If you love outdoor living, you’ll want to make sure your backyard is equipped with garden furniture for all seasons. Traditionally, we associate patio furniture with late spring and summer, however depending on the climate in your neighborhood, it’s quite possible to enjoy your outdoor spaces earlier in spring and well into the fall, as long as you have chosen durable, comfortable materials. Here are a few things to think about when making decisions about which furniture to buy.
Just as you wouldn’t make the mistake of buying a couch that is way too big for your living room, you should consider the size and shape of the outdoor space you plan to furnish. You may have a covered porch, for instance, which is clearly defined and can be treated like a specific room in your home. The same goes for a neat, paved area next to your lawn. Perhaps you have a sprawling patio, in which case you can think bigger when it comes to furniture and equipment. Once you’re aware of the dimensions of the outdoor space you want to furnish, you can start looking at materials.
Popular materials include metal, resin, wicker and wood: the choice you make will depend on how these materials complement your home and your personal preferences. Metals include aluminum – either extruded or cast – and wrought iron and they are known to be both durable and stylishly attractive.
Ornate iron furniture is generally pretty heavy so plan how to position it with care. Most manufacturers make sure the finish includes rustproofing to protect it from the elements, so this means it will last thru fall and winter without damage. As you will probably have to add cushions or seat pads to make it more comfortable, remember to remove and store these when the weather deteriorates. Metal furniture can look elegant if you’ve opted for a Victorian-type style, while extruded aluminum can be very cutting edge if you prefer contemporary designs and is lighter and therefore easier to move around.
Resin or plastic garden furniture is ideal if you’re working to a budget as it’s easy to source and very practical. Beyond the mounded plastic variety, which you will find everywhere, these days it’s possible to find stylish designer looks if you shop around a bit –check out the discount furniture online to see what you can find.
Wicker garden furniture comes in all-weather varieties which are made from synthetic fibers and can withstand sunlight and rain, although many manufacturers recommend providing some protection out of season. Natural wicker, on the other hand, commonly is made from bamboo, cane or rattan. If you’re furnishing a porch this is a good choice, as the natural fibers are most suited to a covered area. By and large, you can get the same range of styles in both types of wicker.
When it comes to wood furniture you’ll find there’s a marvellous choice of materials, from hardwoods such as teak or Australian Jarrah, to softwoods including cedar and pine. Among these, teak and cedar are generally the most expensive, and most wooden garden furniture is treated to protect it from the elements. If you love a totally natural look you can always opt for furniture made from rough cut tree branches. This rustic look is best suited to your covered porch, however, just like natural wicker.
Once you know what will fit well in your available garden space, and which materials you prefer, you can begin to plan for appropriate seating, tables and other elements. For example, would a hammock be a special treat, or would the addition of a patio heater prolong your outdoor living period? Do you have to make room for a barbecue or do you have space for this elsewhere? Your lifestyle might be best reflected in a tall freestanding countertop and a collection of bar stools, or in well-padded comfortable couches and low level coffee tables.
If you love to dine al fresco you will want your garden furniture to provide an informal dining area, perhaps complementary to your more formal dining space inside your home. Don’t forget to consider external lighting if you’re expecting to have long sociable evenings with friends after dark – if your porch is uncovered, sometimes adding a decorative fence will provide you with a bit more privacy.
It’s worth taking just as much care with your outdoor room, as you do with your interior décor. After all, styling your garden says as much about you as styling the rest of your home.