The Evolution of Wicker Patio Furniture

Wicker patio furniture is always referred to as a “classic.” Its origins can be traced back to 3000 B.C. in ancient Egypt. The Pharaohs and their families lounge on wicker chairs along the Nile River. Even their thrones were made of wicker. Beds, baskets, tables and trunks were made using this material.

In ancient Rome, Marc Anthony might have bought these pieces of furniture made of wicker from Egypt at the time Cleopatra. Unlike the Egyptian weaving style that had dark colors such as brown and green, the Romans preferred it to be more subtle such as beige and white. Also, the weaving style became elegant and straighter.

In the 15th Century, the wicker reached China and used these materials for storage and for preserving sacred writings. The weaving style became finer and thinner. This was during the Age of Philosophy.

The wicker reached Africa before it was colonized by America. The Africans use wicker as a shield for protection instead of using it for furniture. The weaving style was looser and not embellished.

Through the early settlers, the wicker was introduced to the Americans. The designs were simple yet elegant with a touch of the Victorian era. The colors were usually white and beige and they were used as suitcases and trunks for storage.

In today’s modern lifestyle, the wicker still remains as one of the most in demand patio furniture pieces in the world. Before, most of the wicker furniture came from rattan or cane, while some were made out of bamboo. There have been types of plant materials that have been developed over a period of time. Today, wicker patio furniture can be made out of a traditional or synthetic or hybrid wicker. The traditional wickers came from wood. The synthetic ones were made out of plastic. Lastly, the hybrid wickers were made out of wood and plastic.

Furniture made out of wicker has come a long way. The wicker patio furniture found in our homes will surely stay a “classic” and will forever be an elegant masterpiece in the home.

Patio Furniture in a Tropical Setting

You often dream of retiring at the age of sixty-five and living in a warm and tropical place. As you are nearing this dream, think of finding a suitable house with a wide grassy lawn, a swimming pool and a patio. This would entail lots of money. But for a low budget, you can have that patio of your dreams. Keeping a simple, easy-to-maintain patio is not beyond your reach. Of course, you have to choose the right patio furniture that is weather-proof, child-proof and pet-proof.

There is a variety of patio furniture in the market; some are made of marble, wrought-iron, bent-tubes, aluminum, wood, or wicker. If you want to live near the seashore, then wrought-iron is not for you. You may choose the light and tropical wicker or rattan type with plump cushions. You can paint these white, and cover the cushions with brightly printed durable cotton fabric. Washable fabrics are a good choice for furniture cushions, although leatherette is also a good alternative since this is easy to wipe with a damp cloth. Just bear in mind that you need low-maintenance patio furniture for easy living.

When inviting friends over for a barbecue, be sure to have enough seats for all of them, arm chairs, sofas, divans, or hammocks, where they can lounge around while waiting for the grilled food. If there are children or pets around, they may tend to spill beverages or foul-smelling stuff on your furniture. If you have the right patio furniture that are low-maintenance and easy-to-clean, then you won’t have to worry about this.

Your patio floor should also come in rugged weather-proof material in warm earth colors to match your furniture. Add lots of potted plants or flowering shrubs around your patio and you have a small hideaway of your own where you can relax with your favorite book, with a cold drink in your hand, or listen to soft music while you drowse. This may be all you need to get away from a hectic lifestyle, close to the ideal retirement paradise you dream about.

Choosing a Patio Furniture Set

A Patio furniture set can greatly enhance your outdoor relaxation. By choosing your patio furniture wisely you will not only create a great outdoor ambience but will also extend your inside décor to the patio or backyard beyond. Summer months are there just for enjoying nature. It is a about gathering the family around for fun and backyard BBQ’s and a beautiful Patio Furniture Set will help create the stage for great parties or family time.

Choosing a patio furniture set should not be a hard decision. Do a little research and examine your inside lifestyle to get an idea of what you want your patio furniture to say about you and your outdoor space. Here a few pointers to help you create the ideal setting with your Outdoor Patio Furniture Set.

If you are purchasing patio furniture remember that quality is always more important than the cost of the furniture, if you look at it as a long term investment. See if you can find some quality sets that you can put together yourself to save a little money. Since outdoor entertaining is one of our favorite pastimes try to purchase the best quality you can afford for durability.

There is no patio furniture set that is without maintenance. Some outdoor furniture will require re-staining, steam-cleaning or covering during harsh weather periods. Be sure to know what maintenance your patio set will need as this will add to the cost of the patio furniture over the long run.

Before you begin to shop for your patio pieces make sure you know how much space is available on your deck or patio and how many people it will comfortably fit. Having large, oversized pieces in a small space will not make it conducive or comfortable for entertaining.

Your choices will include wrought iron, aluminum, wicker, wood and plastic. What you choose will depend on your space and budget. The style of your home will also be a factor to consider. If you live in a country setting you may wish to use wicker with country themed cushions. Or, if your home is in the Spanish style perhaps a wrought iron collection would be more suited for your backyard or patio.

Some say that wood patio furniture is your most expensive option and in most cases it is true. But, it depends on the type of wood you choose. Cedar will last for ever but lesser woods will need constant sealing and painting. It is best to research the manufacturer of the wood pieces you are interested in to see how much maintenance they will need. Wood, of course, will look best in the outdoors because it is natural for that setting. Another plus, it does not absorb heat or cold.

