When it comes to furnishing your home, there are three points to keep in mind before making any purchases: aesthetic, budget and lifestyle. Buying outdoor furniture and decor is no different. You want your home to be an extension of your style, and you want it to fit inside your budget as well. Keep this in mind when you’re thinking of bringing a little life to your outdoor living spaces. Don’t jump the gun on the first patio table or chair set you see. Take a moment to look over our outdoor furniture buying guide.
You don’t want to create too much of difference between the decor inside your home and the one outside. Your outdoor living space is just an extension of the inside, remember? You want to keep that cohesion between indoor and out. If you have a more modern-styled home, buy modern and theme-matching pieces. The sky is the limit in terms of options that vary in color, size and shape. Take extra time to look for something that’s going to complete your look, not take away from what you already have.
It’s entirely possible to find cheap, inexpensive outdoor furniture. Just know that what you’re saving in price you’re compromising on comfortability on a piece of furniture you will use for an extended period of time. Less expensive furniture will last up to time or the weathering elements of the outdoors. Keep this in mind when making your purchases. Your future outdoor furniture is an investment; remember that.
When it comes to selecting material for the bigger pieces, you want to be well-informed. Typically, outdoor furniture will come in three main materials: wood, synthetics and metal.
The style of furniture you want will partly dictate the material you end up with. It’s important to know the pros and cons of each one before buying.
Wood is a perfect choice for someone who lives a busy lifestyle and can’t always devote attention to maintenance. Teak-made furniture will be the perfect pairing for someone looking for a low-maintenance material. It is used in boat-building materials, and it is also a rainforest wood. Both strong and resilient, teak wood can last up to 100 years.
If teak is unavailable to you or outside of your budget, eucalyptus and cedarwood furniture are other great wood options. Eucalyptus is cheaper than teak and can last just as long, but it will need to be treated several times a year to maintain its durability.
Plastic and synthetic material-based furniture are going to be your least expensive option. You might be sacrificing some comfort if you end up going with a large number of plastic pieces. They tend to heat up in the summer and become almost unbearable to sit on without proper cushions.
An interesting and popular choice is all-weather wicker. Synthetic fibers are woven around an aluminum frame to give you an authentic wicker look without having to worry about wear and tear. All-weather wicker can be left outside year-round, and clean-up is a breeze. Just hose it down and let it dry.
The more popular types of metal furniture are made from wrought iron, aluminum, stainless steel or a powder-coated steel.
Keep in mind when buying aluminum furniture that there are a variety of options that will affect the weight, price and durability of the furniture. Tubular aluminum is the least expensive and will be the lightest because it is hollow on the inside. Casted aluminum will be heavier and more expensive. Both are viable options because aluminum is a rust-free metal. Pay attention to the hardware that will go with the furniture. You want these to be rustproof and have hard seamless welds. A powder-coated finish may be sprayed to prevent any additional oxidation.
Wrought iron will also be a heavy and expensive choice. Look for sets that have been powder-coated to avoid rusting. Any scratches made on the surface will rust. You must remain vigilant and keep the surfaces of wrought iron scratch-free.