News & Politics

Best of Washington: Perfect Patio Furniture

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Haven’t gotten around to sprucing up your patio? Some stores stop stocking outdoor furniture before school’s out. But it’s not too late: These shops not only are recommended by interior designers for great styles and good deals, but they should also still have good selections.

Best high design: Janus et Cie (3304 M St., NW; 202-333-8111; Designers are gushing over the new Georgetown showroom of this national retailer, which sells ultra-high-end outdoor furniture in modern and traditional styles. McLean designer Barbara Hawthorn likes the Obelisk set ($8,837), a woven-polyethylene-and-aluminum table with four chairs. When not in use, the pieces stack to form a rocket-shaped column. The good news for procrastinators? The showroom carries outdoor furniture year-round.

Best excuse for a road trip: Shore Haus (700 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del; 302-227-3403; DC designer Tracy Morris swears by this Rehoboth store, which sells stylish outdoor furniture and garden ornaments all year. Look for pieces from Windham Castings, which manufactures made-to-order cast-aluminum furniture. Shore Haus also has interesting home accessories and interior furniture. You can browse the Web site before getting in the car.

Best of the national chains: Restoration Hardware (DC, Alexandria, Leesburg, McLean, Columbia; Designers say you can find nice outdoor furniture at Crate & Barrel, Smith & Hawken, Target, and Pottery Barn, but they like the quality and styles best at Restoration Hardware. It sells 11 lines that work in modern or traditional settings, and the cushions come in lots of colors. The stores start clearing out patio furniture in early August—meaning markdowns on what’s left—but you can place an order online.

Best summer sales: Ski Chalet (14130 Sullyfield Cir., Chantilly, 703-631-7880; 203 Muddy Branch Rd., Gaithersburg, 301-948-5200; Many stores offer the deepest discounts on patio furniture in winter. These ski shops—known during warm months as Patio Place—sell outdoor furniture only during spring and summer, so by mid-August patio sets are marked down as much as 70 percent. Popular brands include Winston, known for its weatherproof cushions and sling furniture, and Summer Classics, known for its cast aluminum. Ski Chalet’s Arlington branch doesn’t sell outdoor furniture.

This article first appeared in the July 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.    

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