There's no better place to be in the summer than outdoors in Seattle. Live it up right with these whimsical touches.

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There may yet be a few bumps in the weather forecast, but the temperature is rising rapidly and a new outdoor season has begun.

Enhance your enjoyment of the outdoors with these products that are as free-spirited as the season.


Melamine dinnerware can be humdrum, but now one line has the look of ceramic crackleware in tropical colors.  Williams-Sonoma’s Rustic Melamine Dinner Plates ($41.50 for four) come in seven colors. There are also matching salad plates, bowls and serving pieces.

Twig Disposable Flatware ($10 for a set of 12 at is plastic cutlery with twiglike handles that’s nice enough to use at any outdoor meal. The dinnerware can be used on a whimsical table indoors, too.

“Savor: Rustic Recipes Inspired by Forest, Field and Farm” ($30 at booksellers), by Ilona Oppenheim, is a lovely addition to a kitchen library. Oppenheim makes meals for her family with easily found fresh ingredients. The recipes are fairly simple and the photographs are gorgeous, making this a treat even if you don’t feel like cooking.

Even if you have a small patio or deck, you can grill with the Vacances Portable Barbeque ($69 at The 14.6-inch diameter charcoal barbecue comes in four fun colors, grills and smokes, and has a vented lid for temperature control.

Castiglioni Allunaggio 
Outdoor Stool, $1,332
Castiglioni Allunaggio Outdoor Stool, $1,332


Those who have a terrace or garden may like an extraordinary chair or garden stool that is as much a piece of sculpture as it is a comfortable perch. The Castiglioni Allunaggio Outdoor Stool ($1,332 at was designed in 1965 with spidery legs that make it look like an enormous insect set in the grass. It’s also practical: Its widely set steel legs prevent the grass underneath from being shaded.

Tord Boontje of the Netherlands created his colorful chair in 2009, and it, too, is an artful statement that looks nice indoors or out. The Shadowy Armchair ($1,980 at is made of steel with colorful polyethylene threads, and each is slightly different.

Ross Dolton Trophy Bull bike rack, $129
Ross Dolton Trophy Bull bike rack, $129


Add a piece of sculpture to the inside or outside of your house that’s also practical. The Ross Dolton Trophy Bull bike rack ($129 at is made from steel coated in plastic rubber in the shape of a bull’s head. Designed and made in the U.K., it looks good on the wall even when the bike is on the road.

Toss a couple Terrain Tasseled Linen Throws ($98 each at on the back of your Adirondack chairs and your yard will feel instantly cozy. The beautifully hued blankets are a generous 50-by-70 inches, and are machine washable.