I Didn’t Need a Single Tool to Set Up My New 6-Piece Outdoor Dining Set
And it will easily disassemble come fall.
Published Apr 28, 2023 1:00 AM
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What makes for good outdoor dining furniture? Having spent a decade in New York City with nary a backyard or balcony, I lacked incentive to contemplate this question—that is, until my big move in December 2022. Now as a full-blown suburbanite with a patio and patch of lawn to furnish, mulling over weather-resistant purchases is standard practice. Determined to find a solution before barbecue season, I finally landed on a worthy contender after countless hours of deliberating: an outdoor dining set from DTC brand Burrow’s first-ever outdoor collection, Relay.
As a Domino editor, style was my first priority. This dining set needed to complement our exterior’s blue shingles and black accents. But on the flip slide, I didn’t want anything so trendy that we’d hate it in a year. My ever-practical husband, Sam, was lasered in on maintenance and durability: How easy would it be to clean? How would it stand up to a season of New Jersey sun, rain, and humidity? All reasonable queries.
Turns out, Sam is in the majority. After the Relay collection launched in March, Burrow cofounder and CEO Stephen Kuhl shared that consumer research indicated the top frustration with outdoor furniture is that it doesn’t last. The brand invested in a “thorough vetting process” to make sure its new products were game for any weather forecast. The result? Rustproof, galvanized steel and aluminum frames fused together with marine-grade hardware. (If you’re in the market for lounge furniture, those pieces also boast mesh seat decks, quick-drying foam cushions, and liquid-repelling upholstery.)
Luckily, Burrow didn’t discount aesthetics either. The all-metal dining sets are instant classics—there are no fancy flourishes or silhouettes here, just clean lines and some strategic slats that allow water to drain so you aren’t left with unappealing pools to clean up once the sun is back out.
With two powder-coated neutral shades—salt, a creamy white, or shale, a dark-slate gray—decision fatigue is nonexistent. Sam and I went with the six-chair dining set in shale after concluding it would be a nice contrast to our home’s lighter facade. (We also figured it would hide spills and smudges more easily than the off-white.)
The Delivery and Setup
Burrow has a reputation for supersimple furniture delivery and assembly—and the Relay outdoor collection was no exception. Everything is flat-packed (which means free shipping!), and setup is tool-free (take that, IKEA!). Our dining set arrived in a series of slim cardboard boxes, each part nestled Tetris-like into its own niche; no superfluous packaging here. The table comes in two halves plus its four legs. Each chair arrives separated into a seat and back—plus the legs again.
Assembly involves a few pushes and some twisting…that’s it. The process would’ve taken me mere minutes, as Burrow promises, except for one hiccup. Although most of the legs screwed in with no problems, a couple proved stubborn and required my husband putting in serious effort on the final few turns. One leg was so stuck I ultimately asked the brand if it could send me a replacement chair (which it kindly did). All in all, I would plan to put those arm muscles to work.
Living With It
Our Relay dining set hasn’t had an easy go of it; spring in New Jersey has brought with it more than a couple rainstorms and unspeakable amounts of pollen. And yet, it hasn’t budged an inch despite some very windy days. Sure, it can get coated in a film of neon green some mornings—but it’s nothing a quick spray of the hose won’t solve. I’ve watched the pieces dry before my eyes within minutes. We’ve hosted one side of the family for our weekly Friday-night pizza tradition, and the chairs’ subtly curved backs and wide seats proved comfortable for everyone. Given their construction, however, the chairs are a bit on the heavy side—meaning they might be too much for a child to move about, but fine for an adult.
The Final Word
Considering an outdoor table alone can cost more than the entire $2,480 Burrow dining set at high-end retailers like Serena & Lily or Lula and Georgia, you’re getting a pretty good deal. And if you’re going to cash in on a big home purchase, quality outdoor furniture is a smart investment. It needs to withstand a lot more than indoor pieces do, so durable materials and sound construction make a difference. Instead of replacing a rotted or rusted-through set next summer, I’ll be pulling out the same good-as-new Relay pieces I disassembled for storage in the fall. Because, yes, Burrow thought of how much space this stuff takes up in your garage, too.