Outdoor spaces and patios beckon, especially when the weather gets warmer. First of all, they add to your overall available space, and secondly, they hold the promise of relaxation, entertaining, and overall more enjoyment. Now is the time to stock up on perfect patio pieces to relish those dog days of summer.
Putting a little thought before you buy outdoor furniture will help you choose pieces that’ll stand the test of time. Here are some tips for an outdoor furniture buying guide to get you started.
DETERMINE WHAT YOU NEED
What’s your vision for your outdoor space? Will you use it for regular family meals, to entertain in the great outdoors, or just for lounging by the pool? The way you intend to use the space will determine what pieces you’ll need to acquire.
INSIST ON GOOD QUALITY
What you buy to use outside has to stand up to sun exposure, wind, rain and probably some roughhousing, too. Inspect every piece you’re considering for flaws. This is one area where a higher price is often a good indicator of better quality.
FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION
Your best bet when deciding on the right materials for your outdoor furnishings is to evaluate how you plan on using your furniture and how much time you want to spend maintaining it.
PAY ATTENTION TO TEXTILES
You can’t grab a pillow from your family room and expect it to adapt to life outside on the patio. Fabrics designed for use outdoors are usually fade resistant and UV protected, too. They’ll look good and feel soft and comfortable for at least a couple of seasons.
COMFORT IS IMPORTANT
You may want steel or wood construction in your patio furniture for stability and longevity, but don’t forget that without some homey comforts like soft, plush cushions, your outdoor furniture will go largely unused.
MEASURE YOUR SPACE
Consider how much space you have, and how it is shaped. Make sure to leave enough space around your furniture to be able to walk comfortably. Apply the same principles for traffic flow that you would use indoors.
DON’T FORGET SHADE
During the hottest part of the day, sitting outside can get pretty unpleasant if your furniture isn’t situated in the shade. What’s the next best thing to a big old shade tree? Some sort of shade cover.
HAVE STORAGE SPACE
Either have storage space for your furniture or buy something that you will be able to use indoors during the winter months. Another option to cut down on storage space is to buy outdoor furniture that fold flat for storage.
CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET
In the end your budget determines what you can buy. We cannot stress enough the importance of buying the best furniture you can afford.
There’s something really nice about the idea of turning part of your landscape into an alfresco family room during two or three seasons of the year. It’s certainly a less expensive option than adding another room to your home. Who needs walls, anyway?