Our outdoor spaces have become where we host fancy dinner parties with our friends and family, spend cosy winter nights around a fire pit, or lounge in the sun while the kids splash around in the pool. These spaces have become just as important as the rooms we have within the four walls of our houses or apartments, but how do you choose the perfect patio furniture to turn your space into your outdoor oasis ?
Outdoor furniture not only enhances aesthetics and can showcase your unique personality but also plays a crucial role in maximizing the comfort and functionality of your outdoor space. Outdoor furniture should be functional and durable and careful consideration should be given to find the balance between practical and comfortable.
In this article, we will discuss a few points to help assist you in buying the perfect patio furniture whether you have a small space or large backyard to create a haven for you and your family.
Consider your outdoor space
You have to take into consideration the space you have available as well as the functionality of the space when choosing the right patio furniture. Assess whether the space have covered areas with sun protection or is it exposed to the sun, rain and weather.
Firstly measure the physical space you have available, remember there should be enough space to easily move around the furniture while still maintaining a natural flow and allowing for foot traffic. Measure the square footage you have available and envision what you want the space to be.
Always try to match the furniture to the space you have available and do not try to force impractical furniture into the space. If you have a large area consider buying bigger patio furniture to make the space feel utilized and homey. If you have a smaller outdoor area there are various creative solutions to help you utilize the space optimally.
An excellent solution for small spaces would be to consider transformable furniture. Transformable furniture can expand to large functional pieces whilst taking up minimal storage space to ensure you can get the most from your outdoor areas.
Another solution for small outdoor spaces is to buy patio furniture with a dual functionality. Like a coffee table that can deconstruct into extra seating or side tables that can be used to expand the dining areas.
Different spaces also have their own unique qualities that need to be considered when buying outdoor furniture. Uneven areas might require adjustable tables or seating whilst areas near swimming pools will definitely require quick-dry patio furniture cushions.
It is crucial to consider the weather when buying patio furniture as your furniture will be exposed to the elements. Choose patio furniture that will be durable as well as comfortable. Consider what the weather is usually like in your area as well as what the weather is like in the off-season and winter months.
Will your patio furniture be exposed to direct sunlight or salty air? Does it rain a lot? Does it snow in your area ?
Consider covering your patio furniture to protect it against wear and tear from Mother Nature, making it last much longer.
One factor that affects your furniture's durability in direct sunlight is its ability to resist ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. UV rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation from the sun that fades colours and breaks down materials over time.
Also, consider how much heat the material will absorb. Metal frames are likely to retain heat much longer than wood furniture, which might create a problem in the summer when the furniture gets too hot for you to enjoy. The best material for maximal sun exposure is High-Density Polyethylene (HPDE) lumbar as well as teak wood.
Remember to asses the degree of coverage you have available for your outdoor area. If you do not have a lot of natural shade from surrounding leafy trees you can consider alternative options such as patio umbrellas or gazebos. This will ensure that you have a comfortable cool place to relax on sunny days.
Consider what you want to use your space for mainly. Are you looking for a quaint reading nook on your sunny balcony, an outdoor dining room to host exquisite dinner parties for your large family or an outdoor sofa to lounge next to the pool? This will be a big determining factor in the type of furniture you will be shopping for.
Keep in mind the size of your family and the number of people you want to be able to entertain comfortably. Are you looking for a small four-seater dining table for your household or a magnificent twelve seater dining table that can be used to serve tasty meals to your nearest and dearest? When choosing dining tables also consider the option of expandable table tops. These tables can save space during storage while still enabling you to entertain multiple guests should you require.
Consider the type of furniture
Comfort is paramount when buying outdoor patio furniture. You want to ensure that the time you spend outside is just as comfortable as your family room or lounge.
Pay attention to the size and shape of the seats and back ensuring they provide adequate support that is still comfortable.
Outdoor cushions are a great way to maximize outdoor comfort. Cushions are easily removable enabling you to store them inside to protect them from the elements. Cushion covers are also an excellent way to bring a pop of colour to your outdoor space to showcase your personality and really make it a part of your home. Always opt for resistant fabrics to ensure the longevity of your cushions.
To ensure maximal comfort test any outdoor furniture before buying it. Take a breath, take a seat and take your time in deciding whether that is the right piece of furniture for you.
