Create Your Outdoor Dining Room

Turn Your Dining Inside Out.

One of the best parts of summer is being able to spend time outside while the weather is still warm. So why not take your dining room outside? Whether you’re planning to entertain or just want to enjoy your space, we’ve got what you need to dine al fresco from daylight to twilight.

Start by Setting the Table
What’s a dinner party without the perfect table setting? Get creative. Choose fun placemats or elegant candles to set the mood. Don’t forget, you’ll need the perfect place to serve up your gourmet meal. If you have a large backyard, consider investing in something classic like a 7-piece dining set. Want to make the most out of your smaller outdoor space? Add a stylish bistro set for two.

Show Off Your Style
Cushions not only provide comfort for the ultimate relaxing experience, but liven up your outdoor space with style. Pick out cushions and pillows that can create pops of color and interest. And don’t forget to look down – adding a patterned rug to your outdoor dining room brings the homey feel outside while adding texture. The more you play with bringing elements inside out, the cozier your space will become.

Add Character
Your table is set and your chairs are as comfy as can be. But don’t stop there. It’s easy to create a mood with simple décor essentials like lighting and accessories. If your patio is covered, make a statement with a pendant light above your dining table. For a smaller space, string lights add subtle ambiance and an element of charm. Accessorize the outdoors-y way by adding potted succulents and lavender plants to your space.

Lounge Long After Dark
Why not make the most of those summer nights that stay warm after the sun sets? Create a space to lounge, relax, or play a board game with friends after dinner. Classic Adirondack chairs make the perfect place to sit back and sip your favorite drink. Side tables double as a great place for a board game tournament. And if your ideal summer evening ends with making s’mores around the fire, grab a few armchairs and a show-stopping fire pit.

It doesn’t take much to embrace your summer nights this season, and moving your dining room outside might be just the answer. So whether you’re planning to entertain or just want a place to relax, we’ve got everything you need here at Orchard.

Patio Theme Spotlight: Fiesta

It’s about time to get ready for spring, and nothing says fun in the sun like throwing a fiesta. But what if you could keep the party going all summer long? With our Fiesta Themed Patio Collection, you can do just that and so much more. Here’s a look at the pieces that make up this festive set.

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How I Created a Boho-Chic Balcony

​Keyma is a lifestyle-blogger and full-time educator living in LA. She writes about fashion, beauty, health, and travel on her blog Style Weekender.

Hello there, Loves.

For today's post, I'm sharing with you my newly decorated balcony, in partnership with Orchard Supply Hardware. I have been itching to decorate my balcony and since summer is in full effect, I knew I had to do it now. I just returned from my vacation (Tulum) two days ago and I was so inspired by all the textures, fabrics, and contrast I saw in Tulum. Immediately upon returning I went directly to my local Orchard store to shop the items I knew would be perfect for my balcony decor.

I started off my week one happy gal, skipping the vacation blues, and enjoying my newly decorated space. Nothing serves more bliss to my life than the comfort and chicness of my home, my happy space. Walk with me as I share how I decorated this chic, mexican-moroccan-boho vibe city balcony.

My balcony was pretty much an empty space with a few plants I tried to keep alive but sadly failed. My guy and I did not spend much time out there. Actually our dog Marley (see his little self below) spends most of his time out there. He had the whole space to himself and he frolics around with his toys and owned that space. But oh, no more. It's now a cozy and chic spot ready for entertaining and relaxing.

One of my top priorities for my balcony was to bring life to the space. This meant, adding green plants or flowers. I opted for these thin leaves palms because they are low maintenance, gives a lot of greenery, will grow overtime and provide me with a beautiful privacy screen. I learned so much about my plant selection from the helpful member of Orchard Supply Hardware in the Nursery department. He was so informed, excited about plants, and really helped me to pick out plants that will serve my lifestyle, purpose, and taste. He took his time to find out what I liked, what I was looking for and realistically what will grow and give my space what it needed. The best part, there is a lifetime warranty on my plants. If they die for some reason, I can easily return them.

Just look at the instant life of that area (north end) once I added those palms; I also got all four pots. I went with two round green ones and two square brown ones for contrast. Love them!!!

On the south end of my balcony I decided on this beautiful and durable Westport Oversize Chair. It can easily sit one or two people. It goes with this gorgeous and functional Westport Ottoman with tray. I love that is serves as a table and an ottoman for additional seating when we do have a lot of guests. The cushions are very durable and I was informed by the excellent staff at Orchard Supply Hardware that it's easy to clean and the material on the chair is also great quality. I was contented to be affirmed about the quality and durability of what I was purchasing.

Next up, I got these two chic Barrel Strap Wicker Chairs in brown. Again, these are extremely high quality, wrapped in aluminum frame and coated with wicker, which will withstand all weather conditions. I added these Home is Where the Heart Is statement cushions and I think they look fabulous.

