordable bowls, platters, pitchers and dinnerware are everywhere so keep your eyes peeled at thrift stores and vintage shops. Or, search Etsy & Ebay for “melamine” or “melmac” for indestructible outdoor goodies. Vintage Boonton melamine divided bowl; Regularly $12
15. Pier 1 brings the pool silliness here, with a perfect mid-century vintage feel: Peacock Pool Float; Regularly $89.95, now $67.46
16. Great little side tables and stools help round out the look: Vintage Midcentury Modern Tripod Serving/Side Table; Regularly $52.50
Now you'll have a perfect start to your summery twist on the Mid-Century Modern patio. Let me know in the comments if you've found other budget-friendly or packed-with-style items this season!