Outdoor Furniture Guide: Everything You Need to Know – RisMedia.com

Furniture for your outdoor living space can often be the same level of investment as your interior furniture. Whether you plan on using it seasonally or year-round, it needs to withstand the elements while also being functional and attractive. When you’re selecting outdoor furniture, it’s essential to consider the durability, material and layout. Read on for everything you need to know about buying outdoor furniture.
Durability
Durability is the most important consideration for outdoor furniture. Seating options, tables and upholstery need to stand up to heavy use across multiple seasons and types of weather. Your local climate also determines the kind of furniture that will be most appropriate for your home. For example, water-resistant furniture is essential if your area receives frequent rain. Likewise, if you live in an area with high humidity, it’s crucial to select a material that isn’t prone to mold and mildew and can easily be cleaned. If you live by a coast and have saltwater in the air, it’s best to avoid metal furniture, as the salt can cause rusting. If your outdoor living area receives a lot of sun, selecting a material that can withstand the harsh rays can prevent fading.
The level of use is another critical consideration. Your outdoor dining table may not receive as much use as your poolside lounge chairs. The more you use the piece of furniture, the more durable it should be.
Material
The above durability considerations should help you select a material for your outdoor furniture. Wood is a popular choice for outdoor furniture pieces, as it’s attractive and is solidly constructed. Hardwoods are the best choice for outdoor furniture, as they are sturdy, resist weather damage and can be long-lasting with the proper care. Softwoods should be avoided outdoors, as they don’t stand up to the weather as well.
Teak is a common wood choice for outdoor furniture. It’s strong, doesn’t warp or crack, repels moisture, which means it won’t expand and contract and has a high oil contact, making it resistant to rot and insects.
If you prefer the look of metal patio furniture, cast iron, wrought iron and aluminum are all durable options. Aluminum furniture is naturally rust-resistant, which helps the pieces last for a long time. For cast iron or wrought iron furniture, look for pieces with a rust-resistant powder coating. Because metal furniture retains heat from the sun, it’s important to have cushions on these pieces so you can sit comfortably.
Outdoor furniture cushions will make all patio furniture significantly more comfortable but require selecting a fabric that can withstand harsh weather elements. Sunbrella is the gold standard of outdoor fabric, as it’s strong, doesn’t fade, resists moisture and is easy to clean.
Furniture Layout
The layout of your outdoor living area is just as important as your indoor space. Correctly measuring the space and arranging the furniture to facilitate conversation, and ensuring each seat has a spot to rest a drink are two key factors to consider when arranging furniture. With outdoor furniture, it’s also essential to consider the weather. Finally, if you have an outdoor space that is covered, it’s best to keep your less durable pieces protected to prevent damage. 
As Managing Editor, Social Media & Blog, Paige oversees RISMedia’s social media editorial and creative strategy, as well as managing content for the Housecall Blog, ACESocial and other editorial projects. She also helps develop marketing materials, email campaigns and articles for Real Estate magazine. Paige graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations.
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