Wrought Iron Patio Furniture is the next on the tough to destruct and more expensive list. Wrought iron comes in several colors to easily match your décor. An additional benefit is that you can mix and match the cushions for seasonal changes. Wrought iron patio furniture is not without it’s maintenance. If cracks or pits occur you must seal or paint them or the furniture will rust. This can be easily done in the early fall and spring seasons. Wrought iron also comes in a plethora of designs often using garden, floral, and mythical motifs. A plus for this type of patio furniture is that if you live in a windy area, these pieces are not easily blown around.

Wicker Patio Furniture, which is cozy and ~county-ish~ is lovely, bright and can lend an air of romance to your patio or deck. Rattan is a vine that grows in South-East Asia and then is tightly woven. It has a very distinctive appearance but is light weight and easy to move around, (a plus in secluded areas but be careful in windy spots). Be careful not to set in direct sun which will cause fading especially if brightly colored.

Aluminum patio furniture is by far is the biggest seller of outdoor furniture. Its appeal is that it looks like metal or wrought iron but is quite bit less expensive. It comes in a vast array of colors that do not rust and are easy to maintain. They will absorb heat and fade if placed in direct sunlight. Be careful about placing them in overly windy areas as they are lightweight and may take flight.

Plastic patio furniture is the choice if you are budget conscious or you don’t mind replacing the patio furniture every now and then. Plastic has evolved into ~look-alikes~ of wood, wicker and wrought iron but it does have its downfalls. Plastic is not suited for windy areas as it is lightweight and will definitely fly around in a wind storm and it has no lasting value.

When purchasing your Patio Furniture Set try to buy all of the pieces at once or at least as many as are in your budget. Over the years manufacturers discontinue some models to make room for new ones, making your pieces hard to find.

With a little planning and this guide you should be able to pick out the perfect patio furniture for your backyard and be ready to throw a fantastic Barb-B-Que for your family and friends in a beautiful setting.

Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.

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Winterizing Your Patio Furniture

When the warm summer months are coming to a close and you start to see the leaves turn and drift to the ground, it is time to start preparing your patio furniture for winter storage. While it is always difficult to close up that umbrella and acknowledge that it is your last dinner on the patio for the season, a little planning can make sure you will be able to enjoy your patio furniture set for many years to come.

Most patio furniture is designed to withstand years of exposure to heat, rain, a little wind, and the sun. However, the harsh ice, snow, and wind that generally arrive during the winter months can dramatically shorten the life of your patio furniture. The following tips involve a little elbow grease and possibly some minimal purchases that will effectively minimize the wear and tear on your patio furniture during the winter months.

Preparing Your Patio Furniture for Storage

The type of furniture that you have on your patio can determine the process you should use for winterizing preparations. A variety of Patio Furniture Sets are available on the market, with materials ranging from aluminum to wicker. For the purpose of this article, the most common patio furniture types have been included in the tips in order to get you started.

If any of your patio furniture pieces or accessories are in need of replacing, autumn is the time to find great deals! You can add to your current set or consider new cushions, pillows, or other complimentary items.


Ensuring that your furniture set is clean before it is stored can help prevent staining and corrosion while making it possible to pull out your furniture to enjoy those first warm days once spring arrives.

Cleaning Wicker Sets: Wicker sets can be made of true rattan or synthetic rattan. Often, the wicker is sealed with some sort of finish to protect the material. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Metal Sets: Most metal sets are sealed with a powder coat finish to ensure a longer life.Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Wood Sets: Wood sets can vary, from a classic picnic table to a set of Adirondack Chairs. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that require sanding, painting, or staining. If the wood has a natural finish, consider rubbing a furniture oil or mineral oil into the surface to keep the wood from splitting or becoming brittle during dry winter months.

Cleaning Cushions & Umbrellas: Many Deep Seating Patio Furniture Sets include substantial cushioning, while other sets are accented with optional cushions or pillows.Brush off any debris on cushions and umbrellas. If cushions and pillows have removable covers, wash and dry them according to manufacturer instructions. If cushion covers cannot be removed, use mild soapy water and a sponge to wipe off any dirt on cushions. The same technique can be used on the umbrella. Let the cushions, pillows, and umbrella dry completely before storing.

Covering/Wrapping Your Patio Furniture

There are a number of options available for the covering or wrapping of your patio furniture sets. Ideally, it would be nice to move your furniture into a garage, shed, or basement where it is dry and sheltered. However, there are very few people that have the extra space available to store bulky items like patio furniture. If this is the case for you, there are still great methods for protecting your furniture if it must stay outdoors during the winter months.

Once you have cleaned and dried your furniture and accessories, try to consolidate the pieces to minimize the space that will be required for storing everything. Stack chairs, remove cushions, and dismantle any components that might be susceptible to damage. Select a storage location that is as sheltered from the elements as possible. If feasible, bring your fabric items inside for the winter, or consider putting them in a sealed tote or plastic bag for dry storage. There are a number of commercial patio furniture covers available on the market for a variety of patio furniture types. These covers are usually made from heavy duty canvas that is sealed to keep out moisture and protect from damage. Other options could include having your set professionally wrapped in plastic film or simply using a large tarp that can be secured with rope or bungee cords.

Successful Storage Throughout the Winter

If you have followed the cleaning and covering steps outlined previously, you can probably feel comfortable knowing that your patio furniture will be safely cocooned for the winter months to come. On occasion, it can be helpful to brush any accumulated ice or snow from your furniture coverings to prevent any leaking or shifting that could allow moisture to infiltrate and damage the furniture. It might also be a good idea to check every once in a while for any critters that might have decided that your securely covered furniture set would be a perfect home for the winter.

While it may be time to trade your flip flops and sunscreen for wool socks and hot cocoa, you can look forward to a successful transition into summer next year with patio furniture that has been carefully stored.