When the weather is warm, patios and decks are a natural attraction. Properly designed, they can enhance your home’s living area and provide a backdrop for relaxation and fun. When shopping for outdoor furniture, you need to take into account many factors such as comfort and functionality as well as cost and size. Although outdoor furniture is similar to indoor furniture, there are some unique considerations.
Take into consideration your weather
Are you near the coast or hot and dry? Is it raining often? Is there a lot of sun in your outdoor space? These are important questions to ask before you buy outdoor furniture. Outdoor exposure can be very damaging for all furniture regardless of the climate. Wood can crack and splinter in hot, dry conditions. Regular moisture can also cause wood to rot. Aluminum furniture can be blown away by strong winds. Iron won’t rust, but it will not withstand salty air. Perhaps the most dangerous thing about all is the sun. It can dullen and discolor paint, bleach fabrics and wood, as well as degrade plastic and other synthetic materials.
Be realistic about the material’s properties to ensure furniture that will last. Metal is generally unaffected by the sun, but plastic and rubber are susceptible to UV damage regardless of what product’s manufacturer claims. This is especially true for high altitudes. Wood furniture can come with a high-quality, factory-applied, weather resistant finish. However, it will eventually wear down and need to be replaced or refinished. Consider how your furniture will look in five, ten, and twenty years.
Take a measurement of your outdoor space
Take into account how much space you have, and how it is shaped. Are you looking for a narrow and long balcony, or a wide and expansive deck? As with furnishing a living room or family room, consider the space and shape of your outdoor space. This will help you determine how large your outdoor furniture can be and what groupings they can accommodate. You should also ensure that your furniture is comfortable to move around in. The same traffic flow principles apply indoors.
A bar table set is a better choice than regular dining sets for small spaces. Bar tables are shorter and stools take up more space than chairs. Bistro or cafe tables and chairs are also available. They have a smaller profile.
Before you go shopping for furniture, draw a sketch of the space and measure the dimensions. You should bring the sketch and a tape measure to the store. It’s easy to make mistakes in your head when it comes to proportions and end up with furniture that is too small or too large for your space.
Decide where you’ll place the furniture
Are you able to see your outdoor space or patio from the outside? Do you have an overhead cover? Are you able to place your furniture on grass and soft ground, or on a concrete deck or patio? This will help you select materials that match your environment. You shouldn’t place pine or other soft woods on grassy surfaces. Wood can rot from moisture in the ground. Some metals can also corrode from moisture.
Comfort is important
Your outdoor furniture will be used to relax so ensure it is comfortable. You can make or buy cushions for chairs and lounges that don’t have cushions. Use high-quality outdoor fabric, that is resistant to mildew and fade.
Remember that cushions are only as good as the furniture. You’ll probably need to replace pillows more than once over the lifetime of your furniture. If you don’t use them, your upholstery and fabrics will look great. If possible, put them away after each use. However, they should be kept out of direct sunlight for the off-season.
Comfortable chairs can also be used outdoors with pieces such as rockers, chaise lounges, and recliners. Before you purchase furniture, make sure to test it out. You might also consider daybeds or hammocks for extra relaxation.
Give Storage Space
You should have enough space to store outdoor furniture in winter or at the very least, for pillows and other fabric. Even furniture covers may not provide enough protection for certain materials, such as wicker. You can either have enough storage space or purchase something you can use indoors in the winter months. Outdoor furniture that folds flat is a good option if you don’t have much storage.
Take into consideration your budget
Your budget will ultimately dictate what furniture you buy. However, it is wise to buy high-quality furniture. Quality furniture has more value than cheaper products that don’t last. There are many options available to you if you want to save money on furniture.
As fall draws near, it’s a good time to shop for outdoor furniture in the summer and autumn. It’s the best time to get outdoor furniture at a discount, but it is still readily available. (There won’t be any in winter).
Look for materials that are cheaper but still durable such as aluminum and heavy-duty resin.
You can buy the highest quality furniture at yard sales and thrift shops. It’s common for outdoor furniture to be sold secondhand because it doesn’t fit in the moving van. You can paint, refinish or decorate used furniture with pillows and cushions.