It took a lot of time and energy, but you finally have your backyard looking the way you want it. You’ve built a deck, installed a pool, and hired regular lawn contractors to take care of your plants. Now all that’s left is purchasing your outdoor patio furniture.
This is where you’re a little stumped. You live near the ocean, so you’re worried about metal pieces corroding. You could go with wood, but it might rot given all the moisture in the air.
Material is only the beginning of your worries. It’s not easy to find the perfect chairs and tables that match the style you’re going for. We might be able to help in this regard.
Check out this guide to learn how to find patio furniture that’s both beautiful and functional.
What Do You Need the Furniture For?
Before you head to the furniture store, it’s a good idea to make a list of your needs. It will stop you from buying more furniture than you’re ever going to use.
For example, if you’re someone that likes to spend most of their time alone in their yard with a good book, you don’t need a huge outdoor dining set.
The only reason why you would have to get that is if you enjoy hosting large events, and even then, you might not need a lot. Decide how many people you plan to accommodate at a single time when you’re making your list.
Try Before You Buy
When the weather outside is nice, you’re going to be using your outdoor furniture way more often than your indoor seating. That means you need it to be cozy.
It’s for this reason why you should sit on the display furniture at the store before you buy it. It should be nice and cushy with comfortable backing.
If you can’t see yourself lounging on it daily, then it’s not the furniture set for you. It’s sort of like test driving a car or trying on a pair of shoes.
Measure Your Space
The last thing you want is to fall in love with a furniture set, only to realize that it’s way too small for your space. Take a tape measurer before you go shopping and measure how much room you have to play around with.
Keep in mind you want to leave enough space open so that people can navigate around. You don’t want your guests tripping over your furniture and knocking things over.
You may only be able to fit a small table and a few chairs on your deck, and that’s okay. If you think you’ll need the extra pieces, there are some Teak and Table’s outdoor dining sets that are a little more on the compact side. They’ll suit your needs fine.
Think About the Weather
Weather conditions are a huge deciding factor when choosing furniture. Many people don’t realize how important it is until they’re out thousands of dollars on their comfortable patio furniture set.
If you live near the beach where you see a lot of hot summers, that untreated wood is probably going to crack and splinter. The sun will also fade certain materials, and the salty sea air will do a number on many metals.
If you’re dealing with a combination of hot and humid, your wicker tables will fall apart. Plastics can’t handle extremely cold temperatures without breaking.
If your area tends to be more on the windy side, lightweight materials such as aluminum will blow away and get damaged. As you can see, there’s a lot that you’ve got to consider.
Where Are You Placing the Furniture?
Do you have a deck to put your furniture on, or will you have to place your pieces on the grass? Your answer will alter what materials you go with in a big way.
For example, you should never put your wood outdoor furniture on the grass. The moisture will rot the material. We’ll be honest, even certain metals shouldn’t be placed on your lawn because they will corrode.
Other than that, it’s all about putting your pieces where it’s appropriate. If you have some comfy loungers, those go great by the pool. Comfortable benches are a welcome addition to any garden, depending on the material.
Your standard patio scene goes well with outdoor dining, BBQs, and lounging furniture. Fire pits and decks don’t tend to mix, but you can put your lounge furniture there if you want.
If you’re picking out furniture for your screened-in porch, go as comfortable as possible. There’s nothing better than watching a winter or fall sunset wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate.
Patio Furniture Maintenance
You don’t want to clean your patio furniture more often than you sit on it. This is especially true if you already have your hand’s full hosting events. Go with a material that’s relatively easy to keep clean.
Some pieces only need a scrub brush and a little elbow grease to keep tidy. At most, you may have to buy some specialty cleaners.
Having pillows can be a great addition to any cozy backyard setup, but they tend to get gross. Buy cushions and pillows with covers that zip off. This way, you only need to throw them in with your regular wash to get them looking brand-new again.
If you don’t have much experience buffing nicks out of wood, buy a scratch-resistant material. Speaking of wood, if that’s what you want to go with, buy warp-resistant furniture that doesn’t require you to rub oil on it.
Cleaning isn’t the only thing that you have to worry about when it comes to maintenance. There will come a time when something inevitably breaks. If you don’t know how to fix it, you’ll either have to pay someone else to do it or buy new furniture.
