In partnership with Neighbor.
Moving into a place with a yard was a game changer in ways I didn't expect. All the uses I'd imagined for my outdoor space turned out to be impractical: I didn't suntan (it's not the same away from water), never put in a hot tub (just imagine the heating bill)…
Instead, my little patch of grass became a de facto outdoor living room, the only place I ever wanted to play host. While standing around with cocktails circa magic hour had its own special charm for a while, it quickly became apparent that some solid outdoor furniture was in order. The perfect outdoor dinner party begins with the perfect outdoor dining table, the kind that marries welcoming aesthetics with real-deal functionality.
And no brand has become more synonymous with quality outdoor furnishings than Neighbor, the five-year-old company that's already taken the market by storm. Thanks to Neighbor’s Outdoor Dining Set, a highlight from its line of 20 tables, sofas, rugs, and chairs built to withstand rain or shine, it’s become my one-stop shop for making the most of my al fresco abode.
HIGH QUALITY, LOW PRICES
Neighbor was founded by Nick Arambula, Chris Lee, and Mike Fretto, who met while working at the home goods retailer Tuft & Needle. Each skilled in a different aspect of brand-building – leadership, operations and creative design – the three joined forces to enliven the often uninspiring world of outdoor furniture. Premium, thoughtfully sourced materials formed the backbone of the brand’s core values: craftsmanship, sustainability and connection.
Neighbor’s teak of choice is a great example. It’s an ideal wood for outdoor furniture, as it repels water, resists rot and looks better and better with age (jealous). It lends a beautiful, Scandinavian-inspired craftsmanship to Neighbor's pieces that outclasses the brand’s competitors – but often comes with an environmental cost. Not so with Neighbor, as the brand is careful to source teak only from FSC-certified forests, or forests that are responsibly managed so as to maintain healthy ecosystems.
The connection part comes when you try Neighbor's pieces for yourself. Their durable, inviting frames beg to be gathered around, from sun loungers to loveseats. But if you're like me and spend all day thinking about what's for dinner, wait until you meet the real piéce de resistance.
ALL IN ONE BUNDLE
Introducing the Haven Dining Set, a gorgeous mashup of that FSC-certified teak and durable black woven rope. Available in two sizes, a square table with four chairs ($3,000) and a rectangular table with six chairs ($4,600), you can choose the configuration to match the size of your yard, and your party. Haven takes the best parts of Ikea – minimalist design, easy assembly with hand tool included – but elevates things with real sophistication.
It's all in the details: in the hardware that's so weatherproof it's technically marine-grade, in the umbrella hole that can easily be covered by a solid teak cap. The aesthetics never trump functionality – even the solid wood legs have adjustable levelers so they can be raised or lowered to accommodate uneven surfaces. While teak can benefit from a rubdown with teak shield, which forms a transparent barrier against food and drink stains, but even left untreated it will patina over time to a nice silvery gray.
What's somehow even more impressive, though, is how seriously Neighbor takes the customer experience. If free shipping and a 45 day trial period weren't enough, the brand also offers a very generous 3 year warranty period on the set.
The brand wants you to feel at home, part of a valued community – which is exactly how I want my guests to feel when I seat them around my Neighbor furniture. The pieces are low-maintenance and unfussy, happy to withstand the elements and even happier to anchor a party when I need them to. Having grown up breaking straps on one too many plastic lawn chairs, I couldn't be happier to seat myself outside on furniture that's just as nice as the stuff I've got indoors.
All part of being a good Neighbor.
FIVE MORE REASONS TO LOVE THY NEIGHBOR
1. The brand upholsters with Sunbrella fabric, the industry leader in fade-proof, stain-resistant outdoor textiles.
2. Assembly is so easy that all instructions are provided via a QR code included with your shipment (or on the Neighbor website if you're QR-skeptical).
3. Neighbor's pieces are flat-packed in small boxes to minimize both mess and shipping waste.
4. Need to see the colors up close? Order a free swatch kit for samples of all upholstered fabric.
5. If your family (or friend group) is still growing, you can purchase additional seating for your dining set in groups of 2 – say hello to more of those gorgeous chairs.