Picture this: it’s a beautiful, sunny day, and family and (if you’re ready) a few carefully selected friends are enjoying a backyard barbecue on your patio. The food is delicious, the drinks are cold, and everyone is having a great time as they relax on your outdoor furniture or gather around the bar. What could make for a better day?
To create a stunning outdoor living area, you’ll need the right outdoor furniture (like the kathy ireland Homes & Gardens Madison Ave. collection shown above, styled by Rachel Moriarty) to make your space comfortable, inviting, and attractive. Yet if you’re not sure where to start, choosing the right pieces can feel a little overwhelming. Find out everything you need to know about outdoor furniture with our simple buying guide. It will help you understand materials, styles, and how to find the right options for your deck.
You’ll find outdoor furniture in a variety of materials at almost every price point. As you evaluate your choices, it’s important to understand the construction of the frame, as well as the general materials used. In general, resin wicker and aluminum are an optimal choice for most buyers – here’s why.
The best outdoor furniture for your needs depends on a number of factors. Available materials include:
Wood, like teak, acacia, cedar, eucalyptus, and shorea
You might not see the frame of your outdoor furniture (like the loveseat shown above), but it’s just as important as the parts you can see. Its construction will determine the strength and stability of your seating and dining furniture. So, choosing high-quality options known for durability is important.
While steel and wrought iron provide ample stability, it’s important to remember that both materials are ferrous. This means they are susceptible to rust when exposed to moisture, especially in areas where the finish is damaged. Aluminum, a nonferrous metal, offers a superior alternative with all the strength and stability offered by iron and steel. In addition to resistance to rust and corrosion, aluminum is also known for excellent finish adhesion for strength and good looks that will last.
Now that you know how to choose the best quality outdoor furniture, it’s time to think about the pieces you’ll need for your home. Many homeowners with ample room prefer a mix of seating, bar, and dining furniture to create the ultimate outdoor living area. However, smaller spaces make a cozy outdoor retreat with a sofa, chairs, or sectional for conversation or a bar table for intimate dinners.
Available options include:
A daybed is a luxurious way to relax on your patio.
Outdoor seating is often offered in sets, and with good reason. Choosing several pieces in the same finish and style make it easy to create a cohesive aesthetic across your deck. Best of all, it’s possible to match your outdoor dining furniture and bar to complete the look.
Choosing the best outdoor dining furniture depends largely on your space. Long, rectangular tables are ideal for larger spaces, making it easy to host dinner parties and special events. For smaller spaces, choose a square table (like the one shown below) that’s perfect for date night on the patio or a family dinner. Meanwhile, outdoor dining chairs are smaller in size but should be just as comfortable as chairs for lounging. Choose options with or without arms, or mix it up to round out your seating.
If you love sipping cocktails on the patio, invest in outdoor bar furniture. These pieces are perfect for frequent hostesses and individuals with smaller decks alike, offering a more compact footprint than larger dining sets. In addition to pub-style tables, stools, and dining chairs, you’ll also find bars, storage accessories, and carts that make it easy to offer guests libations, snacks, and more.
Putting the finishing touches on your deck ensures you’ll enjoy warm spring days, balmy summer evenings, and cool fall nights in comfort and style.
And don’t forget protective covers for your furniture! While your outdoor furnishings are built tough to withstand sun, wind, and rain, covers off an added line of defense against the elements when they’re not in use. Look for high-quality, close-fitting covers designed for your furniture to ensure best results.