Outdoor furniture should be the centrepiece of your outdoor living area and provide you the perfect space to enjoy the sunshine in style with your loved ones. But given the wide range of options available, choosing the right outdoor furniture becomes a tricky task.
If you’re in the market for new outdoor furniture and are wondering how to pick the perfect outdoor furniture for your home, FurnitureOkay is here to help.
In this ultimate outdoor furniture buying guide, we’ll teach you how to choose the right outdoor furniture for your unique outdoor living area. From budget to material, we cover the most important factors to consider when outdoor furniture shopping.
Consider the materials used
Natural materials like wood and stone tend to be more expensive than synthetic options like plastic and metal. If you're working with a tight budget, you may want to consider furniture made from synthetic materials, as they tend to be more affordable.
Think about the size and quantity of pieces you need
A large dining set with multiple chairs and a table will be more expensive than a small balcony set with just a couple of chairs. If you're working with a limited budget, you may want to opt for a smaller set or just a few key pieces.
Consider purchasing furniture during the off-season
Outdoor furniture is often cheaper during the autumn and winter months, so you can save money by buying at this time.
Consider buying used outdoor furniture
Second-hand outdoor furniture can be a great way to get the pieces you want at a fraction of the cost. Look for options on online marketplaces or even in garage sales.
Keep in mind that you don't have to buy everything all at once
You can always start with a few key pieces, and then add on to your collection over time as your budget allows.
Think about the primary function of your outdoor space. Will it primarily be used for entertaining guests, or is it more of a personal retreat for relaxation and reading? Different types of outdoor furniture will be more suitable for different uses. For example, a dining set with a large table and chairs would be great for entertaining, whereas a comfortable lounge chair and small side table would be better for personal relaxation.
3. Space / size
The first step is to measure and sketch the layout of your outdoor area, this will give you a good idea of the types and sizes of furniture that will work best in your space.
If you have a smaller space, such as a balcony or a small patio, it is important to opt for compact furniture. This can include small seating areas with a couple of chairs and a side table, or a 2-seater dining set. Products such as height adjustable tables, or extendable dining tables, are also great for small outdoor spaces as they offer the flexibility to cater for different occasions.
On the other hand, if you have a larger outdoor space, you have more flexibility. You may want to consider using multiple seating areas to create different zones for different activities. This can be a great way to make the most of your space, and allows you to create different areas for relaxing, dining, and entertaining.
Another important factor to consider is the shape of your outdoor space. If you have a long narrow space, you may want to consider using narrow and elongated furniture such as an outdoor dining set with benches. If your space is square or round, look for circular or square shaped furniture such as a modular outdoor lounge setting. This will help to complement the shape of your outdoor space, and make it look more cohesive.
4. Climate / environment
If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, such as high winds, heavy rain, or extreme temperatures, you'll want to choose furniture that is sturdy, weather-resistant and durable. Look for materials like aluminium, synthetic wicker, stone and teak, which can withstand the elements. Avoid materials like plastic, steel or wood with lower density, which may not be as durable in harsh weather.
There are a variety of materials used to make outdoor furniture. Each material has its own unique characteristics, and some are more durable and long-lasting than others. Hardwoods like teak are known for their durability, while aluminium and synthetic wicker are also long-lasting and low on maintenance.
The fabric should also be be durable & UV-treated. They should be resistant to fading and mildew, and be able to withstand the elements.
Check the quality of the construction. Look for furniture that is well-constructed with sturdy frames, tight joints, and high-quality hardware. Avoid furniture that feels flimsy or has loose or wobbly parts.
A warranty or guarantee can give you peace of mind that the manufacturer stands behind their product and will replace or repair any defects.
Existing architecture and design of your outdoor space
If you have a modern home, you may want to choose furniture that has clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic. If your home has a more traditional look, you may want to choose furniture that has more ornate details and a classic style.
Overall colour scheme of your outdoor space
Look for furniture that complements the existing colours in your space. If you have a neutral colour scheme, you may want to choose furniture in natural wood finishes, while a bolder colour scheme may call for brighter coloured furniture.
Theme of your outdoor space
If you have a beach-themed outdoor space, you may want to choose furniture that has a nautical or coastal style. If you have a more natural or rustic theme, you may want to choose furniture that has a more organic or earthy style.
Materials that you want to use
Some materials are more appropriate for certain styles than others. For example, a rustic style may be better suited to natural wood finishes or wicker, while a contemporary style may be better suited to aluminium.
Overall aesthetic you want to achieve
Whether you want a cozy and comfortable space or a sleek and minimalist look, choose furniture that will help you achieve the desired aesthetic.
Shape and design
Look for furniture that has a comfortable shape and contoured design that will support your body and provide good lumbar support.
Type of cushioning and padding used
Look for furniture that has thick, high-density cushions that will provide a comfortable seating experience. The cushions should be made of high-quality, outdoor-rated materials such as UV-treated polyester, olefin or acrylic fabric that will withstand the elements and maintain their shape.
Look for furniture that has the appropriate seat height for the intended use. For example, dining chairs should be at a comfortable height for eating, while lounge chairs should be at a comfortable height for relaxing.
Some outdoor furniture has reclining options like adjustable backrests, ottomans, and headrests to provide the ultimate comfort.
Look for furniture that has an ergonomic design that will provide good support for the head, back, and legs, allowing you to sit comfortably for long periods of time.
Some materials, such as aluminium and synthetic wicker, are virtually maintenance-free, while others, such as wood, may require regular cleaning and treatment to maintain their appearance.
Furniture with a powder-coated finish is more resistant to rust, fading and chipping than those with a regular paint finish, and therefore requires less maintenance.
Furniture with removable and washable cushions and covers
This makes it easy to clean and maintain the furniture, and at the same time offers you the peace of mind that you're able to easily replace them if needed.
Furniture that is exposed to the elements will require more maintenance than those that are not. So, if you are planning to put the furniture in an exposed environment, you may consider materials that require less maintenance.
Ability to store
Furniture that can be easily folded or stored away during inclement weather or during the winter months will require less maintenance.
By considering these factors, you will be able to select outdoor furniture that is perfectly suited to your space, style, and needs. With this buying guide from FurnitureOkay, you can be confident that your new outdoor furniture will provide a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience for years to come.
For expert advice on indoor furniture, please take a look at this comprehensive guide from Porch.com.