Tips for Choosing Patio Furniture

Your outdoor space is an extension of your home and gives you additional living space.  Just like decorating the interior of your home, careful thought should be given to how you want to decorate your outdoor space.  There are so many choices when it comes to outdoor furniture, it’s important to take your time and consider the options.  The furniture is an investment you’ll be enjoying for years to come, so here are some things to think about when making your decision.

Set a Budget

A set of outdoor furniture can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.  Decide upfront how much money you want to spend, and stick to that budget.  To make your dollars stretch further, consider holding off on a purchase until after July 4th.  Many companies have great sales after the holiday that you can take advantage of.  You can also save yourself some money by simply replacing the cushions on your existing furniture.  It will give you a whole new look with a much smaller price tag.

Consider the Placement of the Furniture

Will your outdoor furniture be placed close to your home?  If so, you’ll want to select a design that is harmonious with the decor of your interiors.  Will the space get much sun, or be sitting on grass or a hard surface?  Your answers will help determine if you need an umbrella or fade-resistant fabric, or if you need lightweight furniture for grassy spots.

Measure Your Location

It’s important to measure the space you want to put furniture so you know exactly what will fit.  Keep in mind that chairs around a table take up an additional 24 inches of space, with an extra 24 to 36 inches behind the chairs to walk around.
Before you buy, take the furniture measurements and use chalk to draw the dimensions onto your space.  You don’t want to buy furniture only to have it not actually fit once you get it home.

Determine the Function of the Space

Do you want to create an outdoor space that is great for intimate conversation?  How many people do you normally entertain?  Will you need a large table with many chairs, or something smaller and less formal?  Consider how you want to use the space before committing to any purchase.

Determine the Type of Furniture You Will Need

By considering the function of the space, you’ll have a better idea of what pieces you will need.  This could include a dining table and chairs, loveseats or benches, a coffee table, end tables, rockers, lounge chairs, an umbrella, or a patio swing.  Once you know what you are looking for it will help to narrow your choices.

Choose the Best Material for You

Outdoor furniture is subject to the elements, so think about what will work best in your space.  Wrought iron is practically indestructible, but can heat up in summer and it’s very heavy.  Wicker is lightweight and can be easily moved, but lends a more casual feel.  Wooden furniture will change colors over time when exposed to weather, but will last for many years and comes in a wide variety of styles.  Plastic is affordable and is great if you have a tight budget.

Consider Off Season Storage

Be sure to allow room to store your furniture during the winter months or during inclement weather.  If you don’t have room, think about investing in some heavy duty covers to protect each piece, so that you can extend their life.
Choosing outdoor furniture is an investment.  By considering the ideas above before you make a purchase, you’re sure to choose the furniture that is just right for your space and budget.

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