Garden and Patio Furniture – What to Look For

Garden and patio furniture can really add a lot of appeal to your patio but it is important to choose your outdoor furniture carefully to ensure you get the best looking and longest lasting furniture.  This applies to furnishing a new patio or redecorating an established one.

When choosing your patio furniture you should consider several important points.  These are:

  • 1. Durability
  • 2. What the furniture is made of
  • 3. Color
  • 4. Size
  • 5. Does it complement your patio and home?

Outdoor furniture can be made from many different materials such as plastic, wood, wicker and metal and comes in many different styles.  Before you choose your patio furniture decide what sort of look you want your patio to have and how much room there is for furniture.  This last point, how much room, is very important as you do not want all of the room on your patio to be taken up by furniture nor do you want a tiny setting in a huge space.

The most economical way of buying furniture for your deck is to buy outdoor patio furniture sets.  That way the pieces of furniture match each other and, because you are buying the furniture as a set then quite often the price is cheaper than if the components were bought separately.

Durability is very important.  The furniture is most likely going to stay outdoors.  That means it will be subject to a variety of weather conditions like rain, dust, wind, sun etc.  Even if your patio is covered the furniture will still be subject to weather conditions.  If you buy cheap plastic or PVC patio furniture you will most likely have to replace it within a short space of time, maybe in 2 – 3 years.  This type of furniture can deteriorate rapidly if left out in the weather.

Metal patio furniture is very durable but may need some periodic attention such as painting and rust removal but can look great in the right setting.  

Wooden patio furniture is the most popular.  Many varieties of wood are used for making outdoor furniture and some are more durable than others.  This means that outdoor furniture made from the less durable varieties will need regular attention like painting, staining or oiling.  With some woods, e.g. pine, this maintenance may be as regular as every year.  The more durable timbers are jarrah and teak and usually a quick oil or stain every 2 to 3 years is ample.  Sometimes, wicker furniture is painted.  However, it does not need a great deal of attention.

The color of your patio furniture is very important as it needs to harmonize with your patio.  Most wooden patio furniture is stained or oiled and so retains the natural grains of the timber and, because of its natural look, often blends in to most patio styles.  Metal or iron furniture will only come painted for durability reasons.  However, the right metal furniture can look good in many styles of patio.  For that tropical feel, wicker garden furniture can look great.  Wicker furniture is usually left in its natural state and can add an earthy relaxed feel to you patio.

The size you choose is very important.  When deciding on size, you need to leave room on the patio for people to move around.  This is most important if you entertain regularly.  Your guests should be able to freely mingle.  A good idea is to make a diagram of your deck to scale and then cut out some pieces of paper to represent your furniture.  By placing these cut-outs in various positions on the patio drawing you will be able to see if you have sufficient room.  Choose furniture that will not clutter the area.  If room is limited then choices like extendable tables and fold up chairs can be the answer.  Excess chairs can be folded and stored until needed.  Tables can be extended when necessary.

Your final choice in patio furniture should look good in its final place and complement your patio.  For example, wood outdoor furniture looks great in natural settings with lots of plants.  Wicker garden furniture looks great in those lush tropical areas.  It is a good idea to note the style of your house and then find patio furniture that will suit that style.  There are so many styles and varieties in garden and patio furniture now available, that anyone’s taste can be satisfied.