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