Outdoor and Patio Furniture

At Modish, we have a curated collection of products in home decor, furniture, outdoors and lighting for your modern home. Our special focus on sustainability and environment has led to a large range of refurbished, reclaimed & recycled products that are stylish and chic. The Modish catalogue consists of high quality, exquisite, hand-crafted or artisan made items sourced from different countries in rustic, industrial, farmhouse and vintage styles. We sell reputed brands like Kalalou, Artisan Living, Modway, HomArt, Zuo, Garden Age, Uttermost, Sika Design & many more.


What type of outdoor furniture is the most durable? What are the pros and cons of each type?

When you’re buying outdoor furniture, you want something durable, comfortable and stylish, while not being too difficult to clean. The furniture should be able to withstand the elements of weather around the year. Outdoor furniture comes in different materials, each one having its own pros and cons. Here are the options:

Synthetic wicker: Also called Resin Wicker, Synthetic Wicker is one of the best materials for outdoor furniture sets. They look like natural wicker, with the added advantage of being all weather, more durable and lightweight. They are usually constructed on an aluminium frame and come in two varieties - High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Wicker & cheaper PVC wickers. PVC wickers brittle and crack soon, while HDPE is a high grade, dense material that lasts long in all outdoor conditions. Synthetic wicker is stain & scratch resistant, usually contains UV inhibitors that prevent fading in the sun and is recyclable. Easy to clean, it can be gently washed to remove dirt or spills. Synthetic wicker is used to make stylish porch swings, chairs, and loungers etc.

Teak: For outdoor wooden furniture, the downright choice has to be Teak. Teak is touted for its all-weather durability, strength, and beautiful grained finish. It is a dense, close-grained hardwood with natural oil content that makes it resistant to the elements of weather, repels water and keeps it from warping, cracking or becoming brittle. The benches you find in outdoor parks and ski lodges are all made of teak, proving it can withstand long harsh winters while retaining its look. Teak makes for a great outdoor dining tabletop or it can for armrests on outdoor chairs. It is not quite as light as aluminum patio furniture, but is still mobile with a higher load capacity.

Resin & Plastic: Resin or plastic furniture for outdoors or patios is an affordable, inexpensive choice. The material is lightweight, very low on maintenance, easy to clean and weather resistant. Sometimes it can warp if exposed to direct sunlight for longer periods. However plastics suffer from the image of being non classy, flimsy, somewhat devoid of character and not the most durable. You should buy it for temporary usage.

Aluminium: Cast aluminum patio furniture is lightweight, durable and can be molded into various intricate shapes, giving it an artisan-looking look. It can be painted in any color to create a versatile range of outdoor furniture that fits into any space. Cast aluminum is actually a lot stronger than what most people think. Being lightweight, it is probably the best outdoor material for chairs that need to be rearranged or moved in & out of garages frequently. The quality of aluminium varies quite a bit, so one should buy a reputed brand. Aluminium can be powder coated to give a high weather resistant finish. The coating provides a scratch-proof surface, keeping the furniture safe from rust & UV damage.

Wrought Iron & Steel: Wrought iron is a good choice for outdoor furniture if you are looking for uniqueness and handcrafted designs. The term “wrought” means that it has been “worked by hand”. It differs from “cast” iron which is made using molds. The disadvantage of wrought iron is that it is heavy and unsuited to be moved around. Stainless steel is strong, durable and heavy (though less than wrought iron). It’s the easiest material to clean and maintain. It is rust proof (can be left out in the open) and can be coated in any color you like or left with the natural metal like look.

Concrete: Concrete outdoor furniture has its own advantages - it does not warp, rot, splinter, sag or fall apart when subjected to the elements of weather. Given its strength and durability, it can withstand hurricanes as well, which explains its widespread use in public parks and forests. It can be moulded into a variety of shapes as well. Common furniture items that are made of concrete are outdoor tables, chairs, benches, stools, arches etc.

How durable is wicker patio furniture? Can it be used outdoors?

