The Patio Door Blog – Tips for Choosing the Right Outdoor Furniture
Choosing the right outdoor furniture involves the same work you would put into choosing a new dining set or a new bed. Research and due diligence will pay off in the end. Here are some tips to consider when creating your next patio furniture paradise.
Compile your wish list.
Decide what function or role your outdoor space serves. Do you host dinner parties? Serve as the neighborhood kids’ pool sanctuary? Lounge around and enjoy your view? Make a list of what you want to do in your outdoor space. Take into consideration the dimensions and your exposure to weather. If you simply enjoy the evening sitting with family or friends, then you may not need a dining set. Choose some comfortable deep seating with an accent fire pit, umbrella or outdoor heater.
With the rising trend of buying furniture online, it’s important to understand that outdoor furniture is like interior furniture. It will be used frequently and if you chose price over comfort, you may be very disappointed with your purchase. Research online, visit the stores and sit in every piece of furniture for more than 10 seconds. Use it as you would normally; pick it up, try to reposition it, etc. All these factors will be going into your purchase decision.
Make your purchase decision based on your wish list, durability, function and comfort. Choose furniture that allows you the maximum time to enjoy it, not maintaining it. Metal, wood and all-weather wicker pieces are generally very durable and can handle whatever the elements throw at it. Choose fabrics that are conducive to your lifestyle. Add a short routine of keeping the debris such as leaves and dirt off your furniture and the finish will last longer. Clean up spills as soon as they are noticed and consider purchasing a simple deck box or outdoor furniture covers to protect your investment.
That $399.00 collection might seem like a bargain and at first glance looks the collection same as a $1199.00 collection at a specialty retailer, but looks can be deceiving. There are grades of fabric which are not U/V protection coated that will fade in a very short amount of time. Some all-weather wicker materials are sub-par and tend to crack in a short time when exposed to the elements. The old adage “you get what you pay for” is true in every sense of the meaning when it comes to outdoor furniture. Research the materials, manufacturers, their processes and warranty information.
Do you use your furniture year around? Are you in an area where you need to store it for a season? Storage solutions can extend the life of your furniture. Leaving furniture exposed for extended periods of time without some basic preventative maintenance or protection will expose it to U/V rays and sea air which over extended periods of time will damage the finish and break down certain materials. Add to that any debris that accumulates as well as water, you will have furniture that looks and feels old. If your storage space is limited choose furniture that stacks or folds away easily. If storage is not an option, choose furniture that can be easily maintained. Additionally covers and finish cleaners and protectants should be your part of your plan to maintain your furniture and keeping it look beautiful for years to come.
Outdoor spaces are an extension of your style and the right due diligence should be employed when choosing furniture to complete your vision. When visiting a retailer, ask questions and bring in photos of your spaces and try to imagine the furniture in that picture. This will also help with color choices, sizing, styles and more. Still need some help? Visit any one of our showrooms to start your journey!