Changes at Casual Living

mallin, outdoor furniture, Casual Living

As you have probably noticed, I have not posted in a while—quite a while. Honestly, the time between our annual buying trip to Chicago and now, Christmas week, have flown by and my days have been filled with furniture orders for 2017, changing our Forest Drive store from an outdoor furniture store to a holiday shop, making custom holiday décor for customers, and decorating people’s homes for the holidays.

Please accept my apologies. Each time I thought of my negligence and lack of posts,  I kept telling myself that I had to prioritize some how and the blog got the short straw.

As we wind down on an interesting year (that seems to be the general consensus—interesting year), I would like to share some news with you:

First, after six years, my blog, OUTDOORLICIOUS!, will be housed on our website, rather than separately under the domain name. There will still be feature articles about outdoor living but my posts will become more eclectic and varied in length and scope. Anything that strikes me as interesting and has to do with living the good life outside will be fair game. I may write an article, or I may describe how I feel about a few images. You will find interesting grilling recipes and great outdoor travel ideas. New, interesting, helpful, or unique products will be featured, including some that you will find in our store. Until the new site is completed, my blogging will continue its hiatus, but, make no mistake, it will return.

And now, for our big news: We will be closing our Forest Drive store at the end of January, 2017. Our lease is up and, after 12 years, we have made the decision not to renew. The reasons are many: the desire to simplify, the belief that we will be better with all of our staff in one location, the need to update our web site and mobile web site and add a point-of-sale system to our antiquated sales system, and our desire for more time. It is clear that the face of retailing is rapidly changing. Shopping habits have changed and it is impossible to deny the degree to which technology has infiltrated our culture. Staying current and at the forefront is necessary to survival and the time has come for us to advance. While I understand the convenience that our Forest Drive store provides local shoppers, we have neglected those who prefer to shop online or live further away and do not frequent the Forest Drive store. Ultimately, the need to develop those technological aspects of Casual Living have overshadowed the need for two stores in the Forest Acres market.

And, did I mention the big demolition and construction project that will be occurring across this busy street in 2017? Traffic tie ups, frustrations, and customers complaining about it will continue and worsen for some time. The good news for our customers is that our Two Notch Road store is still in Forest Acres;  your desire to shop locally will continue to be fulfilled. For those who dislike traffic, we can happily report that you can cross this off your list of concerns.

Those of you who are inclined to shop (or at least research) online, will be happy to know that both our web sites will be getting face lifts and updated with new technology. Additionally, a point of sale system in conjunction with our enhanced web sites will put us in a position to offer online transactions. Look for these changes in late winter/early spring.

So, in our world, there is a lot going on in what is typically a quiet time of year. We will put our time to good use and it is our desire that you, our customers, will reap the rewards going forward. Please bear with us as we work out the kinks and please, please, please, don’t forget that we have simply moved to our original location (where we opened as the first casual and outdoor furniture store in Columbia in 1976) and continue to be open for business.

We can’t wait to see you at our Two Notch store! Right now, our Forest Drive store has all holiday merchandise on sale. This sale will continue throughout January. In early January, we will add select outdoor furniture and accessories to the moving sale. There will be some tremendous deals and, though the temperatures may be chilly now, it is never the wrong time of year to plan for outdoor living.

Happy Holidays and thank you for your continued support!






Outdoor Furniture Comes to Chicago

casual show,international casual furniture market,outdoor furniture, Chicago market

Once again, September brings the International Casual Furniture Market to the Windy City and those of us in the outdoor furniture industry together for another market.

A newly renovated Merchandise Mart, begun last year, jolted long-timers out of the same-old routine and offered some interesting adaptations of this venerable old space to twenty-first century use. I particularly liked those areas where people could congregate with their laptops to continue working while not at a traditional desk.

The halls were bustling and busy, with late afternoon cocktail parties and many opportunities for socializing and mingling between exhibitors and . . . → Read More: Outdoor Furniture Comes to Chicago

Rooftop Glamping

glamping,outdoor living


How much would you pay for the experience of sleeping outside on the rooftop of a luxury hotel? Or, maybe you wouldn’t consider it even if they were giving it away. Glamping has become the popular style of resort camping. No ordinary tents and campfire cookouts with that you-know-you’ve-been-camping feeling in the morning when your back is aching. Glamping takes the messiness and undesirable qualities of camping off the table.


Many boutique hotels offer glamping on their rooftops. Outfitted with luxury sheet-fitted beds, fire pits, state-of-the-art telescopes for stargazing, outdoor movie screenings, yurts, and more, . . . → Read More: Rooftop Glamping

Double D’s Double Decker Coffee Shop

outdoor dining,outdoorlicious

I spent last week in the mountains of North Carolina, including a day in Asheville. While the residents were complaining about the heat, I was happy to be relieved of the oppressive heat that we have been experiencing in South Carolina all summer. And, while a hot cup of joe was not on my list of wanna-haves, I couldn’t resist stopping at this adorable coffee shop. A bright red English double-decker bus parked in the middle of downtown Asheville serving coffee and food items–how cute! Of course, I had to know if the upper deck was open to customers–it . . . → Read More: Double D’s Double Decker Coffee Shop

Children’s Outdoor Furniture

outdoor furniture,children's outdoor furniture


Kids are people, too. Often, we forget about the little people that live in our homes, expecting them to use everything that is designed for grownups. While we don’t often hear kids complaining about this, it doesn’t mean that we may not be causing grievous injury to their sense of belonging. And, while we may help children adapt to full-scale furniture by using all sorts of props (my family used the New York phone book as a booster seat), there are times when adults would prefer to have their children nearby but not with them. Entertaining outside is . . . → Read More: Children’s Outdoor Furniture