Wicker furniture is of two types - natural and synthetic. Synthetic wicker is made of resins, is very durably and is stain, scratch and fade resistant - hence it is extensively used for outdoor furniture. On the other hand, natural wicker is only intended for indoor use - it can't be used outdoors, since it can’t withstand sunlight, moisture, mold etc.

What is the best material for outdoor cushions?

Most outdoor furniture gets exposed to the elements of nature. Whether patio furniture or cushions and sofas kept under an awning - they have to withstand winds, rains and hot or cold temperature variations. Hence it is best to choose a fabric that's water resistant (or waterproof) and fade resistant, so that the elements don't damage your cushions. Not just the outer cover, the cushion fillings should be 100% waterproof also.

Sunbrella: The most popular fabric for upholstered outdoor chairs, sofas, cushions is Sunbrella. These acrylic fabrics come in lots of colors and patterns, and are durable and fade-resistant because they get saturated with UV-stable pigments during the manufacturing process. Sunbrella also resists mold and mildew; if they get dirty, they can be cleaned with bleach. It is also a good choice for umbrellas, since it filters out 98% of UV radiation. Sunbrella is used extensively both on ready-made and custom furniture; you can purchase pillows, table cloths, sofa covers etc made from this material.

Cotton Canvas: Cotton canvas is a heavy duty woven fabric, relatively inexpensive and used in many outdoor furniture sets. Available in pre-dyed solid colors and prints, or can even be custom printed.

Duck Cloth: Also called Duck Canvas, Duck Cloth is similar to Cotton Canvas, but has a tighter weave, is stronger in texture, though it is more expensive than cotton.

Textilene Fibre: This is a woven polyester with a PVC coating. Used for sling seating, sun shades, and outdoor furniture, it is waterproof, fade resistant and mold resistant though it does have a distinct polyester, plasticy feel to it.

Vinyls: Vinyl is hardy, easy to clean though not the most environment friendly.

What is the difference between wicker and rattan furniture?

Wicker and Rattan furniture are often confused to be the same, but they are different from each other. Rattan, a close relative of the palm tree is a durable material, a type of vine that is woven into various furnitures. Wicker on the other hand is not a material, but a weaving technique to manufacture items out of natural materials like bamboo, straw, rattan or synthetic materials (resins). Rattan furniture is usually stronger than wicker furniture, but it is not best suited for outdoors and gets mostly used indoors. Wicker, if made of synthetic materials is very popular for the outdoors.

Does outdoor furniture get rusted?

Depending on the material chosen, outdoor furniture can rust. If you have wicker or wood material, that will not rust, but if you have metallic furniture, the type of metal chosen will determine rusting. Furniture made of aluminum (extruded or cast) will not rust, but if made of wrought iron or steel, it can rust depending on the material quality. Cheaper, lower grade wrought iron or steel is likely to rust more than high-quality wrought iron or steel.

What type of patio umbrellas are available? What size considerations should one keep in mind?
The most common patio umbrella is the "free-standing patio umbrella". This consists of a canopy supported on a pole that is secured with a bottom metallic base. The canopy unfurls by opening the shade and pulling the pin manually, or via a crank-pulley system. Other umbrella options are A) Through table - where the pole is not self supported, but fits into the central hole in a table B) Wall Mounted Umbrellas - which are fastened to a wall using mounting brackets C) Tilting Patio Umbrella - where the canopy can be tilted on a pivot point to adjust for the sun's movement across the sky.

On sizing, make sure to get the correct sized canopy for the umbrella you buy. Canopies come in various sizes (usually 6-12 feet diameter), depending on whether it is a free-standing or a through-table design you are opting for.

Does patio furniture get wet in the rains, or fade in the sun? How durable is outdoor furniture generally?

Patio or outdoor furniture is designed keeping the elements of nature in mind. Hence they usually are durable and don't get wet or faded, if you have selected the right material and fabric.

Outdoor fabrics (like Sunbrellab) are moisture, mildew & fade resistant. So if left out in a passing thunderstorm, the rain droplets will bead up and roll off. If any water does permeate the fabric, the flow-through inside core allows water to drain out of the pillow or cushion. However if they are left outside over a longer duration or heavy downpours, they might show signs of wear.

