Redwood Furniture for Patios
Redwood is a classic choice for outdoor furniture because it is naturally resistant to warping, shrinking, and decay, as well as to insects. A clear, water-repellent finish that contains a mildewcide can protect the wood and preserve its natural red to tan color. This type of finish may need to be reapplied every year or so in humid or extreme climates.
If left unfinished, redwood that is constantly in the sun eventually bleaches to gray, but that doesn't affect its resistance to rot and weather.
Weatherproof Patio Furniture
Stain- and fade-resistant acrylic fabrics are now available in a wide variety of stylish patterns and colors, and they are as comfortable to the touch as indoor upholstery fabrics.
Furnishings on this patio can stay outside year-round, rain or shine. From the wrought-iron coffee table with its stone top to the resin-treated faux bamboo seating, these pieces are made to stand up to sun and moisture. Even the lamp is designed for outdoor use.
Outdoor Living Room
This cozy sunken living space, designed for the Chelsea Flower Show in England, is lined with a sectional sofa made from resin-infused wickerlike material, woven basket-style to mimic the texture of natural woven materials. Weatherproof fabrics cover the seat cushions and pillows.
Western red cedar and northern white cedar are known for their durability and resistance to insects. Over time, it will weather to a silvery gray. Although you can leave cedar furniture unfinished, a deep-penetrating stain with mildewcide and water-repellant additives will prolong its beauty.
Teak for Poolside Settings
The durability and water resistance of teak make it a good choice for poolside furniture and structures. Look for brands made from wood harvested on tree farms that are systematically replanted.
Outdoor Furniture on Wheels
Streamlined chaises and tables on sturdy casters can be easily repositioned to follow the sun or shade. Even the dining table is on wheels, allowing for maximum flexibility.
Furniture built from certain woods, such as pine, fir, and oak, need to be protected from the weather with an annual coat of stain, paint, or sealer. Oil-base products are tougher than latex, and gloss finishes last longer than semigloss or flat finishes.
These sturdy chairs boast thick, custom-fitted cushions that make sitting outdoors irresistibly comfortable. The light, bleached stain on the wood harmonizes with the bleached redwood posts and beams of the pavilion.
Because the room is partially covered with a standing-seam metal roof, the furniture is somewhat protected from the elements, but the cushions should still come indoors when it rains. The wood frames may also need resealing annually to withstand the weather.
Outdoor Kitchen Area
Give your outdoor kitchen a certain style that complements your home's architecture and reflects your individuality. On this covered patio, a worn, painted farm table and colorful chairs express an exotic, tropical style inspired by the tile walls.
Powder-Coated Metal Furniture
Powder-coated aluminum patio furniture has a tough, long-lasting, scratch-resistant surface. Finely ground pigment and resin are sprayed onto the piece, which is electrically grounded so the charged particles stick to the surface. After an interval in a curing oven, the particles fuse into a solid coating. This intricate process creates a very durable surface with a wide variety of colors and interesting designs.
Create a casual spot for relaxing just outside your home's main living areas. Recycle old furnishings, updating them to match your home's exterior.
Wicker rockers are grouped here to ensure a place for informal conversations or quiet reading. The furniture was painted a neutral color to match the home's facade. Fabric colors echo those used inside the house.
Wicker should not be exposed to the elements, so use it only on sheltered patios and bring it indoors for the winter.
Durable Metal Patio Furniture
In this outdoor conversation area, metal furniture with a bronze finish blends with the wrought-iron accents such as the arch in the background. Matching the cushions and stone tabletop to the stucco of the house's exterior blends the furniture with the setting.
The workability of cast or wrought iron makes it ideal for creating fanciful forms like the branchlike frames of these chairs and the ottoman. Black is a classic color for wrought iron, although it can be painted any color.
The drawback to wrought iron is that it will rust if the finish is nicked or scratched. But if the painted finish is kept in good shape, the furniture can be left outdoors year-round.
Wicker Dining Furnishings
Wicker and wicker look-alikes are ideal for outdoor dining areas because the chairs are lightweight and easy to move. Thanks to the mild climate and the protective roof, an ordinary dining table intended for indoor use can come outside.
