One great way to make your outdoor space more livable is to add furniture, but how do you pick the best for your needs?
If you’re going to spend your time reading, perhaps you’d like an outdoor recliner. If you want to eat dinner under the stars, perhaps a table and chairs set. For outdoor entertaining a firepit and chairs might be nice.
If you’re like me you don’t want to spend much time maintaining your outdoor furniture, but only you can say how much is too much. Is the time spent protecting cushions from the rain too much of a burden? This depends on your lifestyle and climate, so consider carefully before buying furniture that will need maintenance.
Did you know that some chairs have legs that are too narrow for some decks? Considerations like this are important to avoid disappointment when you bring your new furniture home. Is it too large for the space? A lightweight piece of furniture won’t work in a place that gets high winds, but might be great in another location.
You are far more likely to want to spend time outdoors if the seating is comfortable. Be sure that whatever furniture you choose, is comfortable for the purpose you buy it for, be it reading or eating dinner. Because comfort is so important, I recommend against buying online as it doesn’t give you a chance to sit in the piece.
Some forms of outdoor furniture have longer lifespans than others. For instance a teak chair can be expected to last 75 years with very little maintenance, while some cheaper pieces may only last a few seasons.
This is a complicated topic and will be the subject of a later blog. Material affects factors such as longevity, weight, and maintenance. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for what material to choose when buying outdoor furniture, as there are pros and cons to each one.
What’s your budget? Cheap furniture may not be a good investment, as it may break or not be comfortable. There is however a wide variety in price from “acceptable” to “luxury” and you can decide what your budget can afford.
Lastly, what looks good? While I caution against choosing a piece solely based on it’s looks, (a chair that looks good but you don’t want to sit in is useless) it may be an important consideration for you. There are a wide variety of different styles to fit every design, so try to find one that matches other outdoor pieces you might have, such as bird baths or fire pits.