Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lawn Furniture and Suburban Planned Obsolescence

What is it about lawn furniture? Especially the cushions. I am trying desperately to get stains out of our one year old cushions. Duh, I did store them for the winter before I tried to clean them, I'm sure that's mistake number one.

These things cost more than the actual furniture frame of our outdoor furniture. Mistake number two: the cushion color. To the best of my memory, it was decided by myself and my husband. However, he told me this morning as he looked at our faded, stained cushion covers, that he had chosen "dark green" and the pale blue mess is my fault.

That's now how I remember it. No matter, here I am with hundreds of dollars of cushions in that fancy, stain-resistant sunbrella fabric that look like crap. Not only do they look less than worthy for someone to plant their tush in, they are "discontinued," and virtually irreplaceable. Go figure.

Spring is almost like Christmas for grown ups with patios. All of the sparkling new outdoor furniture comes out in the fancy catalogs and in the back corner of Target. It all looks fresh, clean and inviting. You fantasize about sitting out on a sunny afternoon or a balmy evening and all you can think is that you want new furniture, new cushions and all of the gardeny nick nacks that makes the outdoors a home.

I ignored the directions, I took the cushion covers off and put them in the washer on delicate/hand wash. I should have used bleach and the power scrub mode. It basically made no difference. Oh, Smith and Hawken and Sunbrella, why have you forsaken me?

Is it the planned obsolescence of lawn furniture? What is a suburban woman who wants to serve lemonade in the summer on clean cushions to do?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm with Sunbrella, and I'm horrified to hear your dilemma. If your cushions are only 1 yr old, the Sunbrella fabric warranty will cover you. Normally, to activate that warranty, you go back to the place of purchase, but I’m guessing that your local Smith & Hawken has closed. They carried only Sunbrella outdoor fabrics up until late 2008 / early 2009. At that point, they brought in some competitive fabrics. I don’t normally side with husbands, but the dark green would have definitely been Sunbrella. The light blue may not be. If you’re interested in shipping me a cushion cover, I would be happy to determine if it’s Sunbrella. If it is, we’ll activate a warranty claim and make this right for you. Email me at with questions / details.