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Tips on Choosing Outdoor Furniture

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Spending time with friends on the terrace or in the garden, lounging around the pool, or having a candlelit dinner on the deck is what makes summer wonderful. Most of us try to find ways to bring our living spaces outdoors. Rather than being considered a luxury, making the most of outdoor space, no matter how small or large, is now considered essential.

So, it’s essential to furnish these spaces well. The right furniture helps us weather the outdoors well, including offering protection from sun and rain. Knowing what to look for is as important for choosing outdoor furniture as it is for the furniture we put inside our homes. In fact, choosing outdoor furniture is even more critical, as it has to stand up to sun, wind, and storms, not to mention everyday use.

The variety of styles, materials, and designs has increased volumes; we aren’t limited to traditional wicker and heavy wrought iron anymore. From contemporary sleek to country chic, finding styles that suit your taste is easier than ever.

Ideas and tips on choosing outdoor furniture

Money question

Purchasing a dining set for example can range from a couple of hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. So you need to decide ahead of time the amount of money you can spend and then stick to that number. Consider waiting till after July 4th to buy because there will be sales on outdoor furniture. You can also save a lot of money by replacing your cushions, umbrella and other outdoor accessories rather than replacing the entire furniture set


Think about where your furniture will be placed. Does the space get a ton of sun? Will the furniture be sitting on grass or on a hard surface? Your answers will help determine if you need an umbrella or if you need a lighter weight furniture for grassy spots. What are the views you want to enjoy? Will your outdoor furniture be close to the house or off in the distance? Outdoor furniture that is close to the house needs to stay consistent with you house’s architecture. While outdoor furniture further away, leaves more possibilities for varied styles


Measure the space that you’re planning to fill. Keep in mind that the chairs around a table take up an additional 24 inches of space. And then you’ll need an extra 24 to 36 inches from the back of the chairs to be able to walk around. Before you buy, go home with the furniture measurements and use chalk to draw the dimensions or cutouts of your furniture dimensions. When working with a small space, consider a bar table set rather than a full-sized table. Bar stools rather than bar chairs will also conserve space. If you must go with a traditional dining table, consider armless chairs.

Your aims

Do you want seating for quiet reflection? How many people do you usually entertain and what type of entertaining do you enjoy doing? Do you need a large table and chairs or just a simple set of comfy chairs with an end table between them? What are your storage needs and where will you store your furniture if you need to get it out of the elements? If you’d like to be able to move your seating from place to place, then something lightweight would be in order.

Opting for the best furniture material

Types covers the furniture we examined; in most cases, the material dictates the style, as the photos show. For example, teak is simple and substantial, with traditional styling drawn from English garden settings. By contrast, sleek contemporary styles are typically tubular aluminum with mesh seats made of vinyl-coated polyester fabric.

Additional accessories

Make sure you have a place to store them when you’re not outside. Look for pillows that have some kind of color stay protection, as well as polyester fibers to allow air to filter through. Get cushions with patterns on both sides. Go with an umbrella that’s a lighter, neutral color. Otherwise a bright colored umbrella will look faded and dull by the end of the summer. Make sure you have a place to put the furniture during the winter months. If not, consider investing in heavy duty covers to protect each of the pieces.

Category: Outdoor Design & Décor, Outdoor Furniture


  1. Amanda
    August 1, 2012 at 7:09 am

    White outdoor furniture looks great, but needs regular maintenance.

  2. Disco Zoo Hack
    August 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images
    on this blog loading? I’m trying tto find out if its a problem on my end or
    if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.