on the hunt for a modern affordable picnic table


Once you have kids, benches and booths seem to become the dining furniture of choice. Which is why we’re selling our practically new IKEA ARHOLMA patio set on Craigslist and looking to replace it with a simple yet stylish picnic table. There’s just something so casually charming about this humble outdoor table. If money were no object, I would gladly fork over $1,000 for Pottery Barn’s Chesapeake Picnic Table set, made from FSC-certified solid eucalyptus. Or Loll’s more modern Alfresco table and benches. But, sigh, my price range is several hundred dollars below that. Leave it to Target to save the day once again with its own version of an FSC-certified eucalyptus picnic table. For just $199! Not as wow as the Pottery Barn option, but what do you think? Should I go with the more basic Target one and put that $800 toward a new grill and outdoor lounge chairs? –Ginny F.

From our partners

Sounds like a good plan to me! I don’t see that much of a difference between the Tarjay model and PB one except for color… you could always stain it. :)

Check Craigslist and even google in your area for unfinished patio furniture. We bought our picnic table and benches, just like the one in the picture, off the back of someone’s truck one Memorial Day weekend. They also had a shop with other pieces.
We painted the table turquoise and get compliments on it all the time. It was less than $200 and is very sturdy and well made. Besides, it felt good to buy from a family run business rather than a big box store.
Good luck on the hunt!


I second the check around used. But if you do opt for the target one (link didn’t work for me) I definitely want to hear a review.

Megan B

I’ve seen photos of Greta’s table and it’s adorable — now I want to stop by the unfinished furn. store and see how much they cost. Our front yard is begging for a picnic table under our magnolia and maple trees. Begging.

Greta, great idea. I actually found a couple of woodworkers on Craigslist with some similar options (plus I could pick the stain I wanted) but got kind of spooked about spams when they asked for money upfront. Perhaps I should try not to be such a worrywart!

meant scams, not spams. :)


Actually, the Target one is my favorite!


I bought a table and benches a few years ago that look exactly like those, only a dark stain. They fold flat for storage, and we can take them with us when family and friends need extra table space, also have used them at Relay for Life every year. We got them at..Ikea. I gues they do not carry them anymore.