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8 Tips for Choosing Patio Furniture

Shop smart with our essential patio furniture advice.

Great patio furniture brings comfort and function to your outdoor spaces. With a spacious table and easy-to-use, comfortable chairs a basic brick patio is transformed into a sensory-rich dining destination. Outfit a cozy porch with a wicker sofa and a classic wicker rocking chair, both stocked with ample cushions, and the porch will quickly become a second family room during the warm weather months.

Don't overlook the outdoor-living opportunities on balconies and in pocket gardens. When complemented with the right patio furniture, these petite garden getaways will beckon you outside time and again.

Check out the following tips for choosing the best patio furniture for your space. Thoughtful planning will ensure that your outdoor living space is inviting for years to come.

1. Make a List

Begin by thinking about how you would like your outdoor space to function. Would you like it to serve as a dining area on warm summer nights? Would you like to host your next dinner party or your daughter's birthday party in the space? Is a peaceful reading nook more of what you're looking for in your outdoor room?

Make a list of the many things you would like to do in the space and use it as a guide to determine what type of furniture is necessary. If the primary function of your 12x16-foot patio is to host casual evening cocktails, there is no need for a dining table. Opt for ample comfortable seating, several side tables, and a fire pit.

2. Take a Seat

Take a seat before you buy. Comfortable patio furniture, just like interior furniture, will be used regularly as opposed to uninviting patio furniture, which might have good looks but not-so-good comfort. 

3. Go for Easy Care

Reserve the bulk of your garden-side hours for enjoying your space as opposed to maintaining furniture when you purchase easy-care patio furniture. Most metal, teak, cedar, and all-weather wicker pieces are unfazed by whatever nature throws their way. Furniture made using these forgiving materials will look wonderful for years. 

4. Consider Storage

Add years to the life of your patio furniture by storing it in a protected location, such as a a garage or basement during the off season. Even the toughest furniture, such as teak chairs or a wrought-iron settee, will last longer if it is placed in storage when not in use. If your storage space is limited, look for patio furniture that folds or is easily taken apart for compact storage.

5. Color Smart

When purchasing patio furniture, you're not limited to the natural tones of wood; the black, white, and beige of wicker; or metal pieces. Colorful finishes abound in the world of outdoor furniture. For stylish longevity, reserve bold splashes of color for cushions and accent pieces. 

6. Invest in Quality

The old adage "you get what you pay for" is true for patio furniture. Plastic resin chairs or side tables look great on the shelf and will keep their good looks for a year or two out in the sun, but in time they will become brittle and lose their vibrant coloring. The same is true for some wood products and wicker pieces. Shop with care, checking consumer reports and reviews, before making a big purchase. 

7. Look Underfoot

Ground patio furniture by placing it on an all-weather rug. Textile advancements in recent years have brought many quick-drying outdoor rugs to the market. Soft underfoot and rich in texture, an outdoor rug will lend the comforts of indoors to the great outdoors.  

8. Search for Dual-Purpose Pieces

Look for hardworking furniture. An ottoman that doubles as extra seating for your next backyard bash and a simple bench that will stand alone or cozy up to an alfresco dining table are essential for frequently used outdoor spaces. 


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