Made in the Shade

Lawn and patio furniture are two things I’m not used to bringing home in my shopping bags. But that won’t stop me from getting the scoop for you, dear readers. And if you think there’s not a stylish side to outdoor furniture, you’re looking in all the wrong places.

If only I had a backyard worthy of the Lloyd/Flander’s Mandalay collection right-arm chaise lounge, fit for Cleopatra herself. Pop a grape or two into your mouth and languish in the sun on this leopard-print cushion with available matching table—fanners not included. You can find the black wicker chaise at Oceanside Casual Furniture (17 Midway Shopping Center, Rehoboth Beach, 645-8710).

Also check out Lloyd/Flander’s collection of fun accents, like the shirt pillow. Snuggle with this fun piece, which is available in different colors and comes complete with buttons. If wrought iron is more your bag, peruse Oceanside’s Mimosa collection. The iron chairs have a sweet flower-inspired design. Up your backyard elegance with a wheeled cart that’s perfect for serving tea at high noon.

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Of course, it’s not all about what you’re sitting in. Sometimes the best outdoor accents are what you’re swayin’ in. For the ultimate in outdoor relaxation, head to Casual Marketplace (400 Hockessin Corner, Hockessin, 234-4800; U.S. 9 West, Lewes, 684-4500) and swing through the collection of Hatteras Hammocks.

You can choose from rich-colored stripes or jacquard prints. They’re anything but your typical tie-it-between-two-trees standard. You can even take a ride on the hammock bed. In lieu of the traditional hammock, this swing incorporates a cypress wood frame and fabric bed. It’s so serene and inviting, we don’t think waking up on the wrong side is an option.

If it’s choices you want, you’ve come to the right place. The Summer Classics collection at Casual Marketplace is enough to please any personality when it comes to fabric for your custom furniture. Indulge your nautical jones with a sailboat theme in beige or navy, or kick up the hip factor with polka dot or houndstooth patterns.
And of course, what patio spread is complete without an umbrella? Treasure Garden has tapped into the instant gratification sector with its stylish umbrellas: no cords, no crank, no worries. Just push one button, and you’ve got it made in the shade. For some European style, go with an Octagon Cantilever umbrella. The free-standing, sleek structure will give your outdoor oasis a chic update.

Then there’s the reason why the outdoor patio industry is what it is—the grill, of course. If you get your animal print chaise and matching chairs, he should be able to whip himself into a Weber grill frenzy.

Go huge with the Weber Grill Summit E650 at Sears—six burners, a mounted side burner and rear-mounted infrared rotisserie burners. (I don’t know what any of that means, but it sure sounds like one juicy burger at the end.)

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If you’re grilling goals aren’t quite as lofty, the Weber Q-300 has you covered at Kitchen and Company (1307 New Churchman’s Road, Christiana, 283-0655). Sleek and shiny, you might even be able to convince the lady in your life that it’s a welcome addition to her carefully chosen outdoor decor.

Hey, it could happen.


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