Outdoor Patio Furniture, Decor & Accessories
When set up right, your patio can easily become a true extension of the rest of your house – a favorite place to relax and hang out. Unfortunately, putting together an outdoor space you love poses some unique challenges that aren’t an issue with interior design. More
The following tips will help you navigate the process and choose the patio furniture that's right for you.
Factoring in Function
First things first: how are you going to use this space? Knowing your needs ahead of time makes it easier to choose patio furniture.
The best patios are versatile and operate as anything from a great place for a backyard barbeque to a poolside oasis or a cozy reading nook. To make your space as flexible as possible, select multi-purpose pieces. For instance, ottomans and benches can provide extra seats at a party or be placed around a table for casual outdoor meals.
Considering the Weather
The kind of weather you regularly experience will also factor into patio furniture decisions. You'll need pieces that stand up to the elements rather than buckle under pressure.
For example, people who live in hot, dry areas should avoid buying cheaply made wooden patio furniture because it splinters and cracks after consistent exposure to the sun and heat. Wicker loses its integrity after sitting in humid air for too long, and furniture that's too light weight can be sent flying by strong winds.
Some of the best weather-resistant materials include metal, teak and cedar. To make these sturdy chairs and benches more cozy, buy plush, removable cushions that can be stored when the patio is not in use.
Keeping Comfort in Mind
Since patios are a place to relax and entertain, they should be welcoming and cozy. When it comes to how to choose patio furniture, only you can say what makes you most comfortable.
Much like you would with indoor furniture, test out pieces before you buy them. Pay special attention to the width and depth of the seat, the thickness of the cushion and how easy it is to stand back up.
Another thing that'll affect the comfort of your family and guests is exposure to the sun. To avoid getting too warm or sunburnt, consider a table with an umbrella attachment or two-person swing with an overhead canopy.
Accessorizing in Style
Patio furniture shouldn't just be durable. You'll want your outdoor space to be stylish, too.
Liven up a patio with boldly patterned cushions for your dining table chairs or stick with solid colors and add patterned throw pillows to a couple of the arm chairs.
Rugs can also be a great way to bring style to patios. Just be sure to look for mold- and mildew-resistant fabrics.
Maintaining Your Patio Furniture
Since you'll want to invest in high quality furniture to withstand the elements, it's important to extend its usable life by maintaining it carefully. Wood patio furniture typically requires treatment with sealant or preservative every year or two. Non-aluminum metals should be inspected for rust or chipping and retreated when needed. Plastics just need to be cleaned regularly.
One of the best ways to keep your patio furniture looking new for longer is to store it during the off-season. If this is your plan, look for pieces that can fold, stack, or be broken down to avoid taking up space too much space. If off-season storage isn’t an option, invest in plastic covers to keep patio furniture shielded from harsh weather, be sure to check that water drains off and doesn’t pool atop the covers.