Synthetic wicker is a little more expensive than natural wicker, but it is more versatile for outdoor use. Made from moisture-proof resins and rustproof aluminum framing, synthetic wicker can withstand the elements, while natural wicker cannot.
Decorated Outdoor Space
Wood outdoor furniture, whether built from teak, cedar, or redwood, brings warmth to outdoor spaces. To make your outdoor room feel as well-furnished as any indoor room, also add decorative elements typically found inside the home, such as a plate rack, a decoratively framed mirror, and a chandelier.
Wrought Iron Maintenance
This wrought-iron dining set can stay outdoors year-round as long as the painted finish remains in good shape. Clean wrought iron by washing it with soap and water, then rinsing it well. If you find any nicks or scratches, touch them up with paint to prevent rust from forming.
Aluminum Furniture Options
Patio furniture is available in so many styles that your choice ultimately depends on your budget and your personal preferences.
Aluminum furniture, either wrought or cast in molds, is usually contemporary in style. It's rustproof, lightweight, and usually comes with a tough, baked-on enamel finish. It's generally more expensive than iron.
Look for thick, heavy-gauge alloys and smooth seams on welded joints. Less expensive versions feature hollow, tubular frames.
Slim-Lined Dining Set
A dark finish on this metal deck furniture accents the neutral color scheme of the house. While the furniture can stay outdoors year-round, the cushions are removable and need to come indoors in the winter.
When you're shopping for patio furniture, keep some size guidelines in mind. A 36-inch round table and four chairs need an area at least 9 feet across to fit comfortably and allow for pull-out room. A 48-inch table and six chairs need an area at least 10 feet across.
Take full advantage of the space you have. Here a built-in bench flanking one side of the fireplace provides plenty of seating for guests. An outdoor gas heater suspended from the pergola helps ward off the after-sunset chill.
Weathered Wood Furniture
Allowed to weather naturally, these wood pieces form a rustic seating area. The charming color blends well with the decking material. Having just three pieces, the grouping takes advantage of a small upper deck that's closest to the house. Keep in mind that when you're positioning seating areas near the house, be sure the furniture doesn't impede traffic flow.
Arranged for Conversation
If you're furnishing a (generously sized) outdoor living room, you'll probably want to start with a sofa or loveseat and two chairs to create a comfortable conversation area. A pair of side tables may be a more flexible option than one large coffee table, so you can move them closer to where people are sitting.
Perfect Dining Setting
With a rustic cedar pergola and wood fence as a background, a simple but sturdy wood table and chairs create a welcoming setting for dining. The nicely sized chairs have high backs and arms which make them comfortable to sit in well after the meal as guests enjoy the outdoor fireplace and the company of their hosts.
Elegant Wrought Iron
Wrought iron chairs with clean, classic lines and a 19th-century Italian table define a spot for sophisticated outdoor dining. For a well-designed outdoor room, use materials that relate to the setting--here, the chairs are made of the same material as the fanciful fence at the edge of the terrace.
Simple, Casual Furniture
In an outdoor dining room defined by a rustic wooden arbor, simple wood chairs and a picnic-style table are practical and natural choices for an outdoor family dining area. Include an old-fashioned porch swing for relaxing.
Weatherproof Metal Dining Set
A low-maintenance metal dining set like this one is a good choice if you want to leave the furniture out all year. That way you don't have to find a sheltered place to store the pieces during the winter. Since metal seating has a hard surface, add removable cushions for comfort. Store just the cushions indoors when the furniture is not in use.
Modest-Size Dining Furniture
A picnic-style table, benches, and two chairs turn this tiny patio into a delightful outdoor dining spot. Keep proportions in mind when shopping for outdoor furniture. Match the scale of your outdoor furniture to the size of your patio or deck so that pieces aren't too big or too small for the space.
Outdoor Rocking Chairs
Metal rocking chairs add an extra element of comfort to this outdoor living room. Although metal furniture often looks lightweight, the sweeping curve of the arms gives the chairs a bold scale in keeping with the massive posts and pergola. Rocking chairs require more space than standard chairs so be sure your patio is large enough to accommodate them.