Whether a landscape is large or small, providing places to be seated and enjoy the view adds to its pleasure. When there is space for dining on a deck or poolside conversations, so much the better.
Outdoor furniture options today offer an outstanding range of choices in materials, designs, and elements to create the kind of outdoor environment that will be best enjoyed by a household and its guests. It is possible to choose among small sets that could stay on an apartment balcony year-round and large groupings that can fill a multi-tier suburban deck through the season.
When purchasing patio furniture it is important to have clear goals of what is needed for your outdoor space. Take into consideration the material of the furniture, this will play a huge part in its durability and longevity. Finally, I will give some inspiration for your outdoor space with different options and styles that All Backyard Fun has to offer.
Why is Outdoor Furniture Being Purchased?
By far the most common reason to buy outdoor furniture is to enjoy meals al fresco during warm weather. Dining sets range from the traditional picnic table to glass-topped tables and wrought-iron chairs that are so beautifully made they could easily be used indoors with appropriate floor protection under the feet.
For homes with decks and apartments with balconies people also look for furniture that would allow for enjoyment of a pleasant day in any of a number of ways: perhaps reading the morning paper with coffee or chatting while watching birds at a feeder. Chairs with side tables, or Adirondacks with their wide arms, meet this goal admirably.
Those with pools have specific furniture goals as well. They may want some lounge furniture for sunning, and some chairs under umbrellas for when the sun has become too much. They may also want a bar or bistro set, where the table and chairs are set higher than usual. These set-ups are great for moms who want to visit while retaining a good view of kids in the pool. They’re also great for socializing teens, because they’ll stand out above the rest of the crowd, giving their parents a good view of what they’re doing.
Contemporary outdoor furniture fashion involves creating entire outdoor “rooms” with rugs, curtain walls, pillowed sofas, and a grill installation that more than rivals a standard kitchen. Outdoor furniture traditions can also involve hanging a porch swing and a hammock, the better to relax on a warm afternoon.
Somewhere among these, a homeowner will find his or her outdoor furniture dreams.
Outdoor Furniture Materials: Benefits & Disadvantages
Outdoor furniture materials are traditionally sturdy and weatherproof. The range of materials in this category has grown dramatically, so here is a selection of the most common materials used today in outdoor furniture and their respective characteristics:
Benefits and Characteristics
|Cast aluminum||Cast aluminum is lightweight and rust resistant, with durable powdercoat finishes||Clean with mild soap and water; if any oxidation is observed, clean with lemon juice; benefits from indoor storage in cold winters|
|Glass, stone, and mosaic||Used for tabletops; quite heavy||Clean up spills that might stain immediately; otherwise low maintenance|
|Painted steel||Vintage and retro originals and reproductions||Repaint nicks as quickly as possible to prevent oxidation; wash with a mild detergent solution; store under cover off season|
|Recycled plastics and resin||These are light and often designed to be stackable; recycled plastics keep materials out of the refuse stream||Clean several times a season with bleach and a mild detergent in water; do not scrub with an abrasive|
|Tubular aluminum||The classic for foldable, portable yard furniture using various textiles for seating||Best kept indoors or in a storage box to protect from oxidation and blowing away|
|Wicker, rattan, and resin wicker||Resin wicker lasts longer, cleans more easily, and doesn’t offer the splintery ends that may occur with classic wicker or rattan furniture; traditional wicker belongs in a covered space like a sunroom||Real wicker is a bit fussy, and likes proper humidity, regular vacuuming, and a wipe-down with bleach solution to inhibit mold; resin wicker needs a spray down, a brushing with dish detergent solution, a mildew remover on any moldy spots, and then a rinse and a dry in the sun|
The range of materials available has allowed for an equally wide range of designs, allowing the outdoor furniture buyer to be nearly as selective as the buyer of home furnishings.
- Cast aluminum is available in contemporary and Mediterranean styles.
- Painted metal outdoor furniture in original and reproduction retro styles is enjoying a comeback.
- Resin wicker is offered in very contemporary as well as traditional wicker furniture lines.
Make a List!
Create outdoor furniture plan that checks on the available space and takes extra consideration of the contours of the environment. Having dinner slide down the table isn’t part of most people’s plans; nor is having a chair tip under a guest because its feet aren’t on level terrain.
Here is a brief list of some popular backyard activities and some kinds of furniture that might be appropriate for each:
Consider the following pieces for a conversation area:
Sofas, sectionals, or loveseats – how much room do you need?
Cushions : be sure to choose Sunbrella fabric for is fade-proof, stain-proof quality!!
Areas for dining might need the following items:
Table set and chairs, with cushions if desired
Activities around the pool may need some of the following pieces:
Lounge chairs, with cushions if desired
Areas for relaxing outdoors could benefit from these pieces:
Lounge chairs, with cushions if desired
Viewing a Garden
The garden could use these pieces:
Bench (wood or stone)
You Get What You Pay For
As with many industries, particularly the furniture industry, you will get what you pay for. A simple concept that is often overlooked. When purchasing a new set of patio furniture it is important to take into consideration the frame. Is it one piece or several pieces that have to be assembled by the consumers? A frame that is all one piece, while more difficult to ship, is overall better quality, and runs less risk of breaking at he assembled joints.
There are few things more delightful than spending the evening outdoors after the heat of the day has begun to dissipate. During seasons when the garden and yard are all-day pleasures, having patio furniture that invites the household and its guests to relax a while among the greens and blooms makes the outdoors more enjoyable.
Well-selected outdoor furniture will provide places to enjoy the view, a meal, or a good conversation. It will provide comfortable seating. It will last without excessive maintenance.
The outdoor furniture available today allows for the creation of beautiful outdoor rooms that embody the best current trends in interior decor, or that return to outdoor traditions with wooden Adirondacks and hand-knotted hammocks.
The choice is up to the homeowner. Every option adds delight to the outdoor experience.