High-quality, stylish patio furniture can transform your outdoor space into an inviting and relaxing oasis. In addition to improving the aesthetics of your porch, patio, backyard, or other exterior area, the right furniture can also support your functional goals and enhance your overall quality of life.
With so many options available, however, finding patio furniture that reflects your personal taste, complements your lifestyle, and withstands the elements can be overwhelming. That’s where this comprehensive guide comes in.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about shopping for patio furniture, including shopping methods, ideal times to buy patio furniture, and style and material considerations.
We’ll also address another key consideration with new patio furniture: how to keep it looking and performing its best over years of use in many weather conditions.
Where to Buy Patio Furniture: Online or In-Person
One of the first questions that may arise if you’re decorating or updating your patio is where to shop. Specifically, you may be wondering whether to shop online or in person.
Here, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each.
Shopping Online for Patio Furniture
The advantages of online shopping for patio furniture are as follows:
Shopping online allows you to easily browse your many options, compare prices, and place your order—all from the comfort of your home.
- Wider Selection
Many online stores carry an extensive range of patio furniture. This means you’ll have access to styles and designs that might not be locally available. Can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in one online store? Click your way to another in mere seconds.
- Customer Reviews
Third-party reviews from customers provide unbiased and invaluable insight into the quality and durability of furniture, service, and other factors.
- Shipping and Return Policies
Reputable online retailers usually have transparent shipping and return policies. This means you’ll not only have an easy time receiving and returning furniture, but you’ll also enjoy the peace of mind that goes along with this transparency.
There are a few things to keep in mind when online shopping for outdoor furniture, including making sure you’re buying from a reputable online store and potentially cost-prohibitive shipping costs. Additionally, be sure to carefully read product descriptions to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Shopping Local for Patio Furniture
- In-Person Inspection
From visualizing its exact color to sitting on it to determine its sturdiness, shopping locally is a tactile experience that lets you get a first-hand sense of the look and feel of the furniture before you buy it. Looking for patio decor ideas? You’ll find plenty of inspiration in stores.
- Personalized Assistance
In physical stores, sales representatives can offer personalized advice and recommendations based on your needs and budget. It’s also easy to ask questions and get immediate answers. If you have any issues with your new furniture purchase, you’ll have a familiar face as a point of contact.
- Immediate Availability
In many cases, you can avoid shipping hold-ups and costs by taking your new furniture home with you. If you do have it delivered, it’s likely to be faster and more personalized with more assistance with things like unpacking, set-up, and assembly.
As with online shopping, there are some additional considerations if you do choose to shop local. These include a more limited selection than you’ll find online, sales pressure, and the additional time constraints which may be involved in the process.
When to Shop for Decor for Patio
If you’re looking to maximize your savings and stretch your budget further, here are some times of year and occasions when you might find the best deals on outdoor furniture:
- End of Season Sales
Many retailers offer significant discounts on patio furniture at the end of the summer season to make way for new inventory.
- Holiday Weekends
Keep an eye out for sales events during holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day when retailers often offer discounts to entice customers and boost sales.
- Off-Season Shopping
Because demand tends to be lower during these times, purchasing patio furniture during the off-season—such as in late fall or winter—can result in substantial savings.
- Clearance Sales
When stores want to clear out older inventory, they’ll often slash prices.
What Are the Best Patio Furniture Materials?
The choice of material significantly influences both the style and durability of your patio furniture. Here’s a look at the different benefits of five popular materials for patio furniture:
- Wicker/Rattan: Both natural rattan and synthetic wicker furniture provide a classic and timeless look. To ensure that your new wicker furniture holds up to everyday wear and tear, look for UV-resistant options made with a sturdy aluminum or steel frame.
- Wood: Due to their beautiful appearance and natural resistance to decay and insects, woods like teak and cedar are popular choices for outdoor furniture. Sustainably sourced wood may be especially appealing for homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, consider applying sealants or oils to maintain your wood furniture’s aesthetic and functional value.
- Metal: Commonly used for outdoor furniture, aluminum is lightweight, rust-resistant, and easy to maintain. Wrought iron is also popular thanks to its durability and elegance.
- Plastic/Resin: Budget-friendly and low-maintenance, resin furniture can withstand various weather conditions. And while plastic furniture may once have gotten a bad rap, modern innovations have transformed the market. Not only are there many elegant upscale options, but you’ll also find a breadth and depth of styles and colors.
- Fabric: When selecting upholstery and cushions, opt for high-quality outdoor fabrics like solution-dyed acrylic and polyester. These materials excel in longevity due to their water- and fade-resistant qualities. They’re also easy to clean and maintain.
How to Extend the Life of Your Patio Furniture
While choosing furniture made with the right materials is a great start, there are some additional things you can do after your purchase to protect your patio furniture investment—starting with routine cleaning, care, and maintenance. Different materials have different cleaning, care, and maintenance requirements. Be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations for promptly removing dust, dirt, sand, and other debris.
Additionally, just because outdoor furniture is weather-hearty doesn’t mean it can withstand anything nature sends its way. If possible, cover or move your furniture indoors during extreme weather events, as well as during the off-season.
One especially effective way to prolong the life of your outdoor furniture while also enjoying many other benefits and adding value to your home? Invest in a porch or patio enclosure.
One of our favorite porch decor ideas, these versatile, weather-resistant systems not only safeguard your new furniture from everything from harmful UV rays to torrential rain, but also allow you to enjoy your patio, patio, deck, or other exterior room regardless of the weather conditions.
But the advantages of porch and patio enclosures don’t end there. Easy installations, customizability, airflow control, and extended usability throughout the year are all valuable benefits of turning your porch or patio into a 3- or 4-season porch with an enclosure system.
Identifying the best high-quality, stylish outdoor furniture for your porch, patio, backyard, or other exterior space involves many factors. By following this guide, you’ll be prepared to create an attractive and durable outdoor space that will bring you joy for years to come.