10 Awesome Tips On How To Choose Patio Furniture

I believe I speak for a lot of people when I say that hanging out outdoors is pretty awesome. Having a patio or garden in your backyard is a luxury, and if you own one, you would want to make sure you set it up the right way. 

In this post, I will share some tips on how to choose patio furniture as well as point you in the right direction on where you can buy them. 

Whether you are a first-timer looking for your first patio furniture set or an experienced homeowner, these tips will work for you.

Let’s jump right in! 

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What should I look for when buying patio furniture?

There are a number of points that should be on your consideration list when shopping for patio furniture. You really do not want to be too haphazard and end up with a low-quality set that you can reuse the next season. You also do not want to buy patio furniture that cannot withstand the elements and become a really uncomfortable experience for your family and your guests. 

Here are 10 tips that can really help you out. 

1. Figure out what your needs are

So first, ask yourself this question: How are you going to make use of your outdoor space? 

Will it mainly be used for lounging?

Do you want it to be an outdoor dining space? 

Do you intend to host parties regularly?

I would recommend that you list out all the activities you envision will take place on your patio and rank them based on how often you will engage in each one. 

For example, if you are likely going to be hosting cocktail parties or beer and pizza nights, you really do not need to invest in a dining set. Lounge chairs, ottomans, patio conversation sets, or an outdoor sectional will be much more suitable.

My family loves dining outdoors though, so we planned our decor around the patio dining set we invested in.

2. Try Outdoor Seating In Stores Before You Buy

If you have easy access to a furniture shop or big box retailer, I recommend that you pay them a visit. Take an hour or two trying out the different types of furniture available and make a shortlist of the models (and their price) you are interested in. 

You would want to be sure that they are weather-resistant. 

While browsing around, pay attention to the types of cushions being offered and test them for comfort. You might want to grab a few pillows too for additional comfort.

You can obviously decide to buy on the spot, but many a time I find myself heading home for a night’s rest before I decide. Plus, I like to check online if there are better deals on offer. You will often find special discounts and coupons or get free shipping when you do that. 

I will share some of my favorite sites to buy patio furniture down below so be sure to read on.

3. Prioritize Outdoor Furniture That Is Easy To Care For

I must admit, I’m not a great fan of cleaning. As it is now, there are lots of things to clean up indoors, so it definitely makes a lot of sense to find outdoor furniture that requires minimal upkeep and maintenance. 

The good news is that most patio furniture is made to be easy to care for and can withstand the weather. A simple wipe down is frequently all you need to perform.

Quick tip: prepare a bucket of water and a cleaning towel each time you hang out outside. When the party is over, simply use the damp towel to wipe down the furniture. This simple act will keep your furniture clean and looking good as new for a long time. 

If you are getting furniture with cushions, be sure to find those that have removable covers!

4. Consider Where To Store Patio Furniture During Off Season

During the offseason, you should place your patio furniture in storage.

Although they are made for the outdoors, prolonged exposure especially to moisture will damage even the best furniture.

Your basement or garage is the best place to store them, and before doing so, I highly recommend that you apply a layer of protective sealant. Check out this article for more detailed instructions on how to handle different types of material.

If your home does not have enough storage space, you will need to consider smaller pieces of furniture, furniture that can be taken apart, or stackable ones.

Outdoor furniture can be quite expensive, so do take that bit of time to care for them so you can continue using them in the next season. 

5. Match Furniture Colors With Outdoor Decor

It used to be that you can only buy outdoor furniture that is made in natural tones, but today, there is a myriad of options available.

I would recommend that you stick to your outdoor color theme, but throw in a few pieces that can give a real contrast to the space. If the color you want is not available, you can DIY paint them yourself!

Alternatively, choose accessories like cushions and pillows that are in brighter hues to create a striking contrast.

6. Go For Quality, Not Quantity In Outdoor Furniture

If you wish to use your patio furniture beyond a single season, you really need to invest in a high-quality set. It really does not make any sense to save a few hundred dollars but end up having to spend thousands more in the future to replace them. 

One thing for sure is I never buy plastic furniture to use outside. Most of the time, they do not last and will lose their color very quickly.

This is also one reason why I like to shop online as I can read reviews of what I am buying.

However, if you are on a tight budget, I recommend that less is more. You do not have to buy every single item on your wishlist but focus on spending on the larger ones such as that gorgeous sofa set you have been eyeing.

The key takeaway is: If you are using it often, spend the most on it.

7. Use Outdoor Rugs for Contrast and Comfort

Did you know that there are outdoor rugs? I never knew that until my last shopping trip.

I love that there are quick-drying rugs these days that can turn up the dial on the coziness factor. 

Rugs can give your patio or deck a softness that feels like the indoors and by choosing different color schemes, you can transform how the outdoor looks quite instantly. 

As always, be sure to check that the rug is suitable for outdoor use!

8. Make Full Use of Dual-Purpose Patio Furniture

Another way to fully utilize your patio furniture is to think of ways to give them dual use.

For example, an outdoors bench can be turned into a dining or serving table for guests. Ottomans can become additional seats for guests. Extendable tables that can serve a larger crowd. And one of my favorite: Box that doubles up as a lamp and ice bucket:

9. Don’t forget shading options

Sitting outside can get quite warm, or you might want to continue staying outdoors even with a light drizzle. 

Short of growing a large tree to provide shade, you can get yourself patio umbrellas.

There are so many options to choose from these days from the traditional crank-it open type or fully motorized ones.

10. Finally, add on outdoor accessories

Furniture on its own can get lonely sometimes, so don’t forget to add matching accessories to really spice up the decor! 

Consider using outdoor garden mirrors to amplify a space, cushions, throw blanket, outdoor fire pits, and much more,

What type of patio furniture is most durable?

Needless to say, you want to get the most durable outdoor furniture that is within your budget. But what kinds of material works well outdoors?

Here are 7 materials that you should be looking out for when furniture shopping:

  • Wicker/rattan
  • Cast aluminum
  • Wood 
  • Stainless steel
  • Wrought iron
  • Concrete
  • Tempered glass

Where is the best place to buy patio furniture?

As I mentioned earlier, I tend to shop online so that I can find the best deals and read customer reviews. They help me make a better buying decision.

For the larger furniture, I do head out to retailers to try them out and see them in the flesh, but for smaller pieces, I tend to be able to make my decision much quicker without seeing them.

After all, thanks to the high levels of competition, free returns are often offered to online shoppers.

Here are my favorite online stores to buy patio furniture and accessories:

What to read next?

Before you leave, grab yourself all the designs on our free wall art printables page. That’s a great way toadd wall decor to your home without spending much!

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