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Choose the right Outdoor Furniture for your space

What outdoor furniture is right for you?

Several factors go into choosing your best outdoor furniture solutions. The natural elements (wind, rain, salt air) should be your first consideration. Next, think about how much maintenance you are prepared to do each year. Lastly, you can choose based on look: modern, classic, colorful, etc.

Metal

 

PROS – Versatility of designs

CONS – Hot in the sun, cold in the shade

MAINTENANCE – Clean with damp cloth, treat any rust spots or pitting immediately

Cast Iron
Incredibly durable & heavy, BUT iron rusts and requires regular cleaning, maintenance, & repainting.

Stainless Steel
Lighter than iron, heavier than aluminum, marine grade 316 will not rust, but all stainless steel can be vulnerable to salt air & chlorine, a clear coat of liquid car wax once a year will protect the finish.

Regular & Cast Aluminum
Does not rust & can be used in any climate, because it is naturally light weight, it is often used as the frame under resin wickers & fabrics; not great in high wind areas.

Powder coated metals
The electrostatic finish lasts longer than standard paint; versions with UV-proofing keep colors longer; great color options. While chips and scratches in the surface are rare, they can expose the base material and possibly lead to rusting if left unrepaired. 

Options include: Teak – warm reddish brownIpe – rich dark brownRoble – blonde

Wood

 

PROS – warm, casual feel; if correct wood chosen, will last a literal lifetime

CONS – lower quality woods are not as durable and will give way to the elements over time; all woods listed below will react to UV exposure and ‘silver’ or bleach out over time.

MAINTENANCE – Light annual washing is all that’s needed, unless you want to restore the original color

 

Plastic

 

PROS – strong & durable; resistant to moisture, rotting, & cracking; color-fast & fade resistant because the color is intrinsic to the material; lots of color & style options; lightweight.

CONS – very light weight / not recommended for windy environments; poor quality plastics will crack & break and cannot handle heavier weights; lower quality chairs will fade in the sun

MAINTENANCE – a sponge, a hose, and soap. That’s it.

Fabric

 

Gone are the days of scratchy nylons and hard, plasticky picnic colors. Today, suppliers like Sunbrella and BellaDura are producing outdoor textiles that are soft, textural, and feel like what you’d want in your family room. (And they are SO durable and cleanable, we suggest putting them in your family room, too!) 

PROS – durable, color-fast, fade resistant, cleanable – even with bleach!

CONS – for best longevity, all fabric items (cushions, umbrellas, pillows) should be covered well or stored indoors during winter months

Rattan & Wicker

 

Wicker’ is the method of weaving; ‘rattan’ is the material used. Natural wicker furniture, because it is made from real rattan palm fibers, would fall apart if left to the elements. Now synthetic rattan made from polyethylene fibers has allowed us to have the ‘wicker’ look outdoors.

PROS – resistant to UV radiation and to water; when over aluminum frames, it offers a lightweight outdoor option.

CONS – can be too lightweight for some high-wind areas

MAINTENANCE – spray down with a hose, wipe or air dry

Cover & Storage

 

To get the longest life out of your outdoor furniture, particularly if you endure harsher winters, we recommend storing as much as you can in a covered, dry location. If storage is not an option, covers are available that can protect your investment from the harsh elements.

Finishing Touches

 

Umbrellas and awnings, fire pits, outdoor rugs & pillows, plants & sculptures are the finishing touches that make your outdoor space more inviting for you and your guests.  

Learn how to choose the right patio umbrella for your space.

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