That’s why you should opt for pieces with moving parts. Oftentimes if one of these parts break, you can buy a replacement and install it all on your own with ease.
The longer your pieces are exposed to the elements, the sooner they will wear out. This is true even for the toughest materials. That means you need to come up with some way of storing patio furniture during the off-season.
A shed, garage, or basement will work fine. If none of these options are available to you, buy compact furniture that you can bring inside when it’s not in use. You may have to go with stackable chairs and or buy pieces that you can take apart and put away until the season starts up again.
Create a Budget
The thing about quality outdoor furniture sets is that they aren’t cheap. If you don’t have a lot of money to play around with, you can get some pretty nice pieces on a budget. Still, you get what you pay for.
There’s a good chance that if a deal seems too good to be true, it is. You’ll end up having to replace the furniture you buy within a few months or so.
That’s why it’s important to create a patio furniture budget and save up for quality pieces. You’ll have to save for a while, but it will be more than worth it in the end when you have cushions that won’t fade.
The expensive furniture usually comes with a warranty as well. If something happens to it within a certain time frame, you can get your money back.
Colors and Style
Neutral colors are nice. They go with pretty much anything, but they’re a little restrictive. That’s why you should use colors that match your backyard landscaping instead.
If you don’t have a lot of color going on in your yard, you can also match it to the color of your home or make your outdoor pieces an extension of your indoor ones.
The options are pretty much endless. Go with whatever suits your personal style the best. If you don’t, you won’t want to use your furniture as often.
Opt for Multi-Functional
If you don’t have a lot of room to work with, multi-functional furniture will be your best friend. For example, that ottoman that you’re using for storage purposes can also act as extra seating for your guests.
There are coffee tables out there that can fold out into work tables. wheeled tables and chairs can be moved in and out of your space as the weather changes.
Choose Your Finishing Touches
Now that you have your furniture picked out, it’s time to add on the finishing touches. The following accent items are optional for your backyard, but they’re nice to have.
It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, the weather has the tendency to plummet after the sunsets. It’s for this reason that many homeowners elect to add a fire pit into their setup.
Having one will keep your guests warm and add a lot to the atmosphere. Older models use wood or propane to work, but as time goes on, so does technology.
If you don’t have a lot of ventilation to work with or you don’t plan to install some kind of chimney to filter out the smoke, you can pick up a gas fire pit instead.
Umbrellas and Shade
Relaxing on a warm summer day is all fun and games until you fall asleep on your patio furniture. The resulting sunburn is nothing to play around with.
If this happens to you more often than not, it might be a good idea for you to invest in some type of shade. Patio umbrellas can shield you from the sun.
Having shade will also stop the ultraviolet rays from beaming down on your furniture. This won’t save your wood from cracking under extreme heat, but it will prevent your colorful cushions from fading.
Rugs are a great way to add a splash of color to any outdoor setup. On top of being eye-catching, they can also stop your furniture from siding around your deck and scratching the floor.
They provide some nice cushion for your feet as well. Note that you can’t bring your rugs from inside, outside. You need weather-proof ones.
They’re woven from polypropylene fibers. It’s a little tougher than your standard rug materials.
The stars and moon can provide some light, but there’s only so much that they can do. If you try to rely on them while you’re eating dinner, you won’t be able to see your silverware. It will be hard for you to interact with your friends and family members because you can’t see their faces.
That’s why you should invest in some lighting. You don’t need a lot. A few floor lamps will do the trick.
For events where you’re going to be using your yard a lot, buy some tiki torches. This way, nobody gets hurt when they’re trying to navigate their way up and down your walkway.
Choosing the Right Outdoor Patio Furniture for Your Needs
The perfect backyard setup isn’t complete without the right outdoor patio furniture. If you don’t have it, you’ll have nowhere to sit to admire your landscaping and enjoy your yard.
You need something that can stand up to the elements in your area. If you have limited space, you’ll have to go with more compact pieces, and don’t forget about style. Everything needs a good dose of beauty and function.
Choosing the best furniture is only one aspect of creating a cozy outdoor living space. You have to have your decorations nailed down as well. Check out the Decor Tips section of our blog to learn how to get started.