Outdoor Furniture Buying Guide

As with buying any furniture, outdoor is just as much an investment as indoor. The outdoor area should be an extension of your interior style, yet durable enough to weather the elements, so where do you start? We put together a quick guide of the basics to make it a hassle-free process for you.

1- Analyze the Area

The best way to choose the furniture that works for you is to think about the overall space and how you want to use it. Do you love entertaining in a formal setting? Then think about creating an extended dining area. Do you prefer casual conversation and comings and goings? Then perhaps a cozy nook with seating around a fire pit is your cup of tea. This is the step where you decide if you need to look at outdoor dining tables, sectionals, chaises or even hammocks. Whatever it is, this is the first step to think about before going to the store to look, or you will buy something you won’t use.

Left: a mid-century modern teak outdoor unit by Janus et Cie (Tiempo collection) Right: Summer Classics Coast collection - teak outdoor dining table and dining chairs

Left: a mid-century modern teak outdoor unit by Janus et Cie (Tiempo collection)
Right: Summer Classics Coast collection - teak outdoor dining table and dining chairs

2- Measure the Space

Now that you know the type of furniture that you need to look for based on your patio mentality, take into account the layout of where the furniture will be placed. Consider where the sun hits and whether there are any large trees that could pose as a bother. Once you have your designated spots, measure how much space you have to make sure the furniture fits comfortably and people have room to move around, just as you would indoors.

Lane Venture wicker chairs and slipcovered outdoor sofa

Lane Venture wicker chairs and slipcovered outdoor sofa

3- Materials

There are a few things to take into account when choosing materials. The lesson that countless people have learned is go for quality versus of-the-moment pieces. Backyards, gardens and patios are all about creating memories- so choose furniture that will last, too. The second dictator in choosing material is based on your personal décor style. Do you like more of a rustic patio? Then choose teak. If you’re more of a trendsetter, choose metal furniture. We’ve listed 4 of our favorite high-quality options below:

TEAK – Teak is a tropical hardwood with a rich color that is durable and packed with natural oils to help prevent damage while outdoors. If you have limited storage space, teak looks better with age as it distresses to a slight silver patina over time for an elegant rustic look.

Century Furniture in collaboration with Candice Olson Luna Teak Chaise

Century Furniture in collaboration with Candice Olson Luna Teak Chaise

RESIN - Poly-rattan and resin weaved together create a relaxed style. Woven pieces are weather resistant and can stay outdoors year round, so no storage is required. Resin is durable and will remain looking like new since it is unlikely to tear or break but keeps the traditional look of weaving techniques to shape pieces that are light, durable and infinitely beautiful.

Janus et Cie Amari collection - Resin Coated rattan chair and table

Janus et Cie Amari collection - Resin Coated rattan chair and table

Summer Classics Club Woven collection

Summer Classics Club Woven collection

METAL- the most common metal used in outdoor furniture is aluminum which is lightweight and durable: scratch resistant and will not rust. It requires very little maintenance coming with a special coat, but if you like extra shiny and pristine, you can also store it inside during certain months of the year. The metal look offers a more contemporary look, but many other options start with metal frame covered by other natural materials.

Harbour Outdoor Balmoral Aluminum collection

Harbour Outdoor Balmoral Aluminum collection

4- Storage

As mentioned above, some materials are better with the elements, while some are recommended to be brought inside during winter months. If a garage or garden shed isn’t available, choose pieces that can be folded and packed away or invest in some protective furniture covers to let it remain outdoors.

Now that you know how to choose your furniture, stay tuned for tips on how to style the space! And of course, our favorite thing to do...entertain!