6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture

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You may have the coziest and most relaxing living room, drawing all family members to hang out and bond in this particular part of your home. However, don’t you want to also be lounging outdoors enjoying the warm days of summer or witnessing the fresh days of spring come to life once more? For a change, take your place of relaxation or family bonding alfresco by making outdoor living space as relaxing and inviting as your living room. Create the ambiance you want by carefully choosing the outdoor furniture you buy. A host of garden furniture options are available out there and choosing the best set can be overwhelming. To help you arrive at a clever decision, here are some questions you have to ask yourself:

1. How much money am I willing to spend for outdoor furniture?

Prices of outdoor furniture range from cheap to expensive. Trim down your choices by deciding on the price range. Why bother thinking about the furnishings which you cannot afford when in the end, you do not have the wherewithal to purchase them? So give yourself a break and stick to your budget.

If your budget is quite limited, you can still spruce up your outdoor space by simply replacing the cushions, umbrella, and other outdoor furnishings and accessories. This is more economical than buying a whole new set of outdoor furniture. You can also schedule furniture shopping on the 4th of July when sales on outdoor furniture are common.

2. Where will you be placing the outdoor furniture?

Yes, I know it’s to be placed outdoors, but which particular spot? Is it somewhere that receives a lot of sunlight or moisture, perhaps? Will the outdoor furniture be perched on solid ground or on grass? Is this outdoor space just near the house or relatively at a distance. Your specific answers to these questions will help you decide on the particular furniture and furnishings you will need, such as an umbrella for an outdoor space receiving a fair amount of sunlight, a waterproof lounger and table as poolside furniture, or a light weight furniture for a grassy area. Also, the distance of the outdoor space also matters in your choice of outdoor furniture because it would be great to have outdoor furniture that is situated adjacent to the house to match with the architecture of your house. If your outdoor haven is at a distance though, you have more outdoor furniture options as the set does not have to conform to the house.

3. How large is the area you will be furnishing?

Make sure to measure the dimensions of your outdoor space before buying outdoor furniture. Do not forget to make allowances for walking space and distances between furniture pieces. Allot 24 inches of space between a table and its chairs and another 24 to 36 inches of space for walking around the chairs.

For small spaces, a bar table set with bar stools can be a smart choice rather than a full-sized table. However, if you really need the standard dining table set, go for armless chairs.

4. What is the outdoor furniture and space intended for?

Your choice of furniture will also depend on the use that you have in mind. Do you plan to make the space your quiet nook for relaxation and reflection? Or is it for entertaining, and if it is, what type of entertaining do you intend to hold and for how many guests? Do you have enough storage to tuck the furniture away from rain, snow or sunlight? If you plan to be moving furniture, consider lightweight pieces.

5. What outdoor furniture pieces do you need?

Depending on the purpose of your outdoor space, decide on which pieces to purchase. This includes:

  • Benches, Loveseats
  • Coffee tables
  • Dining chairs
  • Dining tables
  • End tables
  • Gliders
  • Hammocks
  • Lounge chairs
  • Patio swing
  • Patio umbrella
  • Pillows, Cushions
  • Rockers
  • Serving tables
  • Ottomans

6. What kind of material do you want your outdoor furniture to be made of?

Durability, style and ease of maintenance are some important factors that furniture buyers consider. Your outdoor furniture must be able to withstand the harsh outdoor elements. An all-season wicker would be a great choice for outdoor use. You can also go for a resin wicker that is reinforced by an aluminum or steel frame.

For durability and patio or deck use, go for the heavy wrought iron outdoor furniture. You can find an array of styles to suit your preference, that range from Victorian detailing to sleek modern pieces. If you need something lighter, you can go for aluminum outdoor furniture, but do not expect it to last as long as the wrought iron set.

For a cozy earthy atmosphere, opt for wooden outdoor furniture. Just remember though that the warm hues of wood will change to natural tones of the outdoors when constantly exposed to outdoor elements. For a limited budget, plastic outdoor would be a great choice. The plastic pieces are stackable, waterproof, and come in a variety of designs.

Choosing the right set of outdoor furniture can be a daunting task, but by asking yourself the right questions before buying anything, you can make a practical purchase.

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