Orchard Supply Hardware has a wide variety of cushions to please all tastes. It was so hard to choose, but I ended up falling in love with these.

To add some texture to the space I went with these Tag Braided Jute Rugs in Natural. I bought two of them since I figured I could move them around later. They feel so great under my feet and I know my guests will be comfortable too.

At the west-side of my balcony, I really wanted to infuse a Morrocan vibe and create a space where I could really relax on the floor to a good book, a glass of wine, or playing a game of cards with friends. I was so inspired on my trip to Tulum and I brought this serape blanket back along with a dream catcher and a hammock just for my balcony.

I've always wanted to add string lights to my space. Maybe it's because I love Christmas and it's the best supplement to actual Christmas lights, or maybe it is the romantic vibe it gives. 

I figured my balcony would not be complete without string lights and best decision ever!

I also added these two cute stools I found while on my way to check out and had to have them. Do you know why? They were also on sale and your girl cannot pass up a sale. I told you, Orchard Supply Hardware was going to be my perfect one-stop-shop. I didn't want to cram my space and I had thoughts of returning them, but decided to keep them because I can easily stack them on top of each other to store and create more space. I absolutely love them.

I really hope this post has inspired you to create a warm, cozy, chic, or lavish balcony or patio. It truly will help you to fall in love with your home all over again. You'll also spend much more quality time with yourself and your family. If you have kids, it's also a great way to spruce up your space and encourage them to spend time outside. As the weather changes and summer goes, you can easily add a mini heater (they have them at Orchard Supply) and still be able to enjoy your space all year round.

Read Keyma's full article here.

Summer prep in 1, 2, 3…

The first official day of summer is upon us and you know what that means – more fun in the sun! But sometimes summer entertaining can turn out to be far more taxing than it is relaxing – so why not pick this weekend to do a few things to make your outdoor space ready for any occasion? These three tips will help make sure you’re stressing less and entertaining more.

1. Create Conversation Nooks

The grill, the appetizer table, the drink station…these are all popular spots for your guests to hang out during summer barbecues. But take a look at where you might want them to mingle. Create gathering areas; make them big enough to be social but quaint enough to be cozy. Whether it’s chat sets for small spaces, dining tables where you can enjoy a meal or a board game, or lounge sets for conversations lasting into the night, just thinking about the function of each space can help you adjust outdoor furniture appropriately. Already have a patio set? Consider upgrading your outdoor patio cushions. You’d be surprised how inviting a fresh set of seat cushions will be on last year’s furniture.

2. Make an Outdoor Kitchen

Don’t have a built in grilling station outside? No problem. It’s easy to setup an outdoor kitchen – from grills to smokers or even an outdoor pizza oven, you just need to designate a space for the cooking magic to happen! Throw in a shade-friendly gazebo and you’ll have a perfect spot for people to chat up the grill master. Add an outdoor folding table for prepping, a spot for grill accessories and a patio cooler to keep some cold drinks handy, and your chef will be one happy griller! Of course if you want an all-in-one, a grill gazebo might be the ticket. Either way, it doesn’t take much to take your cooking outside.

3. Set the Mood for Entertaining

Outdoor lawn games, pool toys, drink stations…they all help create an inviting and entertaining addition to your summer party. Whether it’s setting up different areas for a bean bag toss, giant checkers or croquet, games are sure to be a hit for kids of all ages. Then think about placing different tubs around for guests to quickly grab a drink – galvanized steel tubs can denote adults-only beverages and colored rope handled tubs can hold child-friendly options. And don’t forget to add ambiance with charming string lights, lanterns, candles or solar-powered path lights. Fire pits also help light up the night and are perfect for smores!

Once you realize how simple these little projects can be, you’ll probably see tons of opportunities to update your outdoor living space. And your neighbors at Orchard are always here to help. After all, summer is all about being outside– so let’s get you out there enjoying the season!

Forget mulch: Fill gaps in the garden with these great groundcovers

Cerastium tomentosum ground

Team Osh Guest Blogger Paul Lee Cannon:

“Who doesn’t love a freshly mulched garden? Besides giving a landscape a beautiful finishing touch, a top layer of mulch (typically wood chips) conserves moisture, keeps weeds at bay, and even improves soil health. But I have to admit I’ve been slowly weaning off mulch the past couple of years because I’ve found a more gratifying alternative, one that doesn’t require lugging heavy bags. It’s called “overplanting.” Basically this means covering as much soil in the garden as you can within reason. The result is fuller, variety-filled planting beds and loads-less stress on your back. I curated this list of easy-to-grow plants that in my experience make fantastic groundcovers and that can, quite literally, fill in for mulch. Plus, the more plants, the merrier, right? Happy growing!

