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How to Choose the Best Outdoor Furniture

How to choose the best outdoor furniture

Spring is here, and with it the chance to spend more time outside. For many homeowners, this is also the time to renovate and refurnish their outdoor spaces. Whether you’re building a brand new deck or simply replacing your worn picnic table, choosing the right outdoor furniture can turn your backyard into one of your favorite living spaces.

So what outdoor furniture is right for you? Before you run to the nearest furniture store to pick out a new bench or grilling table, it’s important to know what your needs are and the best choice for furniture that will stand up to all Mother Nature has to throw at it.

What Are You Using Your Outdoor Space For?

The first step to choosing the right outdoor furniture, of course, is to determine what you’re using the space for. Like any room in your house, the furnishings you choose need to be functional as well as stylish.

Many people use their outdoor space for dining. Outdoor Patio GatheringSummer meals cooked on the grill and enjoyed in the fresh air are a tradition for a lot of families. The right outdoor dining set can make cookouts even more special. A classic picnic table is perfect for the backyard, combining functionality and a casual design. For a more refined feel, dining tables and chairs can allow smaller groups​ or larger families to dine in comfort. And if you’re cooking outdoors, a well-made grill table​ can make it easy to prepare and serve meals.

If you see yourself entertaining outdoors, you’ll want more than a single dining table to accommodate your guests. Extra seating that can be easily moved allow you to change the space as your event requires. Foldable chairs​ are easily stored and can be brought out when you have extra guests. Ottomans can be used as extra seating when needed. Occasional tables are also useful for entertaining as well as decorating.

Of course, many homeowners don’t plan to use their outdoor space to host others. A comfortable outdoor area is the ideal space for relaxation. A classic porch swing is the perfect place to read a book in the fresh air, or a free-standing gliderfor those without a space to hang a swing. A lounge chair​ lets you stretch out in the sun. Planter boxesfilled with flowers can add to the cozy, relaxing feel of an outdoor living space.

How Much Outdoor Space Do You Have?

When most people buy a new sofa or desk they are careful to make sure it fits their space well. They take measurements and compare furniture models to find what suits their room well. Amazingly, many of those same people take less care with making sure their outdoor furniture is a good fit.

If you have a small balcony, common sense tells you that an 8-person dining table won’t fit. A dining set designed specifically for patios suits your needs better. But what about a more moderately-sized deck? You might be able to fit a set of sturdy traditional Adirondack chairs, but by the time you add your grill or a planter box you end up with a space that’s cramped and claustrophobic instead of relaxing.

Wooden outdoor furnitureThe opposite is true when you have a larger space to work with. If you have a spacious, open yard you need larger furniture to make it feel furnished. A few small chairs will seem lost and out of place, while more substantial pieces can help define a true living area. A large, open space calls for the visual weight of lounge chairs​ or an outdoor love seat. Accents like planters and occasional tables can further define the space, creating an inviting outdoor living area.

Choosing the best furniture to fit your space doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style or utility. If you would love a porch swing but don’t have the space, a glider chair can give you the same relaxing feel with a smaller footprint. A folding footrestlets you enjoy the comfort of a lounge chair without sacrificing space. A backless bench provides extra seating for dining and entertaining without making the space seem as cluttered as a heavier seat of the same size.

Where Do You Live?

One of the challenges in choosing outdoor furniture is that, unlike inside your home, you can’t control the environment. Humidity, sunlight, and temperature can all impact not only how you use the space, but also what furniture is right for you. When choosing outdoor furnishings, it’s important to consider the climate you live in.

If you live in an area with heavy rainfall and humidity, wood furniture might seem like a risky investment. Moisture can make wood rot and warp, and the insects that thrive in wet environments can quickly ruin many commonly used woods. One solution is to choose natural cypress for your outdoor furniture. Because cypress trees grow in wet areas, the wood naturally resists rot and water damage without pressure treating or special sealants. Its density and hardness also make it uninviting to termites and other chewing insects. Its light golden color is beautiful on its own, but cypress also accepts stain well, making it easy to customize to your outdoor decor.

Even in drier climates, cypress furnishings are a great choice for functional pieces. ​Treating wooden outdoor furniturePotting tables, for example, are frequently exposed to dampness and dirt regardless of where they’re used. Residents of drier regions are often surprised to discover rot on gardening supplies. Natural cypress allows you to enjoy gardening without less risk of losing plants and supplies to rot and insects.

In many places, rain is not the only element outdoor furniture faces. Heat, sun, and extreme temperatures all pose dangers to outdoor furnishing and decor. Wood discolors or rots, plastics fade and crack, and metal rusts. The best solution for dealing with the challenges of the weather is poly lumber. High-density polyethyline, commonly called HDPE or poly, is a recyclable plastic material known for its durability. Poly lumber is made from recycled materials using methods that minimize hazardous emissions, making it an eco-friendly option. Unlike lower-quality plastics, poly lumber is made to withstand direct sunlight, summer heat, snow, and even hail without damage.

Poly lumber is also a more attractive option than standard plastics, mimicking the solid look and classic lines of traditional wood. Using the same quality craftsmanship of our solid wood furnishings, AmishOutletStore’s poly lumber outdoor furniture provides the beauty and quality you expect from handcrafted furniture in a material made to withstand the elements.

Putting it All Together

Once you’ve thought about function, space, and environment you’re well on your way to creating a beautiful outdoor living space. Taking practical needs into account, AmishOutletStore’s wide selection of colors and styles allows you to truly customize your space. When form meets function, the result is a personalized living area that will allow you to enjoy the outdoors for years to come.

Shop our selection of wood and poly outdoor furniture to find the perfect new set for your porch, patio, or lawn.

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