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Outdoor Patio Furniture Buyers Guide

 Check out this great article and buyers guide for patio furniture in Maryland and Virgina courtesy of Family Leisure Company.

Before you order patio furniture, answer the following questions:

Patio Furniture

1. How much furniture do you need to create the atmosphere you desire?

If you're unsure what furniture to buy, consider the following:

  • Small backyards are ideal for bistro sets or chaise lounges bookending a tea table, perfect for a relaxing afternoon with your spouse or sharing a bottle of wine with a friend.
  • A medium-size patio will look great with a square table and chairs, flanked by accessories like potted plants or cement planters.
  • A large backyard might include a rectangular dining table and chairs, a grill, a bar and bar stools. Start with a table and add pieces as you acclimate to your new space.

2. What table shape should you purchase?

Tables come in a variety of shapes:

  • Tea: Enjoy a glass of iced tea while you relax outside and read from a good book.
  • Bistro: is perfect for a meal for two, whether a light lunch or romantic dinner.
  • Square: Seats four. Think summer breezes and lunch on the terrace with the in-laws.
  • Bar height: Gather friends on the porch for cocktails and a post-game discussion.
  • Oval: Can accommodate six people.   Good for a small dinner party.
  • Picnic: Backyard parties start with this table, which seats eight, and looks great next to a gas grill.
  • Rectangle: Seats 12 people. Excellent for an outdoor dinner with friends.

3. What type of material will withstand the weather conditions in your climate?

  • Plasict long-lasting, recycled and is made to withstand all climates. Available in chaise lounges, rockers, swings, stools and more.
  • Teak or cherry are sturdy, solid, beautiful and classic. Adds elegance to your patio and can retain original look or weather naturally to a light grey.
  • Wrought iron is durable, family-friendly, rust-resistant and available in a variety of styles.
  • Aluminum is rust-resistant, lightweight, rust-resistant and complements any style of furniture.
  • Wicker is weather-friendly, hand-woven from synthetic materials and budget-friendly.
  • Sling is great outdoors, especially around the pool, can come with or without cushions and is considered the most contemporary of all outdoor furniture.

4. How are you going to decorate?

  • Above all, have fun when it comes to decorating your patio or backyard! Don't worry if you have no design experience or can't afford to hire a professional to help you. After choosing the shape and size of your outdoor furniture, allow your personal preferences and backyard’s landscaping to determine the pieces you select. Mix and match for a look unique to your interests and favorites.
  • Decorate an empty space with a table, chairs and more, but make sure you allow room for guests to move around easily. Allow room for accessories as well, whether you'll be planting flowers, setting pool equipment to the side or installing paving stones for a walkway.
  • Choose deep seating to recreate the look and feel of the indoors in your outdoor space.
  • Complement your design choice by adding colorful and comfortable cushions.  Bold, bright patterns draw attention to your patio while shades of green blend in with the environment.
  • Purchase cushions with a zipper that allows you to change the cover depending on your mood. Solution-dyed acrylic and other all-weather materials withstand conditions in most climates and increase your outdoor enjoyment.
  • Prolong the life of your outdoor investments with regular maintenance. Carefully inspect each piece when you move the furniture into the garden each spring and back to the garage in the fall. Some pieces will look their best if you keep them oiled regularly and some pieces will require little to no maintenance at all. If you won tubular metal be sure the drain holes, located at the bottom of each tube, are clear of debris and can drain. If excess water builds the water could freeze once the winter hits, expanding and cracking your aluminum or wrought iron patio furniture.

Additional Questions To Ask Before Shopping For Patio Furniture:

How is this furniture going to be primarily used?
For example, do you have quiet family dinners or rowdy neighborhood parties?  Will you use the furniture on a daily basis or just on rare occasions? Is this just for dining, or do you also want a lounging area?
Who is going to be using the furniture? Do you have a small family? Do you often entertain large groups of people? Do you have young children, teenagers or older adults utilizing your furniture?
Where is the furniture going to be placed? Inside a sun or four season room? Outside on a wooden deck or a paver patio? Will it be on the grass or concrete slab? Will it be in a sheltered area or fully exposed to the elements?
Are there any special considerations you need to account for prior to buying your furniture? Do you have a pool or are you near salt water? Do you live in a windy area? Do you have large trees? Do you have pets? Do you have a place to store the furniture during the winter?
What is your style? Do you prefer classic, traditional looks or do you favor clean, modern designs? Do you want your outdoor room to reflect the décor of the inside of your home or do you want to achieve a certain mood?

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