It's that time of year again! As summer starts to ramp up in the Columbus metro area, practically everyone is spending more time outside — and rethinking the way they use their outdoor space. If it's time to think about upgrading your outdoor furniture, we've got all the information you need to make the perfect choice for your space!
It's easy to jump straight into style and design considerations. However, learning about the materials outdoor furniture is made of can help narrow your choices to a few high-quality pieces that will last for years (as opposed to one-season wonders that fall apart almost immediately).
Synthetic Resin. This type of furniture has that "rattan" or "wicker" look, but it's much lighter and exponentially longer-lasting in the outside elements. The style of synthetic resin furniture is truly timeless and fits both contemporary and more traditional-feeling spaces. When shopping for synthetic resin outdoor furniture, make sure the pieces you consider are crafted from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), not cheap PVC synthetics. PVC products break down much more quickly.
Wood. Though a variety of treated woods are used for patio furniture, teak is by far your best bet. Teak has been known to last up to fifty years outdoors, but it does require some seasonal upkeep (unless you want it to take on a silvery, aged look).
Metal. Cast aluminum is by far the most prolific outdoor furniture material. It's inexpensive, light, durable, and it looks great — all points in its favor! Because it can be powder-coated any color imaginable, cast aluminum is a popular choice for spaces of practically any style. Stainless steel is another attractive and durable option, but because of its substantial weight, it's not great if you plan on moving your outdoor furniture around often.
Narrow Your Options
Better Homes & Gardens suggests making a list of all the ways you'd most like to use your space (and we agree!). Sitting down with a pen and paper and writing out your vision will help you figure out what your priorities are for your outdoor living area, and that, in turn, will determine what's most important to you: an eating area big enough to seat 12? Cushy seating around a firepit? A more intimate conversational arrangement?
It's also important to take time to try out your furniture before you buy it — and by try it out, we mean take more than a thirty-second sit in your chairs, swings or sofas. Make sure it's a comfortable, relaxing fit for you. There's nothing worse than choosing furniture based on style, only to find out it's not that great to use once you get it home.
One more aspect to consider: what about storage? Do you need outdoor storage, and if so, does your furniture provide it (here's a hint: it can). Outdoor ottomans, benches, and other seating often come with built-in watertight storage options, so make sure to evaluate the importance of that before you buy!
Still not sure what to do with your outdoor space? Stop by our showroom at Northern Lighting for ideas to complete your backyard space with lighting that melds seamlessly with your outdoor furniture and overall style. We can help you find the perfect match for your space!