Topic: Outdoor Furniture

Date Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Posted by: Tanya Zanfa (Master Admin)

Before you buy: Choosing patio furniture

Before you buy: Choosing patio furniture


Bring your living room outside with the right patio furniture.

Summer barbecues and lazy days sipping margaritas on your backyard deck aren’t complete without comfortable seating. Expanding your living space outside is a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature and the comfort of home at the same time.

Interior designer Linda Nolan recommends choosing furniture for your external living space the same way you choose it for the inside, focusing on durability and comfort.

Here are five things to look for when buying patio furniture to make your outdoor space as comfortable as your living room.

Mix it up: The outdoors is an extension of your indoor living space, but that doesn’t mean it has to match your interior decor, says Nolan. The patio is an opportunity to create a dramatically different look. “Have fun with style and colour.”

Go bold: Vibrant summer colours are always a popular choice for outdoor furniture, although Nolan notes black and white is trending this season. Your colour choice may be influenced by the mood you want to create on your patio.

“If it’s an outdoor entertainment room, think about type A colours, like red,” she says. For a more tranquil setting, opt for calming blues and greens.

Minimal maintenance: Choose an easy-to-care-for material to ensure your outdoor hours are spent soaking up the sun rather than cleaning and maintaining furniture.

For a natural look, Paul Anderson of Patio Comfort recommends an all-weather wicker; it’s a low-maintenance material that can withstand the elements.

For a more modern look, aluminum is a durable option and the easiest material to clean, often simply requiring soap and water. Its light weight also makes it easy to move around the backyard.

Wood, which straddles natural and modern styles, is a popular choice for patio furniture but is at the higher end of the maintenance spectrum. Left untreated, wood will weather, turning a greyish colour.

Take a seat: Cushions enhance the comfort of the outdoors, but keeping them in great condition requires selecting the right fabric.

Anderson recommends a waterproof and fade-resistant fabric such as Sunbrella, which Patio Comfort supplies. A quick-dry foam cushion is also a must, although Anderson warns “if it rains an hour before your barbecue, you’re still going to get a wet bum.”

Incorporating a storage bench into patio decor or fitted furniture covers that can be thrown over top to protect cushions from the elements will help keep your patio furniture looking and feeling great.

Don’t forget shade: Sitting outside on a hot, sunny day can be a health hazard without adequate shade.  Depending on your patio space, you may want to install a motorized awning, use a crank-deployed umbrella that sits in the middle of a dining table or opt for a cantilever umbrella in which a pole extends away from the umbrella base, providing maximum shade to a lounge area.

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