An open air living room has tremendous appeal. It gets you back into nature, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it is this season. Getting the right outdoor furniture to create a great outdoor seating might be challenging though.
The right outdoor furniture will encourage you to spend more time enjoying the fresh air, and maybe even entertain guests in your outdoor seating area.
Finding durable comfortable furniture may mean the difference between spending some time in your outdoor seating space enjoying the fresh air and heading indoors after a few minutes.
More than merely nice to look at, outdoor furniture has to withstand the elements and provide good value for money.
If you are decorating an outdoor seating area this season, these are the most important things you should keep in mind while shopping for outdoor furniture.
Never sacrifice quality
Some might think of outdoor furniture as somewhat less important than indoor furniture. But it is actually the other way around.
Outside furniture has to stand up to sun exposure, wind, rain and every possible element.
This is one area where a higher price is often a good indicator of better quality, and you do not want to sacrifice quality.
You do not have to stretch your budget but try to choose the best furniture you can afford.
When shopping for outdoor furniture, take your time to sit down and relax. Test the pieces you like before buying them. Choose according to comfort.
Some outdoor chairs are too narrow to be comfortable. Others are built so low to the ground that getting out of them can be annoying. And some couches are pretty deep, which can make them uncomfortable to sit in for a long time.
Also select soft, plush cushions. Avoid thin little cushions that are not comfortable to sit on for any length of time.
Opt for chubby cushions that feel light when you pick them up. Preferably cushions with polyester filler. Something that encourages you to use your outdoor seating area.
Lightweight and springy filler dry out better after exposure to moisture. That means it will resist mold and mildew better.
Look for durable material
Outdoor furniture should be made of sturdy durable materials, something that can withstand the change of seasons and live for a long time.
When choosing items made of metal remember that steel will rust while aluminum and stainless steel will not.
Also look for aluminum items made with long, unsegment framing pieces. They might cost a little more, but they will definitely last longer.
And make sure to choose textiles designed for outdoor seating, something made from all-weather materials. Fabrics designed for use outdoors are usually fade resistant and UV protected, and oftentimes they repel water too.
That is why; fabrics made specifically for outdoor use should look good and feel soft and comfortable for at least a couple of seasons in the open air.
Consider the weather in your area
Is the weather in your area hot and dry? Do you live near the coast? Does it rain often?
These are all essential questions that you should answer before selecting outdoor furniture for your outdoor seating area.
If you want your furniture to live long you must make sure it is suitable for the weather it will be left in.
For example, hot dry conditions can cause some wood to splinter and crack. While strong winds can send aluminum or plastic furniture flying, and wicker furniture will not withstand constant exposure to moisture.
Humidity and moisture are corroding to metals as well, and they can also make soft woods such as pine to rot.
And hot sunny weather can cause damage as well, such as cracking, fading, or warping due to heat.
Measure your outdoor seating space
Consider how much space you have, and the shape of that space. Use the area and shape of your outdoor seating space to determine the size of your outdoor furniture.
And apply the same principles for traffic flow that you would use indoors, make sure to leave enough space around your furniture to be able to walk comfortably.
Choose easy-to-care-for furniture
You want to be able to clean and care for that furniture with minimum hassle as you will probably need to do that frequently.
Some outdoor materials such as aluminum, teak or plastic do not need too much care. These construction materials are rustproof, lightweight, relatively inexpensive and require very little weather treating.
You can also wash them easily with a little soap and water.
On the other hand, something like wrought iron or cedar can look more elegant, last for a really long time and can take heat and moisture but it will need to be painted and weather proofed every now and then.
And pillows will stay looking their best if you are able to store them when you no longer use them outdoors in cooler or hotter months, so choose light ones that are easy to move and store.
Do not sacrifice aesthetics
While you want outdoor furniture to be durable, comfortable and budget friendly, you also want it to be pleasing to the eye.
Do not sacrifice aesthetics for any of the other qualities, they are just as important.
Choose the style you want and design accordingly. For a more elegant look, opt for natural colors in outdoor furniture and reserve bold splashes of color for cushions and accent pieces.
Consider your requirements
How will you use your outdoor seating? Do you have any especial requirements in your outdoor furniture?
For example, if you tend to rearrange your outdoor furniture frequently, or simply want the option, you will want furniture that is easy to move and adjust.
In that case, furniture such as wicker, aluminum, and plastic might be best for you as they are all fairly lightweight, easy to move, and convenient to rearrange as often as needed.