From intimate family gatherings to summer cookouts and large-scale parties, Buford’s American Casual Living is your one-stop shop for all outdoor furniture needs.
By: Rachel Pillow | Photos by Karl Lamb
Owners, Lee and Maureen Recchia of Suwanee, were in the outdoor furniture industry for many years before opening American Casual Living nine years ago. Over time, they have watched the quality of outdoor furniture and accessories drastically improve. Outdoor living spaces have become natural extensions of the home with beautiful pieces that would look great inside or out and weather-resistant materials meant to last.
Having a place to gather with family and friends can truly transform a backyard, porch or patio into another functional living space. There is nothing quite as quintessentially Southern as a backyard BBQ with friends or a front porch gathering for conversation and drinks. And, relaxing on the patio after a long, hard day of work can be the perfect way to unwind.
While American Casual Living prides itself on offering high-quality and mostly “made in the USA” brands, they are also cognizant of the fact that many young couples are on the market for “starter sets” – so they stock a variety of more affordable options that are still a much better quality and more long-lasting than what you can find at big box stores.
“You really need to be careful about furniture that is marketed for outdoor use but really isn’t meant for the outdoors,” warned Maureen. “If we get in a new product I will test it – I will put it out on our roof for a month and see if it can withstand the elements…there have been times where I have not purchased an item for our store because the quality didn’t hold up,” she said.
It is especially important for outdoor cushions and fabric to be resilient and fade, mildew and stain-resistant. A good set of outdoor furniture is meant to last 10 or more years, with a little TLC of course. Maureen suggests simply spraying down your furniture when you spray the deck and using a simple solution of Dawn dish soap, water and vinegar to clean fabrics – especially during pollen season.
One of the best things about American Casual Living is their ability to completely customize the look you’re going for. While they have many “patio sets” decorating the showroom floor, they will mix and match pieces of furniture or fabric from different sets to create something in-tune with your vision and the décor of your home. They also offer complimentary in-home consultation for those who need a designer’s eye and help knowing where to start.
If you currently own outdoor furniture that still has a good base and frame, but needs new cushions or fabric, then American Casual Living is the place to go. “We do a lot of replacements and I know we’re the best priced around. And, the fabric mill we work with is locally based out of Griffin, Georgia – we try to support local whenever we can,” said Maureen. And if you aren’t necessarily in the market for new furniture but would like to upgrade or enhance your outdoor space, be sure to check out their wide array of accessories, including: candles, throw pillows, patio décor, wooden signs, outdoor glassware, wind chimes and more. A few simple accessories can really add that finishing touch and make your outdoor space a new-looking, beautiful area to enjoy.