As spring turns into summer, one of the first things you’ll need to do is uncover the patio furniture, move your larger pieces out of storage, order all of the new cushions you’ve had your eye on, and get ready for some much needed rest and relaxation. The choices you make when it comes to outdoor furniture are important. Your backyard is where you spend a lot of time during the summer months. It makes sense to choose comfortable styles that best fit the needs of how you’re using it, while still keeping in mind the care and maintenance needs of furniture. Start by thinking about how you most often use your outdoor areas and ask yourself a few simple questions:
- Are you hosting big parties?
- Do you prefer having smaller, more intimate gatherings and/or cookouts?
- How much of your cooking are you planning to do outside during the summer?
These questions, along with this helpful guide, will help you as you shop for new outdoor furniture to bring new life to your backyard.
Wrought Iron Furniture
Iron is a classic, sturdy, and timeless way to transform your patio. If you live in an area prone to high winds, you won’t have to worry about wrought iron furniture blowing away in a storm. With a large variety of colors and designs available, you’re almost guaranteed to find the perfect piece to fit your style. However, with this type of outdoor furniture come a few small downsides. If you’ll be moving pieces around a lot, you might consider something more lightweight and less prone to leaving marks when being dragged across the deck. Because the paint on wrought iron can chip, see if there is a touch-up paint in the same color available to purchase when you buy your set. It’ll help you keep your furniture looking brand new. To clean, just wipe with a damp cloth. If deeper cleaning is necessary, wipe down with a solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water, and then rinse with a garden hose.
Aluminum patio furniture is the easy-care solution for all your outdoor furnishing needs. This is especially true if you want furniture that can be effortlessly moved. Aluminum won’t rust, and is super lightweight. Then make sure your furniture’s hardware is rust-proof and/or finished with a UV-resistant coating as well. Otherwise, while your aluminum frame won’t rust, the hardware holding it together will. It’s also important to check welds to make sure they are seamless and look sturdy. Choose custom shape cushion covers made of waterproof, tear & UV resistant fabric that add the style you’re looking for while giving the aluminum frame a run for its long-lasting money. Then accent them with throw pillows covered in sophisticated and stylish pillow covers.
Polymer & Plastic
Everyone is always looking for ease of care and maintenance when it comes to outdoor furniture. Plastic patio furniture created from recycled plastics are the fantastic solution to problems that arise from living in or near a saltwater environment. It is impossible for this furniture to rust. The heavy-duty polymer design can be used year-round and cleaned easily with a simple dish soap and water solution and a damp cloth. Rinse off with your hose and move on to your next backyard cleaning project.
Real Wood Furniture
The type of wood your furniture is made of is crucial in avoiding splitting, rotting, and bug infestations. Teak and Eucalyptus are dense and easy to maintain because they do not require sealant application on a yearly basis. As for other materials, cedar is hardy with a naturally moist interior that keeps it bug-resistant. Clean your wood furniture with a soft brush and a solution of water and Murphy’s Oil Soap before hosing it down well and towel drying. It also makes sense to reapply a sealant every year or two, depending on the wear and tear your furniture endures.
Fabrics. Fabrics. Fabrics.
No matter the style and materials in your furniture, finding the right cushions and outdoor cushion covers is the key to finishing any outdoor furniture set. When selecting upholstery, look for fabric that is UV-resistant and waterproof. After all, cushions are an investment worth protecting, so ensure their longevity by making the effort to properly cover them. Lastly, during the offseason or inclement weather, store them away to keep them looking like new years after you purchase them.