There are various types of materials that are used to make outdoor furniture. You can take your pick from wood, metal, polyethylene and various other materials. There are multiple qualities that make each of these materials unique and these factors should be considered before purchasing outdoor furniture.
Take into consideration the weather as we discussed above, comfort and most importantly personal design style. When choosing patio furniture remember it is an extension of your home and should reflect your personal style. Decide what aesthetic you are going for your space, do you want a more modern space with creative abstract furniture or do you want a more homey feel with lots of wooden furniture?
Wood furniture is classic and timeless and weathers beautifully over time. Wood blends well with a natural environment and creates a homey feel.
Remember to opt for weather-resistant wood species like teak or cedar and that regular sealing or applying protective oils might be necessary to maintain your outdoor furniture.
Metal furniture gives a stylish modern look to any space. Aluminium, wrought iron and steel are also excellent materials for patio furniture. Aluminium furniture is rust-resistant and lightweight making it a great option for your patio. Keep in mind that metal furniture can get very hot in direct sunlight.
Wicker and Rattan
You can get a wide range of synthetic wicker and rattan furniture such as outdoor sofas, patio chairs and loungers. Wicker creates an inviting, trendy look whilst being lightweight, durable as well as UV resistant.
However, wicker and rattan furniture should be properly stored or covered when not in use to avoid damage to the furniture. Cushions can be added to wicker furniture to further enhance comfort.
Plastic and resin
Plastic and resin furniture are a budget friendly option, which is lightweight as well as low-maintenance and easy to clean. Plastic furniture can be easily cleaned by simply wiping it down with a wet cloth. Remember to look for high-quality plastics that won't fade or become brittle over time.
If you opt for more affordable lower quality plastic furniture, keep in mind it might not last as long as the heat and direct sunlight tends to make the plastic weak.
To maximize the longevity of your patio furniture it is important to take proper care of it. Therefore this should also be a consideration when buying patio furniture. Decide on how much time and effort you are willing to invest in caring for your furniture. Certain materials will require more intensive care and maintenance in order to keep your furniture in pristine condition.
For example, wood furniture might require regular oiling to maintain its integrity as well as weather resistance, while plastic furniture can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Read and follow the manufacturer's instruction on how to care for your furniture to ensure you get the most out of your patio furniture.
Flexibility is another important consideration when choosing outdoor patio furniture. Modular furniture offers a high level of flexibility, giving you the option to rearrange your space allowing you to adapt to different occasions.
While stationary fire pits might look very aesthetically pleasing a movable chiminea might provide you with more options when entertaining.
Style and aesthetics
When buying patio furniture remember that it should showcase your individuality and style. Draw inspiration from your surroundings and pick furniture that will complement and enhance your environment.
Choose furniture pieces that share a similar design element or colour palette to create a cohesive look but don't be afraid to mix it up and add your own flare to the space.
A creative way to easily express your own personal style in your outdoor space is to make use of outdoor cushions. Cushions come in a variety of styles, patterns and colours and give you an opportunity to make your outdoor space truly yours.
When buying outdoor cushions consider the type of material the cushions are made of and what characteristics you require for your space. Is it water-wicking or stain resistant? Is it easily cleaned?
Outdoor patio furniture comes in a wide range of prices so it is very important to set a budget before you head out to the stores. While good quality furniture might be more expensive, it often offers better durability and longevity.
Another factor to keep in mind is whether you rent or own the house where you live. If you own the house you can consider more permanent solutions but if you are planning to relocate in the future it might be smart to consider furniture that is movable.
If sustainability is important to you, explore eco-friendly patio furniture options. Recently various big retailers have included eco-friendly furniture crafted from recycled plastic or sustainably sourced wood as a part of their range.
When looking for eco-friendly patio furniture research the manufacturing process and how the materials were sourced. Ensure that the furniture is still strong and durable and will not break in a few years. Also, follow the care instructions of the manufacturer carefully.
Selecting the right patio furniture can seem like a daunting and intimidating task. But by taking into consideration the space, the weather, the functionality as well as the different materials, comfort, style and budget options you can create an outdoor space that is not only visually appealing but also a welcome area where you can relax and make memories.
By using our patio furniture buying guide you can turn your outdoor space into a beautiful oasis. Most importantly you have to consider what will work the best for your and your own space. We are all different with different styles so create a space that will bring you joy.