The right outdoor furniture will help you create your dream patio, letting you extend your living space for the warmer months. When you select high-quality outdoor furnishings, designers suggest using three criteria: ease of care, comfort and durability. To create your dream patio, choose the frame material most suitable for your needs and budget, then add the right cushions and accessories to make it bright, attractive and comfortable.
Choose the Right Material
The four basic material choices for patio furniture are metal, wood, wicker and resin, and each has pros and cons.
Resin, or plastic, furniture is lightweight, comes in a wide range of colors, styles and prices. It is sporty looking and easy to move. On the down side, it doesn’t have the natural look of wood and it loses its freshness more quickly. Resin outdoor furniture is affordable, but generally lacks the style that many seek when creating outdoor living spaces.
Natural wicker furniture is somewhat fragile and must be used in covered areas; however, you can select all-weather wicker that is made from synthetic fibers. This type of material can resist the effects of rain, salt spray and wind. It still needs to be covered when not in use, however, to protect it from prolonged exposure to the sun.
Metal is extremely durable and versatile, but it is also heavy and requires regular maintenance. The most common metals are cast aluminum and extruded aluminum, which are relatively inexpensive, and cast iron, which is pricier.
Wood has a natural look that is a great fit with almost every design style. The best wood furniture is made from heartwood and has consistent grain. At the high end of the price scale are teak and Australian jarrah, both famed for their durability. At the lower end are softer woods like pine and cedar, which can be shaped more easily to fit the human torso.
In all cases, choose wood furniture that uses zinc or stainless steel fastenings that can be easily tightened.
A Variety of Tables, Chairs and Lounges
Comfort is king in the outdoors. Pick a range of chairs and lounges that are cozy, feel good and are easy to get in and out of. You need several tables as well, to make the most of your outdoor space. The dining table is usually the focal point for your outdoor living area. Also add a few low tables for drinks and books. Consider using benches if you regularly have many people for outdoor meals. These store well and provide a versatile range of options.
The Joy of Cushions
Cushions are what make sitting and lounging comfortable. They also make it simple to update your outdoor décor. Investing in new cushions or coverings can give your patio a whole new look. Cushions come in two basic styles, a single piece that covers both the back and seat of the chair or lounge, or two pieces that cover the seat area and the back separately. These usually tie to the furniture frame.
Choose a fabric that is made for the outdoors. Cushions should be weather resistant to avoid developing mold and mildew from humidity or rain. Be sure to choose fabric that can handle the sun’s UV rays. When you live in a part of the country with high temperatures and lots of sun, this is essential to prolonging the life of the fabric. Don’t forget accessories like pillows, especially for lounges, and umbrellas to make your patio livable even during the middle of the hottest days.
For designer help and guidance, visit Guild Hall Fine Furnishings in Salt Lake City. Designing the perfect outdoor space is fun, but potentially daunting. Let Guild Hall’s professional design staff assist you in selecting the perfect outdoor furniture and accessories.