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Stachys byzantina
(Lamb’s Ear),

USDA hardiness zones 4-9 – The fuzzy gray-green leaves are fun to touch (kids LOVE them) and it spreads out along the ground creating a 4-foot-wide or more wonderful, wooly carpet. Pinkish-purply flower spikes rise above the foliage in summer and attract bees like nobody’s business. Grow in a well-drained spot that receives full or part sun. It requires very little water once established. I started growing lamb’s ear from seed many years ago, and it continues to reliably thrive in my garden in numerous ways. You can use it to soften the borders of the front walk, add textural interest to container plantings, and brighten dark spots. I also plant it between shrubs with dark foliage to create a wavy, ethereal effect which is just gorgeous. This plant is so prolific as a groundcover that this past fall I divided several clumps for sharing and poked some into the parking strip in front of our home, where they are now quickly taking over in a good way.

Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage)
Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage)

Salvia leucantha
(Mexican Bush Sage),

USDA hardiness zones 8-11 – Meet my go-to for adding a pop of long-lasting color, filling in bare patches, and planting in tough spots like my multiply mentioned parking strip. I love, love, LOVE this easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant evergreen shrub and for many, many, MANY reasons. It puts out pretty purple and white blooms all year long, attracts hummingbirds, responds favorably to pruning, and covers a lot of ground fast (3-5 feet tall and wide). The narrow, gray-green leaves are handsome as are the upright stems which are covered with white wooly hairs. Plant in full sun for more robust flowering and foliage, then kick back and wait for the hummingbird show.

Cerastium tomentosum flower
Cerastium tomentosum flower

Cerastium tomentosum

USDA hardiness zones 3-7 – If you’ve got a really sunny spot in your garden that needs filling in, pick up a flat of this sweet lil’ evergreen groundcover and dig in. It quickly forms a silvery gray mat of foliage, followed by clustered masses of tiny white flowers come late spring into early summer. It grows 6-8 inches high and wide and spreads faster with regular watering, but is drought tolerant once established. Plant each plug (and lots of them for best, snowiest effect) about a foot apart in well-draining soil. Grow in partial shade if your climate is a particularly hot one. It’s a real rock star in a rock garden, on a dry hillside, and in the company of other plants with similarly hued foliage for a dreamy, monochromatic effect. Now on with the snow!

Eriogonum grande var. rubescens (Red Buckwheat)
Eriogonum grande var. rubescens (Red Buckwheat)

Eriogonum grande var. rubescens
(Red Buckwheat),

USDA hardiness zones 8-10 – This California native perennial plant astounds me. I grow it in dry, heavy clay soil in my front yard, NEVER water it, and it rewards me for my neglect with a dense mound (1 foot long by 3 feet wide) of ruffled, rich-green, oval leaves (white and wooly underneath) and swarms of hot-pink, pom-pom-like flowers from summer to fall. The butterflies love the blooms just as much, if not more, than I do. I harvested last year’s blooms and discovered they make a beautiful, rust-colored dry flower arrangement. Plant this buckwheat in full to part sun, preferably in fall before the rain, then leave it alone. It’s really that easy.

Eriogonum arborescens (Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat)
Eriogonum arborescens (Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat)

Eriogonum arborescens
(Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat),

USDA hardiness zones 7-10 – Here’s another tried-and-true California buckwheat I adore. It’s a fast-growing evergreen shrub with a compact, mounding habit reaching 3 feet tall by 5 feet wide. I grow it in clay soil, full sun, and very rarely water it, but it still responds generously with lots of pale-green foliage and heads of rusty-pink flowers that bloom summer through California winter. You can even give it a go in less light, which will result in darker foliage. I’ve seen it grown in the shade as an underplanting for a tree and it’s still attractive. The casual, meadowy look really appeals to me, plus I appreciate that it responds kindly to the snip-snip of my pruning shears. Care for it as you would red buckwheat. This plant thrives on neglect, too!

Abelia grandiflora (Glossy Abelia)
Abelia grandiflora (Glossy Abelia)

Abelia grandiflora
(Glossy Abelia),

USDA hardiness zones 6-9 – For most of the 13 years I’ve lived in my home, an abelia has beautifully flanked the front steps. This unfussy evergreen has a lovely cascading habit, shiny leaves, and tiny bell-like white flowers. It thrives in full to part sun and there’s no need to water it that much (if at all) once it’s taken root in your garden (an exception to this is if you reside in a hot climate). Abelia grows at a moderate pace, ultimately reaching 4-6 feet tall by 5 feet wide, but is easy to keep clipped back to a manageable size. I love just letting it ramble and cover the ground. Because it does a pretty fabulous job of it.”