Finding The Perfect Outdoor Furnishings

Finding The Perfect Outdoor Furnishings

There are a number of factors that you have to consider when choosing furnishings for outdoor spaces such as the backyard, patio, or porch. One of the most important is the climate that those pieces are going to have to handle. Some materials will be able to withstand extremes of heat and cold better, while others will require frequent treatment or replacement.

There are many man made materials such as plastics and resin based compounds which can be used to make very durable pieces. In general these will be able to handle extreme weather and wont need much in the way of maintenance over time. Depending on the color and quality of the piece you may get occasional staining but in general a well made plastic coffee table, or a chair will be very durable over the years.

The problem with plastic and other man made materials is that they seem unnatural, and don’t always flow stylistically with the natural setting they are placed in. They can actually detract from the beauty of the elements around them, almost clashing with it. That is why many people prefer outdoor furnishings which are made from natural materials.

There are a wide variety of furnishings which are available in a number of natural materials. Items such as slate bistro tables, hardwood benches, and wicker chairs can all give you a sense of décor which seems to grow from the natural world around you. Items made from granite, hardwood, brick, and other natural items often seem far more appropriate in an outdoor setting.

The drawback to outdoor furnishings made from natural materials is that they often require treatment, or may simply degrade over time. Wood will need to be sealed and protected, as will natural stone. Otherwise moisture can penetrate the surface of the material and then when it freezes, it will expand and cause cracks in the surface. Over time dirt can also stain the surface of these pieces causing them to discolor.

One solution is to choose furnishings which are light enough to be brought inside when they are not in use. In some cases you may be able to remove them seasonally, leaving them out in the summer, and bringing them in for the winter. If you have a screened in porch you might even be able to simple transfer them from the rugged outdoors to the relative protection of the inner space.

Another way to protect your furnishings is with covers. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, covers for tables and chairs can sometimes be as attractive as the actual surfaces. The advantage to covers is that you can remove them and wash them, or replace them, whenever they get dirty or worn out. It also gives you the option to change up the colors and patterns in your outside décor.

One thing to remember as you choose outdoor furnishings is that your backyard and patio are parts of the home. Therefore your outdoor décor should match stylistically with the pieces you use inside. They can vary to some extent, but you want them to at least match up so that there is a consistent feel from exterior to interior throughout your entire property.


  1. one
    Comment by Merci @ Easy Outdoor Decor: Feb 20, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Resin wicker outdoor furniture can actually be very warm and inviting. Especially when cushy pillows and throws are involved. It’s actually very durable and maintains its color especially if kept covered during the cooler months when it’s not likely to be used.

  2. two
    Comment by Sunroom: Apr 2, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    The resin wicker furniture are great addtions to an outdoor space such as a sunroom or conservatory. Protected from the weather year round they aren’t just durable they literally last forever. Be careful to rotate your cushions/pillows so they do not get continued direct sun to avoid fading.

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