An L shaped outdoor sofa with light blue cushions and coffee table from the kathy ireland Home & Gardens River Brook collection

Outdoor Furniture FAQ

These days many homeowners are thinking about new outdoor furniture for their deck or patio. There are many styles, features, and brands available, and with so many choices, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. If you’re ready to choose new outdoor furnishings for your home (like the kathy ireland Homes & Gardens River Brook Outdoor 8 Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group shown above), check out our outdoor furniture FAQs. We’ll address a number of common questions to help you find the best options for your needs.

What’s the best material for outdoor furniture?

In some ways, the answer to this question depends on your preferences, budget, and outdoor décor aesthetic. However, for patio furniture that checks all your wish list items, consider resin wicker outdoor furniture.

Woven with strong polyethylene fibers, resin wicker delivers a tough design with a smooth finish that withstands the elements for years to come. It’s resistant to moisture, so there’s no need to worry about rotting, cracking, warping, or splintering, and it won’t collect mold or mildew. And while it offers the same beautiful look of wicker, resin wicker furniture (like the patio chairs shown below) retains its shape after extensive use and guards against wind, water, rain, and UV rays that can damage natural wicker.

Additionally, resin wicker is woven tightly around durable aluminum frames, which offer additional defense against the outdoors. Unlike ferrous wrought iron or steel, aluminum resists rust and corrosion to stay sturdy. It provides the strength needed for lasting use while remaining light enough to make moving your outdoor furniture simple.

Four comfortable patio chairs with aqua cushions on a deck with a geometric patterned rug.

Resin wicker furniture is beautiful and durable for a look you’ll still love years later.

How should I take care of my outdoor furniture?

A limited need for cleaning and maintenance is another great feature of resin wicker furniture. There’s no need to sand, paint, stain, or treat – simply wash away any dirt, debris, or dust that collects with your garden hose. If things get particularly messy, a mild detergent and a soft cloth should wipe soils away.

Do I need to cover my outdoor furniture in the winter?

There’s no doubt that resin wicker outdoor furniture is tough, but it’s still important to protect it from the harsh winter weather. If you can move furniture indoors, it’s advised that you do so. Not only will you defend your investment against damage, but you’ll also avoid hosing it off next summer!

For added protection or when you must store patio furniture outside, use a tight-fitting cover to keep the elements at bay. Make sure to clean your outdoor furniture before covering it to remove any soils or debris. Let it dry fully before covering for best results.

How should I take care of my fire pit?

Like your other outdoor furniture, your fire pit is built to last with minimal maintenance. However, keeping it clean and free of debris will help extend its useful life. Check regularly for any dust and detritus, and wipe dirt away with a gentle detergent and soft, clean cloth. You should also remove any accumulated sticks and leaves and make sure the gas lines are free of crud for safe operation.

A rectangular fire pit table with dancing flames.

A fire pit adds the ambiance of dancing flames to any outdoor space.


What is modular outdoor furniture?

Modular (like the sectional seating group shown below) refers to furnishings designed in standard parts that can be reconfigured in a number of ways. The pieces all work as standalone sofas and chairs, but could also create a U-shape, L-shape, or other sectional seating setup. This allows you to choose an outdoor furniture set you love and tailor it to the shape of your deck and the needs of your family.

A comfortable outdoor sofa with tangerine cushions and a coffee table on a deck next to a harbor.

A modular, sectional seating group offers function and flexibility.


Why should I avoid cheap outdoor furniture? It’s not like it’s a dining room table!

Even if outdoor furniture may not get as much use as your indoor furniture, it still pays to invest in high-quality pieces that will deliver years of use. When you choose cheaply made patio furniture, you’re likely to experience:

  • Warping, cracking, peeling, and other wear-and-tear
  • Fading
  • Rust and corrosion
  • Mold and mildew
  • Uncomfortable seating
  • Sliding or unstable furniture
  • Skimpy cushions
  • A less attractive deck than you hoped for

Just like the furniture in your home, quality outdoor furniture offers a level of strength and style you just won’t find in low-quality selections.


Which pieces are essential?

The answer to this question largely depends on your outdoor living area and how you use it. If your deck is a space for relaxation and family fun, a sectional is a great way to create a welcoming conversation area. For those who love dining al fresco, a dining table and chairs are must-haves. Other pieces you should consider include:

  • Accent tables to hold snacks, drinks, and décor
  • Loungers for the ultimate in relaxation
  • Bars and bar carts to make hosting simple
  • Fire pits to warm up chilly nights
  • Umbrellas for defense against the sun
A rectangular bar height outdoor dining table with six stools with backs.

A bar height dining table is perfect for those who love to dine outside.


My house has a smaller deck. Can I still create an outdoor living area without crowding?

It’s wise to take size into account! An overcrowded patio makes it hard to move freely, and you’ll find the clutter diminishes the look and relaxing feel of the space. Seek out smaller sets and sectionals that provide ample seating without hindering movement. To create an ideal outdoor dining area in a smaller space, try a square or round table to conserve room on your deck.

You can also save space with pieces that perform double duty. A bar makes an excellent high-top table for outdoor dining, while a rolling car that stores underneath it adds much-needed storage for hosting or everyday use.

Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor Furniture

Your outdoor furniture should make your deck one of your favorite places to be. With stylish selections from Twin Star Home®, you can create an outdoor living area that’s the envy of the neighborhood. Want to stay up-to-date with the latest styling tips and tricks? Don’t forget to subscribe to the Twin Star Home email newsletter!