West Elm + REI: A Case for Using Outdoor Furniture Inside

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This year, REI collaborated with West Elm to co-create a collection that makes it easier than ever to make yourself at home outside. To celebrate, we invited West Elm to share their tips for using outdoor furniture inside.

At West Elm, we design our outdoor furniture and accessories to stand up to rain, sunshine and anything else summer may bring—pool splashes, wet towels, sandy feet and more. But here’s a plot twist: The features that make our outdoor styles suitable for time outside make them a smart choice for indoor spaces, too. 

Here are three reasons to consider bringing outdoor furniture inside:

Durability

The best outdoor furniture combines living room comfort with durability. Our weather-ready outdoor furniture frames are also ideal for indoor life with pets or little ones because they stand up to serious wear and tear, are engineered to get wet and can be easily wiped clean. A popular choice for al fresco dining and poolside entertaining, acrylic or melamine tableware is a perfect match for mealtime with little kids, indoors or out, thanks to its virtual indestructibility. And an indoor/outdoor rug is a great option for high-traffic spaces like entryways, hallways or playrooms. While any rug can make a space feel more pulled together, one with outdoor-ready properties like soft, shed-resistant recycled polyester will prove hardier when faced with the heavy foot traffic and inevitable spills that come with family living. Pro tip: Opt for a reversible flatweave, which helps extend the rug’s lifespan.

Outdoor furniture is made to stand up to the elements—wind, sun, rain—you name it. But its durable nature also makes it ideal for active indoor living with kiddos and pets. (Photo Courtesy: West Elm)

Functionality

If only indoor furnishings offered as much versatility as their outdoor counterparts, which tend to be foldable, stackable and packable—making them a solid pick for a variety of settings. Many outdoor side tables look just as at home in a living room, entryway or bedroom as they do outside; plus, they’re lightweight enough to be moved around, allowing for easy floor plan tweaks. End tables or stools made from weather-ready materials (read: they can get wet without damaging) are a good solution for bathroom showers. Similarly, consider outdoor folding chairs for your indoor living spaces. They make for stylish pull-up-a-chair seating and can be easily collapsed and stored when not in use.

Pictured here: The REI Co-op + West Elm Outward Rope Chair, which looks just as good indoors as it does at your favorite local park. The best part? It’s a cinch to fold up and hide away when not in use.

Ease of Care

Last but not least: Outdoor furniture is extremely easy to clean, making it super convenient for life with kids and pets. Dog hair? It wipes off in a cinch. Cereal bowl spills? No sweat. From stain-resistant fabrics and finishes to removable, washable cushion covers, these pieces take the messes that come with real life in stride.

For more inspiration on making yourself at home outside—from dining al fresco to creating the ultimate outdoor hangs—visit westelm.com. Want even more from REI Co-op + West Elm? Sign up to join our Tiny Picnic Festival and check out the entire co-designed collection here

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