Garden and Patio Furniture – What to Look For

Garden and patio furniture can really add a lot of appeal to your patio but it is important to choose your outdoor furniture carefully to ensure you get the best looking and longest lasting furniture.  This applies to furnishing a new patio or redecorating an established one.

When choosing your patio furniture you should consider several important points.  These are:

  • 1. Durability
  • 2. What the furniture is made of
  • 3. Color
  • 4. Size
  • 5. Does it complement your patio and home?

Outdoor furniture can be made from many different materials such as plastic, wood, wicker and metal and comes in many different styles.  Before you choose your patio furniture decide what sort of look you want your patio to have and how much room there is for furniture.  This last point, how much room, is very important as you do not want all of the room on your patio to be taken up by furniture nor do you want a tiny setting in a huge space.

The most economical way of buying furniture for your deck is to buy outdoor patio furniture sets.  That way the pieces of furniture match each other and, because you are buying the furniture as a set then quite often the price is cheaper than if the components were bought separately.

Durability is very important.  The furniture is most likely going to stay outdoors.  That means it will be subject to a variety of weather conditions like rain, dust, wind, sun etc.  Even if your patio is covered the furniture will still be subject to weather conditions.  If you buy cheap plastic or PVC patio furniture you will most likely have to replace it within a short space of time, maybe in 2 – 3 years.  This type of furniture can deteriorate rapidly if left out in the weather.

Metal patio furniture is very durable but may need some periodic attention such as painting and rust removal but can look great in the right setting.  

Wooden patio furniture is the most popular.  Many varieties of wood are used for making outdoor furniture and some are more durable than others.  This means that outdoor furniture made from the less durable varieties will need regular attention like painting, staining or oiling.  With some woods, e.g. pine, this maintenance may be as regular as every year.  The more durable timbers are jarrah and teak and usually a quick oil or stain every 2 to 3 years is ample.  Sometimes, wicker furniture is painted.  However, it does not need a great deal of attention.

The color of your patio furniture is very important as it needs to harmonize with your patio.  Most wooden patio furniture is stained or oiled and so retains the natural grains of the timber and, because of its natural look, often blends in to most patio styles.  Metal or iron furniture will only come painted for durability reasons.  However, the right metal furniture can look good in many styles of patio.  For that tropical feel, wicker garden furniture can look great.  Wicker furniture is usually left in its natural state and can add an earthy relaxed feel to you patio.

The size you choose is very important.  When deciding on size, you need to leave room on the patio for people to move around.  This is most important if you entertain regularly.  Your guests should be able to freely mingle.  A good idea is to make a diagram of your deck to scale and then cut out some pieces of paper to represent your furniture.  By placing these cut-outs in various positions on the patio drawing you will be able to see if you have sufficient room.  Choose furniture that will not clutter the area.  If room is limited then choices like extendable tables and fold up chairs can be the answer.  Excess chairs can be folded and stored until needed.  Tables can be extended when necessary.

Your final choice in patio furniture should look good in its final place and complement your patio.  For example, wood outdoor furniture looks great in natural settings with lots of plants.  Wicker garden furniture looks great in those lush tropical areas.  It is a good idea to note the style of your house and then find patio furniture that will suit that style.  There are so many styles and varieties in garden and patio furniture now available, that anyone’s taste can be satisfied.

What to Look for When Shopping for Patio Furniture

Patio furniture is a type of furniture specifically designed for outdoor use. It is typically made of weather-resistant materials. In fact, we see examples of garden furniture dating all the way back to the days of ancient Pompeii. Examples of this would be furniture such as chairs, tables, settees, or loungers, all of which are suited for use on a patio. Shopping for patio furniture is easy if you keep in mind what kind you are looking for and the style, price, and maintenance. All of these outdoor furniture pieces help make your outside entertaining more enjoyable.

Types

There are several different types of outdoor furniture, and each serves their own purpose. Here are the different types of patio furniture and what they are used for.

Patio Chair- A patio chair is used to sit outside on a patio or deck. It is usually made out of plastic, metal or wood. Many times a chair cushion is used on the chair to make it more comfortable.

Patio Table- A patio table is used to offer a place to gather around with the patio chairs and enjoy a meal or play a game with family and friends. Many times an umbrella is used over the table to provide shade.

Patio settees- A settee makes a cozy little seating area on your patio. A settee resembles a bench, usually seating for two. Many times it is accompanied by a chair and small table that resembles a coffee table. It is a great setting for a small outside get together.

Lounger- A patio lounger is a long chair to rest your feet upon and lay down on. The back of the lounger usually can be adjusted for reclining back or sitting up. Many times these can be used for sunbathing or just relaxing on a nice day.

Now that you know the different types of patio furniture, choosing what you need will be easier. Next you need to choose a style.

Style

Choosing the style of patio furniture you want starts with the material it is made from. All outdoor furniture can be made from plastic, wood, or metal. If choosing a wood piece, the color will depend on the type of wood it is made from. Types of wood used are maple, oak, cherry, pine, teak, and cedar. There are also different types of metal that patio furniture is made out of, such as aluminum and wrought iron.

Once you have chosen the kind of material you want your furniture to be made out of, there are other small details that will add to the decor of your patio furniture, including chair cushions and also umbrellas. These can be changed with the seasons and when you desire a change.

Price

The price you pay for a piece of patio furniture will depend on the quality of the furniture. The higher the price you pay, the better the quality will be. The patio furniture will be more durable and will last longer than a cheaply made piece. Shopping different stores and comparing prices will help you save money. Many times stores and websites will have sales and markdown the price of the furniture either due to overstock or end of season bargains.

Maintenance

It is also very important to know how to care for your outdoor furniture. Keeping your furniture clean will help you retain the life of your furniture longer. It is important to store your patio furniture in a dry place such as a garage or shed in the late fall and winter months. It is also important to buy furniture covers to keep your furniture in good condition when not in use.