The beautiful summer weather has finally arrived and you’re ready to create your own little patio escapade with outdoor furniture to accommodate your friends and loved ones. Garden furniture brings comfort and functionality to any outdoor living space. Complemented with a table, comfortable chairs and a sofa, a basic patio can be quickly transformed into a welcoming dining destination or lounging area during the warm season.
However, there are a few key factors to keep in mind when choosing patio furniture for your outdoor space. Below are 5 tips to ensure you pick outdoor furnishings that will withstand the test of time and are best suited for your needs.
1- Pick the right material and fabrics
How you plan on using your patio and whether or not you want to spend time on maintenance will determine which type of furniture to choose. If you want long-lasting furniture, opt for durable and weatherproof materials like metal, aluminum, stainless steel, acrylic, vinyl or synthetic wicker that will not rust or require seasonal storage.
When it comes to fabrics, it’s best to go with canvases and acrylic fabrics that resist fading and discoloration when extreme weather conditions set in, mold and mildew, and can hold up against rubbing and tearing.
Here are some of the most popular materials for outdoor furniture:
Synthetic wicker is a popular option among homeowners. It is moisture-resistant and suitable for all types of weather conditions. Even under heavy rains, the water simply beads and streams off of it, preventing the furniture from warping. However. With time and usage, wicker strings can start to lift, and color can fade a little.
Rustproof and highly durable, aluminum is the most popular option for outdoor furniture. Thanks to its metallic finish, it’s a great choice for high end modern outdoor furniture, thanks to its sleek design and contemporary look. It is impervious to the blaring sun and damaging rays, and requires little to no maintenance during the winter, removing the need for seasonal storage. In addition, it is lightweight, making it easy to move around and rearrange in your backyard. Another added benefit is that it will not crack, bend or become brittle over time.
Another popular option among homeowners, natural wood is very appealing in outdoor furnishings. Wood planks can be easily turned into a bench topped with cushions, which brings another vibe to your patio furniture. However, it does require regular treatment with a wood preservative and may also require UV protection. Not all woods are created equal when it comes to outdoor usage: choose weather-resistant woods like teak, redwood, cypress and cedar for optimal results.
Considered to be among the heaviest of metals, wrought iron is extremely sturdy, making it a great choice to resist harsh Canadian climates and strong winds. The malleability of wrought iron makes it ideal for creating unique hand-crafted designs with an upscale artisan feel. While it is long-lasting, the main drawback is that outdoor iron frames and tabletops can require a lot of care to clean, maintain and protect against rusting. They can also be a bit heavy to carry.
If you’re looking to create a more casual patio setting, plastic furniture is the way to go. An inexpensive option, this synthetic material is becoming more prevalent for outdoor furniture because it is fade resistant and doesn’t require paint or sealants. In addition, it is very easy to clean and maintain. It is however a bit less robust than other garden furniture options.
2- Opt for comfort and quality
Durable outdoor furniture frames, tabletops and upholstery need to retain their structural integrity and appearance over time. When it comes to outdoor furniture, quality is essential - A patio set may look aesthetically pleasing, but if the quality is not up to par, it can become defective after just a few months, or the uncomfortability might draw you away.
Before purchasing any outdoor equipment, make sure:
- Table, chair or sofa legs are solid and sturdy: try sitting on them to see if the frame shifts or flexes as it takes on your weight.
- Cushions have zippered covers on seat and back so you can easily clean or replace fabrics when needed.
- The table surface is solid, doesn’t scratch easily, and is made with a sturdy material like granite to avoid breakage.
- The structure frame is rust and weather-proof to resist extreme weather conditions and prevent warping, corrosion and other weather-related damages.
- The fabric covers resist fading and discoloration from the blaring sun.
Who wants to sit on an uncomfortable and stiff sofa? Without some homey comforts like soft, plush cushions, and wide, deeper structure frames, your outdoor furniture will go largely unused. A wider and deeper frame ensures increased sturdiness and optimal comfort. Opt for malleable cushions that feel light and for designs that are airy to allow for space and movement. The more lightweight the filler is, the quicker it will dry out after exposure to moisture, which means it will resist to mold and mildew and stay comfortable longer.
3- Look for versatility and function
During the hottest part of the day, sitting outside can become very unpleasant if your furniture isn't located in the shade or if you don’t own an outdoor awning. In addition to providing a comfortable seating area for family and guests, some rare garden furniture options include a two-in-one solution.
Both a sun shelter with retractable roof and integrated garden furniture, it conveniently comes equipped with an attached roof to provide sheltering shade while protecting you from UV rays. The two sofas with 3 available seatings each guarantee that family and friends will relax and enjoy the outdoors in utmost comfort.
To view a two-in-one garden furniture solution, look at the Ombrasole Oasis garden furniture.
4- High or low maintenance?
Ensuring you choose a weatherproof patio set is essential when buying furniture. Some materials require very little attention season after season, and are quick and easy to clean. Others require more time-intensive care and special products to keep them looking great and functioning properly. If you have a busy schedule or you just don’t want the hassle, you may want to opt for lower maintenance materials. Purchase easy-care patio furniture crafted from metal, teak, cedar, and all-weather wicker pieces. Furniture made using these materials will look wonderful for years, without having to worry about seasonal storage.
5- Personalize your patio with upholstery
With so many upholstery options and fabric styles, you can give your patio a customized feel that will match your personal style and decor. When outfitting your patio, opt for outdoor furniture that offer customizable fabrics, styles and patterns, so you can match your upholstery with your awning’s canvas and/or your indoor decor.
If you want to make your porch stand out, choose accent or bright colors and patterns on patio cushions and pillows. Don't be afraid to mix and match colors or patterns when styling cushions. As long as you stick to two coordinating styles to avoid a busy look, mixing it up can be fun! Thanks to Ombrasole’s custom canvases and fabrics, you can have complete control over fabric color, textures and patterns, so you can get the right fit - whether you're changing the look of your patio, updating your color scheme or purchasing new furniture.
Want to customize your garden furniture? Look at the 20 available color choices for the Ombrasole Aluminum Garden Furniture!
Before furnishing your outdoor patio, consider the points mentioned above to ensure you accessorize your patio with furniture that is best suited for your needs. Quality, versatility, maintenance and function are all important considerations to keep in mind!
Are you looking for durable, high quality, customizable garden furniture? Take a look at Ombrasole's aluminum outdoor furniture and its two-in-one Oasis furniture and sunshade.