Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Cheap and Cheerful Bistro Set...From an Unlikely Source!





I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it's 70 degrees most days, so spring in North Carolina fools me every year.  In NC, after winter loosens its icy grip, spring arrives, Disney-style.  Bluebirds sing as they build their nests, trees and bushes explode with blossoms, and the thermometer on the back patio registers a perfect, bug-and-humidity-free, 70 degrees.

That perfect, perfect temperature inspires me (and everyone else in town, judging from the line at Lowe's Home Improvement) to focus our decorating efforts outdoors and spruce up the garden, the porch, and the patio.  We breathe a collective, contented sigh, believing that we can all finally enjoy "outdoor living".  We tell ourselves that spring has come at last... and it will last forever!  Then, as soon as the lemonade is poured, the all-weather pillows are plumped, and the hammock is hung, summer blazes in, trailing a cloud of buzzing mosquitoes, slithering reptiles, and hair-frizzing humidity.  "Retreat!" we yell, and we race into the house (or dive into the nearest swimming pool) where we'll stay until the first merciful fall breeze blows through.


Yes, spring in NC fools me every year, and this year is no exception.  I'm 100% sure that this year, spring is really here to stay!

I was in this spring-centric state of mind when I went grocery shopping yesterday at Kroger, a local grocery store.  On my way to the ice cream aisle, I was surprised to spot an adorable turquoise blue 3 piece folding bistro set, high above my head on top of a case of frozen dinners.


If I were writing a TV sitcom about an interior decorator with spring fever, I might think it would be funny to have my character hallucinate a turquoise blue bistro set in the grocery store.  In the sitcom, she'd see the set, gawk, gape, rub her eyes dramatically, look again, and find that the charming set had dematerialized, leaving in its place a giant pyramid of toilet paper rolls.

But in real life, there really was an adorable, affordable ($89.99) bistro set at the grocery store, perched up high like a big, blue bird that had just landed.


And after I gawked, gaped, rubbed my eyes, and looked again, I noticed that another set--this one in red-- topped the end cap of the next aisle.  Further searching revealed that the set comes in lime green as well.


As fate would have it, I'm helping some Cary, NC decorating clients stage their home for resale.  We needed a bistro set, and--since we'd assumed we'd be working with a boring black wrought iron cafe table and chairs--we had already gathered some other colorful items for staging their back deck.  These included a tray, tangerine throw pillows, a couple of turquoise blue Ball jars:


and a pair of these bright and fun Kavita floral cloth napkins from World Market, which incorporated the same turquoise:


Thanks to smartphones, I was able to share a photo of the Kroger bistro set with my clients, and by the end of the day, they were the proud owners of the only turquoise set in the store. (I called the store and urged them to order more, anticipating that other clients will want to grab a set too.)

The metal set is made by HD Designs and is part of the Orchard Blueberry Collection.  The Item # is: S14S5049F-B.  The set is lightweight, comfortable, and very portable--all three pieces fold up, making this a great set for moving around the yard or deck when you want to chase the sun or court the shade.


It comes complete with free entertainment in the form of these helpful illustrated safety precautions, which I'll summarize as: "You may be male, but don't act like it."


At $89.99, this three piece folding bistro set is an affordable way to add pop to your patio, dazzle to your deck, or glee to your garden.  Happy (everlasting) spring from Red Chair Home Interiors and The Red Chair Blog!