Weekend Reading 5.3.20

By Kate Riley May 3, 2020

I woke up in a good mood, but it shifted when I started reading the articles and posts coming from everywhere, all of them laden with the rising tension among people that is escalating with the ongoing quarantine. There are endless opinions and cautionary statistics stacked up against people’s desires to open businesses and exercise daily freedoms. It’s enough to make anyone feel blue. But I know better than to keep reading too much of the news or all the Facebook posts. Instead, I do the things I need to do to center myself. I take a long walk, I listen to uplifting music or podcasts, I clean or organize or I do something creative. These are just a few of the tools I use to hit my reset button.

I wrote about the art of seeking a state of ananda, which is a Sanskrit word for inner bliss. It is a state of contentment that is difficult to maintain in challenging times especially because there is a lot of personal and collective suffering in the world right now. What I try to do is to see in every difficulty that we’ve been presented with an opportunity to practice a state of gratitude and find the joy that exists deep within, regardless of external circumstances. It’s an extremely challenging mental exercise, but one that helps me get through each day. What tools do you turn to to keep your spirits up?

Favorite links from the week:  

This beautiful color palette in a styled “wedding by the sea”.

I got 10 out of 11. How good is your color vision? Take this test.

Darlene’s family daily theme posts are so great!

I love working with resin, this is another happy DIY project to try!

9 virtual escape rooms to break out of with family and/or friends.

Homemade bird feeders to make to attract feathered friends.

Tips and techniques for garden transplanting.

Change up your grill routine with these 30 side dish recipes.

Why the Scandinavian countries continue to rank the “happiest” in the world.


Be well friends! xo

3 Piece Outdoor Conversation Sets

By Kate Riley April 30, 2020

Thanks for the kind comments on my simple mini patio makeover. Continuing with the outdoor theme, I’ve gathered some modern three piece sets to tuck in a corner of your yard or arrange on a patio or balcony or porch, ones that will give you an instant conversation set on delivery. A few of you inquired about how to assemble your own set of three by combining a pair of chairs with an accent table from a different source, I created a few examples below. :)

Coordinated Sets

wicker bistro

navy wicker



steel & rope

papasan rope

all weather rattan

blue green criss cross set

blue retro also in red 


wicker with tray table

acapulco bistro set

rattan & steel

If you are more interested in a mixed set of chairs with a table or stool for a collected look, you can get creative. I don’t believe there’s a perfect formula to it. If you find a set of chairs or a particular accent table you really like, do some research online to find a good complement. Garden stools always make nice little side tables, but pay attention to their width, some are less than a foot wide which doesn’t allow for resting much more than a beverage and a book/plant.

For a chic medley, I like to find one complementary detail in each piece, whether that’s a color, a geometric line, a certain style, or a balance in materials. Below are a few ideas for mixing a set of chairs with a different style accent table. I’ve played with colors and textures, imagine them accented with pillows and surrounded by plants!


Mixed Sets


wide black chairs + white terrazzo table



open weave white chair + scallop side table



essex club chairs + navy ceramic table

resin weave chair + tropical bird stool


wicker strap chairs + concrete drum


acapulco pink chairs + textured cream stool



 black wingback + golden oval table

all weather chair + teak stool

gray and wood chairs + accent table

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)