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Patio Furniture

Patio Furniture
 
During warm weather, there is nothing quite as nice as sitting on your patio and having a morning cup of coffee or enjoying a delicious dinner with family and friends. With the right patio furniture, you can enjoy the great outdoors and add elegance to your patio, deck or pool area.
 
It is a good idea to purchase furniture based on how often you use your patio. If you only use the area occasionally, a few basic items will suffice. If you entertain frequently or spend a considerable amount of time outdoors, shop for comfort and durability.
 
Depending on the materials you choose and the size of each item, costs can range from economical to extravagant.
 
And if you live in a climate that does not allow year-round use, you will probably have to store the furniture for the winter. So keep storage space in mind when deciding on the number and size of your items.
 
Ask yourself these questions to help find the right pieces for your outdoor living area:
 
       • How do you use your outdoor space? How often and at what times of day do you use your patio?
       • How much sun does your patio typically receive?
       • Is your outdoor space in a coastal or wet environment?
       • What materials will provide the right combination of style and durability?
       • What do you need to do to maintain your patio furniture's appearance?
 

Types, Materials and Sun Exposure

Materials and Sun Exposure From simple resin chairs to elaborate teak dining sets, you can find almost any type of outdoor furniture for your patio.

Types

Types of Furniture

There are nearly as many types of furniture available for use on your patio as there are for your living room. 

 

Chairs come in a wide range of sizes, materials and colors. Outdoor dining sets can feature tabletops made of diverse materials, including glass, metal, wood or tile. Loveseats and benches provide extra seating, while swings and hammocks offer comfort and whimsy.


Also note that:
 
       • Cushions and pillows provide greater comfort.
       • Ottomans offer a leisurely, relaxed feel in outdoor seating areas.
       • Deck boxes for storage, coffee tables and end tables add style and utility.
       • Chaise lounges give you additional seating choices.
 

Materials

Outdoor furniture is constructed from a wide range of materials, both in fabric coverings and frames. Here are some considerations when choosing some of the most common items.

Cushions and Pillows

Cushions and Pillows

If your furniture is placed in an open area with exposure to the elements, purchase cushions and pillows that are weather-resistant and will not soil or collect mildew easily. Polyester fibers allow water to run off and air to filter through to keep them fresh.


Cushions with patterns on both sides allow you to flip them periodically, helping them maintain their appearance and retain shape.


Pillows also provide great lumbar support, which adds an extra element of comfort while enhancing the décor of your outdoor space.


Many of our patio furniture collections feature cushions and pillows that are interchangeable, so you can mix and match to refresh the look of your patio year after year without buying a completely new set.

Frames

Frames

For frames, keep in mind that certain materials weather the elements better than others. So if your goal is to have a patio set that lasts for many years, invest in a sturdy, rust-resistant frame that will provide more durability.


If portability is important, choose lightweight materials, such as wicker, resin or aluminum.

 

If you do not plan to move your set often, or if it will be exposed to the elements, select heavier materials such as wood or wrought iron.

 

Use the chart below to determine which types of frame materials best suit your needs:


Material

 Benefits

 Maintenance Tips

Aluminum • Lightweight
• Does not rust or fade
• Low maintenance
• Available in a variety of colors
• Durable
• Powder-coat finish provides
  durability
• Use car wax or mineral oil
  to protect surface
• Wash with soapy water and
  rinse
Plastic • Often stackable
• May be made of recycled
  materials
• Lightweight
• Available in many colors
• Apply cleaners that prevent
  mildew
• Rinse down with water
PVC (poly-vinyl chloride) • Lightweight
• Low maintenance
• Available in many colors
• Wash with soapy water and
  rinse
Steel • Sturdy and durable
• Perfect choice for patio sets that get
  above average use
• Apply protective finish to
  prevent rust
• Wash with mild soap and
  rinse
Wicker and Rattan • Durable
• Available in a variety of color
• Use all-weather fabrics
  unless furniture is protected
  from the elements
• Wash with mild detergent
  and rinse
Wood • Types available include teak and
   eucalyptus
• Teak provides an ideal combination of
   beauty and durability; will age to a
  graceful gray shade if left untreated
• Solid and sturdy
• Won't get too hot or cold
• Use paint with UV filters to
  prevent fading
• May require preservative
• Wash with soapy water and
  rinse
• Use brightener and oil to
  maintain original
  appearance
• Check for splinters if wood
  is nicked or dinged
Wrought Iron • Sturdy and durable
• Available in a wide range of designs
• Use paint to touch up
  cracks
• Apply rust protection
• Wash with mild soap and
  rinse

Sunlight

Sunlight

While sunshine provides warmth and light and is often an indicator of a beautiful day, constant direct exposure to the sun can cause patio furniture to lose its luster.


Choose a set with premium Sunbrella cushions for less fading over time. Or consider adding an umbrella or gazebo to protect seating areas and help reduce temperatures for increased comfort.


A few considerations:
 
       • Table umbrellas can make dining outdoors more enjoyable.
       • Stand-alone or offset umbrellas can be moved to various locations as needed.
       • Market umbrellas provide coverage over a large area.
       • Retractable awnings provide shade when desired and roll away at other time.
       • In the event of a storm or inclement weather, remove umbrellas and retract awnings.
 

Additional Options


Motorized Awning: If you don’t want to hassle with manually deploying your awning, look for one that allows you to operate it with the push of a button. Some also feature sensors that cause them to automatically deploy when it is sunny or rainy, and retract when it is windy to prevent damage.
 
Extension Tables: Extension tables expand and collapse as needed to create extra space or save room. They make great additions if you want enough table space for occasional parties but prefer to have more room to move around the rest of the time.
 
Carts: Carts provide convenient storage and extra surface space in one stylish package. These versatile units are mounted on wheels and can be rolled around to keep handy items within close reach.
 
Wheels/Casters: Some items are mounted on wheels or casters for easier mobility. This is especially desirable in items constructed of heavier materials such as wrought iron or steel.
 
Collapsible/Modular Design: Some pieces of outdoor furniture are designed to collapse or come apart for easier storage and/or transport.