Choosing outdoor furniture is an important part of designing a comfortable backyard setting. The color, texture and shape of your chairs, tables and accessories should complement the overall aesthetic of your backyard.
Also consider how often you plan to use your furniture outdoors. Heavy usage may necessitate investing in more durable materials like wood.
Durability and weather resistance are some of the most important factors to consider when buying outdoor furniture. You want your furniture to be able to withstand harsh elements like moisture, sunlight and extreme temperatures for years without becoming discoloured or damaged. Fortunately, groundbreaking innovations in materials have made it possible to create comfortable and stylish furniture that is genuinely weather-proof.
Aluminum is a popular choice for outdoor furniture frames because it’s lightweight and highly durable. It also resists rust and moisture damage better than other metals and won’t be easily affected by salt air in coastal areas. However, it’s best to only use aluminum furniture if it will be completely covered or covered in a waterproof material. Otherwise, it can be too hot or cold to be comfortably sat in for long periods of time and it will be prone to blowing over in strong winds.
Another durable option is steel, which is usually galvanized or stainless to protect it from corrosion and rust. It’s heavier than aluminum and won’t be as easy to move around but it’s extremely sturdy. It’s also resistant to heat and splinters and can be molded into many different shapes for comfort. However, steel can become very hot in the sun and will require additional cushioning to make it more comfortable.
Plastic resin is another durable option that can be molded into many styles of furniture to look like wood, natural wicker and more. It’s typically a cheaper alternative to teak but can be just as sturdy and long-lasting. It’s often treated to be water resistant and mold, mildew and insect-proof. It can also be sprayed with a special coating to help it withstand harsh weather conditions.
Acrylic fabrics are currently the most advanced and durable options for upholstered outdoor furniture. They are fade resistant, waterproof, mold and mildew-proof, and can be treated with premium UV protection for color that won’t fade season after season. Unfortunately, these benefits come at a price and acrylic fabrics are usually the most expensive option.
Natural rattan is also a very durable option for outdoor furniture. It’s durable against rough weather conditions and can be sanded and refinished to restore its appearance if necessary. It can also be sprayed with an anti-fungal treatment to keep it looking good for longer.
Whether your clients are planning on entertaining or simply relaxing outdoors, comfort is key. Cheap furniture often feels cheap, and even well-made outdoor pieces can be uncomfortable if they don’t have soft, supportive cushions. Luxury outdoor furniture, like that offered by Outer, is designed to be both stylish and incredibly comfortable. From multi-layer memory foam cushions to the perfect size for the space, every detail is considered to make the experience of lounging in the backyard as enjoyable as possible.
In addition to comfort, ergonomic design is also important in outdoor furniture. Ergonomic seating encourages healthy posture by providing adequate support for the back, neck and arms. Some seating styles, like reclining chairs, also allow users to change the angle of their backs to optimize spinal alignment.
Color is also a major consideration when selecting outdoor furniture. Different colors evoke different emotions, and they can impact a person’s mood and energy levels. For example, red is known to stimulate the appetite and increase energy, while blue promotes relaxation and peace. When selecting a color for a piece of outdoor furniture, consider the overall tone you want to create in your client’s yard.
When shopping for outdoor furniture, look for products made with weather-resistant materials. Options include aluminum, cast iron, wrought iron, wood, wicker (woven) and stainless steel. Some of these materials are less expensive than others, but they all stand up to the elements and require little maintenance to keep looking good. When selecting fabrics, check for seams that are sturdy and have consistent, even stitches. Additionally, look for fabrics that are fade resistant and UV protected, such as solution-dyed acrylic or spun polyester. Also, consider choosing cushions with vents to allow for air circulation and faster drying.
Durability is a hugely important factor when choosing outdoor furniture. Whether you have a large garden or a small patio, durable furniture will help to keep it looking great for longer and minimize the amount of maintenance needed each year. It’s also important to consider the durability of different materials if you live in an area with high winds. Lightweight furniture can be damaged by gusty weather, so it’s best to choose more sturdy options such as metal and concrete.
Having furniture that is durable and weather-resistant will also cut down on the amount of cleaning time you need to do each year, saving you both time and money. Many outdoor materials require special cleaners or protective coatings to keep them looking good, but some are naturally resistant to stains and damage.
Another consideration is the ability of the material to withstand moisture and humidity. Moisture that stays in contact with certain materials can lead to fungi growth and mildew, as well as cause physical damage such as warping and cracking.
A material’s durability is also affected by how quickly it can dry out after getting wet. Some fabrics are quick to dry and will allow you to use them straight away after a rainstorm, while others are less water-resistant and will take much longer to re-dry. The GSM (gum sizing) of a fabric is a useful guide to how fast it will dry, with higher numbers meaning a more rapid speed.
Finally, the sun’s harsh UV rays and dramatic seasonal climate changes can affect some materials, either through discolouration or by becoming brittle and cracked. Some materials are able to retain their structural integrity even in these conditions, but others may noticeably expand and contract leading to misaligned seams or loosened screws.
One of the most popular and durable types of furniture is teak, which is a naturally water-resistant wood that looks great both new and old. Its oil content protects it against insects and minimizes rotting, and its natural colouring eventually becomes a beautiful silvery-gray patina that can be maintained with regular re-oiling. This type of furniture is more expensive than other alternatives, but it will last a long time and require very little maintenance.
As important as the functional and durable qualities of outdoor furniture are, it’s also a major consideration to think about your aesthetic preferences. Do you want to create a sleek and modern design with metal chairs or an eclectic and bohemian feel with an outdoor fire table and ceramic decor? Or do you prefer a more traditional, relaxed vibe with wooden furniture and the natural look of rattan?
The beauty of modern outdoor furniture is that it can be mixed and matched to suit any style. If you love a clean line with a contemporary chaise lounge, you can still incorporate the same design concept with a woven or upholstered sofa in the same color to create an integrated seating area. Likewise, if you like to entertain, you can choose an outdoor dining set with a classic wooden table to host larger groups and still have room for a comfortable and cozy conversation area.
If you plan to use your backyard as a private retreat, consider creating a more neutral and rustic style with weathered wood or acacia seating that will age naturally over time to a beautiful silvery grey. Acacia is a sustainable tree that’s used in boat building, so it’s a great choice for eco-friendly outdoor furniture. It’s also one of the most water-resistant woods available and can be treated with oil to maintain a golden brown shade for years to come.
Remember to consider the weather conditions where you live when selecting a material for your outdoor furniture. If your backyard is exposed to direct sunlight, you may need to select a material that’s fade-proof to ensure it will last longer. Likewise, if you have frequent windy or rainy weather, you’ll need to select furniture that’s more sturdy and resilient.
Don’t make the mistake of deciding to buy cheap outdoor furniture because you don’t have the budget for better quality pieces. The truth is that low-quality outdoor furniture will quickly wear and tear, which means you’ll be replacing it more often. Instead, be sure to take your time to shop around and compare prices to find high-quality outdoor furniture that fits your budget. You may even be able to get better deals by shopping off-season or checking out yard sales, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for secondhand finds.