Outdoor Patio Furniture : Buying Tips

outdoor patio furnitureThere are so many different types of patio furniture to choose from—teak, cedar, iron, aluminum, wicker or resin. No matter what your preference or style, you will find an overwhelming selection of outdoor furniture—with the selection growing every year. How do you decide what is right for you? Outdoor furniture is a major home investment, you'll want to make a choice that will provide enjoyment for many years.

Certainly, the style and color are important, but when it comes to making a wise investment there are a number of special factors to consider. Consider all the factors and decide their order of importance to you.

When making your next garden or patio furniture purchase consider all of the following issues:

  • Lifestyle
  • Space, Location
  • Safety
  • Cost
  • Style

Lifestyle : Buy Patio Furniture that Suits Your Outdoor Activities

How you use your outdoor living area? Do you prefer to spend your time relaxing or is entertaining your favorite outdoor activity? Do you love to barbecue all summer and spend cool evenings sitting around a fire pit with friends? How many people do you require seating for?

Is your outdoor space primarily poolside? You will want to select outdoor furniture that will withstand the moisture and wear. Pool chemicals can damage many materials, plastic and specially coated materials are the best.

If you have small children, you may want to consider choosing furniture that doesn't tip easily or doesn't have moving parts that may pinch small fingers. You probably want a low maintenance type of furniture that is easy to clean as well.

Some types of patio furniture require extra care so you will need to decide how much time you want to spend caring for your patio furniture each year.

Space and Location of Patio Furniture

Be sure to consider where you will be using your outdoor patio furniture. Metals will become hot to touch in direct sun and woods will age faster when exposed to wet and windy weather. Patio umbrellas can create shade, but do you have enough space for an open umbrella? If you live near the ocean, iron may rust in the salty air.

How much outdoor space do you have? How much do you want to fill this area with patio furniture? Some materials such as wicker and rattan come in styles that are often bulkier and bigger than metal and wood styles.

Cost of Outdoor Garden & Patio Furniture

For most people, a good approach is to set a budget to furnish your outdoor living space over a couple of seasons or years. Start with a main grouping, such as the dining set or lounging/deep seating set—depending on your lifestyle. Choose a set that is easy to mix and match, so you are not tied to finding exactly the same brand or style each year.

Patio Furniture Style

Each outdoor living space has a variety of style considerations beyond your own personal taste. What sort of materials currently exist in the environment in which your patio furniture will be situated? You will want your outdoor patio furniture to fit in and not be at odds with its surroundings. Is your deck wood, concrete or a coated deck material? What colors will look best. What is the exterior color scheme of your home? How close to your home and interior living space will you place your patio furniture? Do you need to coordinate your outdoor decor with your interior design for a comfortable transition?

If you're not sure what will look good, browse through home and garden magazines for photos of decks and patios. Decide which style you are drawn to, and which materials are appealing to you.

One of the major trends in recent years is to mix the types of materials in your outdoor furniture. You will find wood and aluminum together, or even wood and iron. This is a contemporary style that is especially popular for entertaining outdoors. When you can't decide which you like better—go for both!