A well-furnished, stylish, and comfortable outdoor space can make all the difference to your home’s interior. Durable and resilient outdoor furniture is an investment in your home, which is why it is immensely beneficial to know how to pick the right furniture for your outdoor area.
Now picking outdoor furniture is a lot like choosing furniture for your indoor spaces with one big exception -- You need to take the weather into consideration. The outdoor furniture pieces that you buy shouldn’t just look great, but they should also be sturdy, functional, and long lasting.
Here is the ultimate guide to choose the perfect outdoor furniture material according to your needs, requirements, and budget
Factors to consider before you begin
Outdoor spaces need to be properly planned with the right furniture so that you can fully enjoy the nature and fresh air around you. Before you start looking for outdoor furniture, consider the following factors:
- Purpose of your outdoor space: Decide whether you want to use your outdoor space for dining, entertaining, or just lounging at the end of a tiring day.
- Total space available: Measure the outdoor area to analyze how much space you really have and consider the proportions as well
- Placement of the furniture: The right furniture placement will depend on the amount of sunlight the outdoor space gets, type of surface the furniture will be placed on, and availability overhead covering. For instance, you can’t place soft wood like pine furniture on a grass surface because the moisture in the grass can cause the furniture to rot.
- Maintenance costs: Outdoor furniture needs more maintenance than indoor furniture because it is constantly exposed to outside elements. You need to decide how much time, money, and effort you can give into maintaining your furniture
Find the right materials
Wood furniture is strong, sturdy, and incredibly resilient. If you are looking for low maintenance options, go for teak furniture. It can last for several decades even with minimal effort from your end.
Alternatively, you can also go for cedar or eucalyptus furniture which are relatively more affordable. While eucalyptus furniture can last just as long as teak, it would require more maintenance several times a year (treatment with a water-based acrylic sealant). Cedar, which is the least expensive of all the three, can last for over 20 years at the most.
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Metal furniture's strength and power are the main reasons why it is preferred for outdoor spaces. More importantly, metal can be easily welded to create a wide variety of designs -- right from classic to contemporary. While there are many options in metal out there, its best to go for steel or aluminium since they are more resistant to rust. Aluminium is relatively lightweight which makes it the perfect choice for chairs or stools that need to be constantly moved around. Steel is comparatively stronger than aluminium which makes it perfect for weight bearing pieces like sectionals, tables, or sofas.
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While real wicket is not immune to sun damage or humidity, all-weather wicker, made of synthetic fiber is resilient enough to stay outdoors for year long with minimum maintenance. To clean wicker furniture, all you have to do is hose it with some water along with a mild soap. Wicker furniture now comes in a wide range -- from sofas to tables, chairs, tools, and even decor pieces, you can find everything in wicker.
While you might find it surprising, upholstered fabric furniture can actually be used outdoors mainly because the fabrics today can endure outdoor conditions perfectly. The biggest advantage of using fabric furniture is that you get the much-needed comfort.
Though, you would have to make sure the furniture is indoors or covered by a shade during rains to ensure the fabric’s longevity.
Once you know the main purpose of your outdoor furniture and the right material for it, start picking out the furniture and decor pieces that can fit the weather conditions and your outdoor area perfectly.