For wooden patio furniture, softwoods like pine, cedar and redwood may have a shorter outdoor life and the joints will become loose, requiring sealing, painting etc. But hardwoods like teak will last long - sometimes even decades. It is natural for outdoor wooden furniture to eventually turn gray when exposed to rain, wind & sun.

For wicker furniture, durability depends on the type of wicker selected. Vinyl or resin wicker is strong and meant for outdoor use. Natural reed wicker is best-suited for indoor or protected areas like a pergola or a porch; they will disintegrate quickly if used outdoors.

If you're buying outdoor or patio furniture, here are some considerations to think about.

What do you plan to do outdoors? Is it eating and entertaining, and so requires a patio dining table set, or are you likely to relax while reading a book, therefore requiring a comfortable patio sun lounger. Options are plentiful - full size dining sets, small bistro sets, picnic benches, swing seats, patio chairs, lawn chairs, outdoor benches, outdoor chairs, patio furniture sets, patio tables, wicker outdoor furniture, outdoor lounge chairs, outdoor daybeds, garden benches, outdoor sofas, wrought iron patio furniture - make a list of what type of garden furniture you need. Do you have hot and dry weather, or do you live near the coast? How frequently does it rain? These factors will help you filter out options. Hot, dry weather can cause some wood to crack. Strong winds make aluminum chairs unstable, wicker can’t stand exposure to rain. The space available and its shape will help determine the size and layout of your outdoor furniture. Make sure to leave enough space around your furniture so you can walk comfortably. The placement of furniture will depend on how your zones are laid out - where area is lighted, where do you get the breeze, or how you want to utilize the small lawn patch? Do you need an Umbrella for shading if there is excess sunlight? Many options are available for the furniture material and fabrics. The factors that influence you choice are the weather, care required, relative comfort of each option, and looks. Arrive at an optimal balance between these factors before you buy. Make sure to provide storage for your outdoor furniture for different weather situations. Sometimes covers are inadequate, so having storage space for stowing or stacking away furniture is essential. One way to reduce storage space requirement is to buy outdoor furniture that folds flat or stacks one on top of another. Off course, the budget is the clincher but it's a good idea to just buy the best furniture you can afford. To save money, you can wait for patio furniture discounts that show up around July or August as fall approaches. Leave a small provision in your budget for extra accessories like parasols, cushions, ottomans, patio heaters etc - they always come in handy later!

To take care of your patio furniture, here are some suggestions:

  • If you aren’t using the patio furniture during the winter season, store it away in your garage, basement or garden shed. This protects it from harsh weather and greatly elongates its life.
  • If you have wooden outdoor furniture, taking care of it prolongs their life and maintains their look. Furniture made of hardwoods like teak will last decades even when fully exposed to the elements of nature. During its natural life, this hardwood outdoor furniture will turn gray. You can maintain the original look of outdoor teak by cleaning, brightening and then sealing the piece with teak sealer.
  • Keep your woven furniture clean by wiping with a damp cloth. Don’t use a soap, as it leaves behind a residue in the weave and eventually discolors it.
  • If you have aluminium furniture, it doesn’t need any protective care as a natural, protective oxide layer in formed on its surface when it is outdoors. Just washing away the dust with a garden hose is sufficient.
  • Rattan furniture should not be used outdoors. Even when inside, make sure to keep it away from direct sunlight from windows and balconies to avoid colour fading.
  • When it rains outdoors, put a protective cover on your furniture to prevent dust, leaves, and dirt from settling on the surface. If you’re buying covers, look for ones with a soft cloth backing (to protect the furniture’s finish) and a breathable, vented design (to stave off mold & mildew).
  • To maintenance wrought-iron furniture, simply clean it regularly with a mild liquid soap, and wipe with a non abrasive cloth. Putting a mild car wax on the surface helps to restore shine and repel water.
  • To keep outdoor fabrics looking fresh, brush off any dust, dirt, leaves etc and wipe up spills as soon as they occur. Feel free to spot-clean outdoor fabric with a mild soap solution; use a soft-brush to work the solution, rinse thoroughly, and air-dry. You can do this a few times during the season or as needed.