Similar to the furniture inside your home, outside patio and deck furniture is something you’ll have to live with for a long time, so you want to make sure you pick furniture that works for your family, your space, and that is attractive.
Pick a Style
Since a deck is really an extension of your home, an “outdoor room,” it should match the overall décor of the rest of the house. For example, if you have a Mediterranean style interior, you should carry that design outside with things like wrought iron, rustic wood, and combinations of earth colors with splashes of bright blues, yellows, and orange.
Whatever your style, try to choose deck furniture that coordinates with the furniture found in the rooms leading out to your deck. This will give your home better flow and make it seem larger.
– Look Indoors for Inspiration
Some of the most inviting decks are those that bring indoor elements outside, so look to your indoor furniture for inspiration. Choose comfortable chairs, and include relaxing elements like foot stools, cushions, pillows, and anything which “softens” the area. Although not exactly furniture, you can also add outdoor draperies, art, and other decorative elements.
Ensure its Well-Built
No matter the style of furniture you select, make sure it is well-built. Deck furniture is a significant expense, and you’ll want it to last for many years. Don’t be afraid to really try out the pieces at the store before making a purchase. Sit in chairs and check for squeaks, wobbles, and general flimsiness. Also, notice how the furniture is constructed — is it made with heavy-duty hardware or cheap components that will loosen or rust?
A furniture suite that seemed average size when it was on display inside the large warehouse store has a way of looking enormous in the confines of your deck. Thus, you should always measure your deck before going to the store and take the tape measure with you , so you can accurately determine the size of the furniture.
No matter how much you love a certain collection, if it’s too big, it will overtake your deck and make it feel cluttered. On the other hand, if you have a very large space, smaller pieces will appear lost. It’s all about proportion.
Have Enough Seating for Your Family
Ideally, your deck should be a place the whole family can relax together. But, for this to happen, you have to enough seating for everyone — keep this in mind when choosing your furniture. For example, you may have your heart set on Adirondack chairs, but they are generally large and take up the space of two regular chairs. So, if you need seats for several people, Adirondacks might not be the best choice.
Also, unless you entertain on a regular basis, don’t clutter up your deck with extra furniture. Use folding chairs or even your kitchen chairs for additional guest seating.
Make the Most of a View
If your deck builder built it so it overlooks beautiful scenery, consider adding bar height tables and chairs to provide occupants with a good vantage point for viewing. Traditional outdoor furniture sits somewhat low, and people may not be able to see over the deck railing.
Depending on where you live and the height of your deck, you may want to choose heavier furniture over lightweight plastic or aluminum. With a strong gust of wind, such materials can easily turn over or even blow off your deck and cause damage to the furniture itself or injure a person. Also, if wind is an issue, you should forgo glass topped tables and use something more solid as they can easily tip over and shatter.
Most importantly, choose deck furniture you like and that is comfortable. Despite trends and styles, ultimately, you have to live with your decision, so choose items that will make the most out of this valuable space.
Shawn Kabrick has 14 years working as a carpenter and contractor building new homes, light commercial buildings, and residential remodeling in Minnesota. Shawn has a degree in Architectural Drafting and Design and is currently a licensed residential building contractor and the owner of Twin Cities Contracting.
For more information about keeping your Outdoor Furniture looking new for years, please see our top Cleaning Tricks. For tips on keeping your deck and/or patio looking great year-round, see our articles Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Decking and How to Prepare Your Patio for Winter. Thanks. ~jb
* Photo Credit – All images via iStockPhoto.com.