The Outdoor Furniture We Decided On

Jessica Sturdy Home Decor Chicago Rooftop Patio Plan

I should preface this post by saying please pardon my Photoshop skills, as I’m no graphic designer! 🤪 But, I wanted to share our plans for the last space we’ve been waiting to furnish on our rooftop. (And I’m a visual person so I’m constantly making mockups to decide before hitting purchase!)

We’ve got a very large rooftop above our condo… It’s about the same square footage as our living space downstairs! Since we love to entertain and Dave loves to cook, we prioritized an outdoor dining table and chairs first, and then our chaises (not pictured) to have a comfier place to lounge, but Dave’s been on me about making a decision so we can finally enjoy the area under our pergola!

Since we moved in, we knew we wanted to put a cozy couch, an outdoor rug, and some variation of chairs under our pergola. It’s got a retractable sun shade, so it’s the perfect spot to block the sun when you need to or leave it open to get some more warmth in the spring or fall. But when making such a big investment, I want to do allllll of the research and truly live in the space to get a feel for what would work best for us. We’ve done a ton of entertaining already this summer (with some super chic camping chairs as placeholders 🤪) and if we had ordered furniture two and a half months ago, I probably would have gone with the same layout that the previous owners had. But after spending so much time in the space, I’ve got a much better feel for what will work best for us! And, like I said, I’ve scoured the internet reading review after review, comparing costs, thinking about the future, etc. I’ve done my due diligence and I’ve finally decided on the brand we’re going to buy… Outer!

Let me first start by saying, Outer is definitely an investment. But they’re running a 30% off sale for Labor Day this weekend so we’re finally going to hit purchase and seal the deal. The best part is most of the pieces are actually in stock, so we should have our new cozy rooftop oasis set up in just a week or two!! So much time to enjoy the rest of the September summer and fully utilize the space this fall for outdoor movie nights, football viewing parties, and the like. Ahhh, I can’t wait!!

They have a few different collections… Wicker, Teak, and Aluminum. I adore the look of Teak furniture, but since we’re in Chicago and have a home with very modern finishes, aluminum was the obvious route for us. Aluminum withstands the elements without rusting, chipping, cracking, or warping… Yes, please!

We took the configuration quiz and we’re still sort of deciding on which route to take, but we’ve got until Tuesday (when the 30% off ends!) to mull it over. You know how guys are… Bigger is always better so naturally Dave wants to go with the 5-seat sectional. Pictured below is the 4-seat sectional with a rug and side table.

Weatherproof Outdoor Sectional for Chicago Rooftop

One of my favorite things about Outer is that their furniture is modular! So you can rearrange and add at any time. So say we order the 4-seat sectional and after living in it for a bit and wanting more seats, we could order another armless chair to convert it to the 5-seat. That was a big deciding factor for me when deciding to go with Outer… We thought about just getting an outdoor couch for a fraction of the cost from Target or Wayfair since this isn’t our forever home, but this furniture will be able to grow with us, and that made such a difference in justifying the cost.

Dave was like, “What if this doesn’t last that long?!” Outer furniture has a 10-year warranty!! I feel like I sound like such a salesman, but trust me when I say, I did the research and had to sell it to Dave (and myself!) if we were going to make the investment.

I was reading that sustainability is one of Outer’s main focuses, which is why they make their furniture stand the test of time and be able to reconfigure to work with any sized/shaped space. It’s also apparently fully recyclable, which makes you feel good that they’re thinking about our planet.

Outer Furniture Corner Sectional and Fire Pit

I also like the look of the corner sectional, but since the pergola is more of a rectangle, the four-seat or five-seat L-shaped sectional is probably better for our space. But then I keep going back to the 3-seat sofa and a set of chairs… If we did a 3-seat sofa with a set of armless chairs, we could add them on to create a bigger sofa/sectional.

Outer Modular Sofa with Armless Chairs
Outer Outdoor Aluminum Sofa with Fire Pit with Ceramic Balls and Propane Cover

But TBH, I’m not sure that I like the look of the armless chairs on their own. I think I’d rather have the club chairs as standalone chairs (in this sofa + chair set), but that wouldn’t give us all of the modular options in the future. Ugghh, I have such a hard time making decisions with this kind of thing!! Would love your thoughts if you have any.

Outer Aluminum Grey Outdoor Furniture

But aside from my indecisiveness, the best part... The OuterShell! Any time I’ve been at a friend’s house and we’ve had to get all of the covers off the outdoor furniture or hurry up and clip them on if a storm was coming in, it never feels like an easy, breezy process. Dave and I are the type of people that like to enjoy the things we have… We drink the nice bottle of wine instead of saving it for an unspecified special occasion, we use our nice plates and serving platters for dinner during the week, etc. And we like things pretty fuss-free! And with a dog (and friends’ kids), I don’t like having anything that’s too precious. Yes, we take care of what we have, but we really live in it, if that makes sense. I know that we’d think it was such a pain to have to cover and uncover our furniture every time we wanted to use it.

I’ve never seen anything like the OuterShell that Outer furniture is known for… Each seat has a built-in cover that rolls out to protect the cushion and Velcros to the bottom. It just as easily rolls back into itself, too! It looks like a total game-changer. There are a ton of videos on the site that show how it works! It’s so cool.

Fire pits aren’t included in the 30% off sale, so I think we’re going to hold off on ordering that, for now, to space out our big purchases. But when we do, I think we’ll definitely be getting this one with ceramic balls and the coordinating propane cover!

Outer Rooftop Sectional Sofa with Firepit

So that’s what we’re thinking! I did a little Poll on Instagram a few weeks ago getting your input (both good and bad) on outdoor furniture brands and only one person mentioned (good things about!) Outer. So I wanted to be sure to share my findings after all of the research I did!

PS: If you use my link and discount code (JESSICASTURDY), you can save an extra 5% off your order, too!

Our Current Furniture

Dining Chairs
Dining Table
Striped Umbrella
String Lights
Outdoor Dog Bed
Outdoor Ball

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  1. 9.5.22
    Madeline said:

    If you get the sectional and have a lot of guests they will all have to line up in a row. I like the chairs and large sofa better. I think it will end up accommodating more people. And what if itโ€™s guests you donโ€™t want to get that cozy with on a sectional.