One of our readers writes:
I live in a condo with a small balcony. What suggestions do you have for furnishing a small entertaining space?
Steve Fraser, a sales associate at Rich’s Lynnwood, WA showroom, graciously offered several good pointers.
Measure your space
It’s important to know your patio’s length and depth so that when you select furniture, you won’t bring home big, bulky items that will make your patio look cluttered and squished.
Depending on the size and configuration of your balcony/patio, you’ll be most comfortable with a set that consists of a table and 2, 3, or 4 chairs. Consider dragging a coffee table onto your patio and placing it in different spots, so you can “eyeball” some potential configurations for your patio furniture.
If you want a rectangular table, for instance, you can place a chair on each end of the table and one on each side. If your rectangular table is set against your balcony’s railing, you might want to purchase a set that includes 3 chairs (one on each end and one—or perhaps two chairs, if you can fit them comfortably—along the length of the table).
Think “swivel chairs”
They’re easy to maneuver in and out of in small spaces.
Go for comfort
You’ll want to spend as much time as possible lounging on your patio, so invest in exceedingly comfy “couch potato” furniture. Steve recommends Tropitone’s new model called “Portico,” (available at all Rich’s locations). This set includes a table and tubular, powder-coated aluminum sling chairs. Sling-style chairs are made from an open weave material that doesn’t retain water. Perfect for us Northwesterners who head outside immediately after a rainstorm!
The Portico patio chairs are “mid-height,” says Steve. This size chair is “a little taller than standard height but not as tall as bar height.” Just the right height for peering over balcony railings.
Choose Your Color
The Portico set in stock at Rich’s has a silver-framed 24 x 36 rectangular table, and a sea breeze-colored sling. Oooh! Sounds pretty!
Steve notes that you can choose from a variety of frames, arm styles, fabrics, and fabric colors to create essentially any combo you like.
Steve estimates the cost of the Portico at $1,390. Tropitone includes a 15-year frame warranty. “It’s built so well you can pass it down to your kids if you get tired of it,” Steve says. “It will last a lifetime.”
Pictured above: South Beach sling patio set from Tropitone. Available at Rich’s.