Make the most of your outdoor space with furniture that complements your favorite open-air activities. Consider these things before buying your outdoor furniture:
- Is the furniture appropriately scaled to the outdoor area where it will be used? A small patio or deck can be dwarfed by large furniture groupings. Conversely, a spacious deck looks best with a larger grouping.
- Will the furniture seat the required number of people? Consider who will typically use the furniture. If you plan on entertaining large groups, stackable metal or resin chairs store in a small space, ready for that garden party or family reunion.
- Do the styles and colors of the furniture blend with your home? Treat your deck or patio as you would any other room in your home when decorating. Outdoor furniture is available in many styles from rustic to modern. Choose from cushions with colors as vivid or subdued as you like.
There are four main types of furniture to consider: wood, metal, wicker, and recycled plastic. This guide describes the advantages of each and what to look for.
Everything from simple pine to luxurious teak is used to manufacture wood patio furniture. Dissimilar types of wood perform very differently and you should always take this into consideration if you are contemplating the purchase of wood patio furniture. Softer woods (those products harvested from needle-bearing trees) are going to weather quickly and will require annual maintenance. Harder wood (those harvested from broad leaf trees) will last longer and not require as much attention.
If your wood patio furniture will be in a sun room or covered area, this isn’t an issue. Soft woods such as pine, cypress, and redwood will be fine. However, if you plan to use your wooden furniture where it will be exposed to the elements, you should shop for a hardwood. These are traditionally Brazilian Cherry, Jarrah, and Teak.
Teak furniture tends to be the most expensive to purchase, however it may be worth the extra dollars. Teak is one of the hardest woods available, which means it is impervious to insect damage. It won’t rot or splinter, and it requires no special treatment if it is going to be exposed to rain and sun. New teak has a rich, buttery honey colour and will maintain this look if you simply apply linseed oil to it once or twice a year. If left alone, teak will weather to a silvery grey finish.