The Dos and Don'ts for Choosing the Right Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor furniture adds purpose to any space, enhancing its functionality. Outdoor dining areas, balconies, pool decks and rooftops all come with different requirements depending on the size of the space and how many people it can hold.
A high-quality garden table and some comfortable chairs instantly transforms a bare patio into a beautiful alfresco dining setting. A corner lounge suite with a rocking chair paired with some plush cushions and your backyard turns into a second living room.
When it comes to deciding what pieces to purchase, durability, comfort and practicality are the crucial considerations. The colour and design of your furniture also matters to ensure that it coordinates with the rest of your home.
Given the wide spectrum of colours, styles and materials associated with outdoor fittings, it can be overwhelming to sort through all the available options. However, using a few key guiding principles, you can select the right furniture that is both durable and functional.
Invest in quality material
Poor quality materials just mean your furniture will not last and makes for a less than visually appealing space which you do not want. Investing in quality ensures that your furniture is able to handle harsh weather conditions such as wind and rain, along with wear and tear.
Solid timber, wicker, aluminium and stainless steel are the main materials used for outdoor furniture. Each material type differs in terms of its quality and durability so your choice in furniture will depend on your personal preferences and how you intend to use it.
Plastic chain chairs for instance look great from a distance and are incredibly affordable. However, if used in an uncovered setting, sunlight can cause the material to become brittle and lose its vibrant colours over time.
For a more durable option, try wooden furniture. Wood, especially teak, is easily the most sought-after choice for outdoor furniture, and for good reasons. It has superior durability and can withstand even the harshest climates, and unlike plastic, in which the colour does a bit fade when left in the sun.
Appearance-wise, the material is known to boast a beautiful warm hue. This explains why it is commonly used to bring a sense of elegant calm into a given space. So, if you want something eye-catching that will sit under the sun for your wooden patio, then teak is the perfect choice.
If neither of those options are ideal, synthetic resin is another popular choice for outdoor furniture. It is low-maintenance, lightweight and durable in all weather conditions, whilst being more affordable than wood.
A woven wicker style is a perfect example of synthetic resin furniture and gives that classical beachside look.
Whilst some materials are more affordable or durable, there is no “best” overall when it comes to outdoor furniture. Instead you want to prioritise materials that fit your lifestyle and the aesthetic of your outdoor space.
Remember that outdoor furniture is a long-term investment, and a high-quality piece will last you a lifetime. It is recommended to spend a little extra now for quality rather than have your furniture fade or break down in a few short years.
Comfort is key
A beautiful patio is not all that your outdoor furniture has to offer. At the end of the day, you want them to be comfortable enough for your family and potential guests to sit outside on a nice day.
When deciding on the right garden chairs and sofa to purchase, ensure that they come with great cushioning and have a conducive shape to them. As with any piece of furniture, there is no hard-and-fast rule so you want to try it out first to determine if it fits.
While the wide range of available tables and chairs may look similar, each has its own unique feel. As a rule of thumb, check the height of the backrest, the width of the chair, the curvature of the back support and anything else so that it suits your body composition and personal preferences.
For peak comfort, look for pieces with plush cushions built-in to the back of the seat. You can add a pair of lush pillows to completely change the usability of plain wood or metal furniture.
Consider having cushions custom-made for the perfect fit and comfort. Hammocks or daybeds are some fantastic ways to bring comfort to your outdoor space, especially on a hot day with a cool drink in hand.
The size of your space will determine the furniture you should purchase. To put into perspective, a large corner lounge suite would not work on a small balcony and neither would a small table and chairs on an expansive patio.
Purchasing the correct outdoor setting can mean the difference between a stylish, well-thought-out space that is ideal for relaxing or an unappealing and cluttered space you want to avoid.
To ensure optimal furniture configuration, you want to measure the available space so that you know what you have to work with. Ideally there should be enough room for both the furniture and any guests to walk around easily without bumping into one another.
Leaving at least one meter of space is also paramount for both aesthetics and function, whilst still not wasting too much valuable space.
Fit the theme
Notwithstanding the purpose of your outdoor seating, it needs to have a unifying factor to support the flow of the space. Ideally, you want a comprehensive theme for your patio where the key design elements are imbued in your furniture choices.
This theme could range anywhere from a cohesive colour scheme to a style motif such as seaside vibes and tropical living right in the heart of your outdoor patio. For example, rattan woven furniture and lush green and rustic textiles can embody a perfect summer-themed outdoor setting.
For a minimalistic approach, go for sleek straight lines, especially those found in a natural finish that showcases the stains of the natural teak wood. This will make your space interesting without the need for any additional pieces.
Alternatively, centre your theme on the function of your outdoor patio. If you need a place to relax, an outdoor sectional sofa with plush cushions, a hammock, or a lounge offers the perfect mood for a nice kickback. This way you simultaneously enhance the function of the space.
Colours establish the mood for your outdoor space. When choosing patio furniture, you want to prioritise pieces that emphasise the features of your landscaping or blends immaculately with the universal appeal and design of your home’s exterior.
Neutral colours and natural woven textures incorporate a sense of warmth and add authenticity to a space.
Darker and brownish tones provide a rich, deep quality that goes with the classy elegance of an outdoor bar setting. Whitish shades and yellow-brown oak can work wonders against a sunlit backdrop intended for casual gatherings and family social affairs.
Just as integral to the overarching tone is the colour of cushions and fabric, which provides an excellent opportunity for you to inculcate a vibrant range of patterns and textures into the general monotony of your outdoor setup.
Strong, differentiating prints can lend a ton of character to the space but at the end of the day, the decision is made based on how well specific colours complement the existing furnishings.
That said, do not be confined to the standard colour palette or the characteristic tones of wood. Wicker, wood, and aluminium outdoor pieces now feature a wide assortment of hues and tones to suit your outdoor area.
Invest in stylish and high-quality furniture to spruce up your patio. For more styling tips and smart furniture solutions in Singapore, connect with us at Mega Furniture.