Choosing Outdoor Furniture

29 Jun 2015
Outdoor furniture is a prime aspect of a comfortable outdoor space. Here’s a guide to choosing your outdoor furniture and to getting the outdoor space you desire.
outdoor lily pond and deck sitting area

We truly are blessed with warm weather here in the Caribbean. Our beautiful sunny days enable us to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest. Now whether you have a poolside, patio or porch, in order to take advantage of the amazing weather you should create a comfortable outside furniture arrangement. 

Buy Good Quality
Outdoor wood furniture

It doesn’t matter how familiar you are with a particular furniture store you should always inspect before you buy. Close inspection doesn’t require any type of special skills or expertise, simply check the furniture for cracks, inferior welding work and amateur paint jobs. Some people mistakenly think that outdoor furniture doesn’t have to be as high quality as indoor furniture however, this is not true. In fact, outdoor furniture has to be even higher in quality because it must withstand sun exposure, wind and rain. 

Furniture Materials
vintage wicker bamboo material

When you’re choosing outdoor furniture these are the materials that you will most likely have to choose from:

Wood:Wood furniture is always attractive, especially when you use them in outdoor applications. Something about wood’s naturalness and being outside, just feel right. Well made wood furniture is sturdy however, it does require regular treatment with a preservative and will also require wood stains with UV protection.  If you decide to go with wood, choose weather-resistant wood like teak, redwood, cypress and cedar, these types of wood are quite expensive however, the investment is worth it.

Wrought Iron and Steel:  Wrought iron and steel are both heavy and durable. However, if they are not painted or weatherproofed periodically, they will rust. So if you decide to go for either one of these materials, you should make up your mind to do some painting.

Aluminum, PVC and Plastic: All of these materials are rustproof, affordable and require very little maintenance. They are strong but at the same time lightweight. Cleaning them is a breeze, just use soap and water.  

Rattan and Wicker: Both Rattan and Wicker are natural materials that hold up well in outdoor conditions. With the aid of some resin finish both Rattan and Wicker will be preserved however, they may require this treatment every couple of years, so consider this when choosing outdoor furniture made from either one of these materials. 

outdoor furniture umbrellas shade

We love the hot weather however, if you decide to sit in your outdoor space from anywhere between 10am to 3pm when the sun is the hottest, you will find that quite unpleasant if you don’t have any shade over your furniture. Now if you are lucky enough to have a huge shade tree in your backyard then you can simply put your furniture arrangement under it. But if you are not so lucky, when you go to purchase your outdoor furniture also pick up a crank-deployed umbrella or a motorized awning, most furniture stores sell them, just check the outdoor furniture section. These will give you the shade you need without taking away that outdoorsy feel. 

Colour and Space
outdoor furniture colour

Outdoor furnishes should be fun and carefree, so don’t be afraid to experiment with colour. However with the experimentation of colour you should also consider your space size. If you are working with a very small outdoor space, you shouldn’t overwhelm it with really large furniture that are too outrageously coloured. Instead go for smaller sized furniture, with more neutral tones but just to spice up the neutral palette throw a brightly coloured throw cushion in the mix.


Home and Garden Caribbean LifeHack:

Comfort is important when choosing outdoor furniture. It doesn’t matter what material your furniture is made out of, wood, rattan, steel,  you still need comfy, thick, soft cushions.  You should not have flat, hard cushions that are almost abusive to your derriere. Also, look for cushions with polyester filler, this will ensure that they dry more quickly after moisture exposure i.e. heavy rains. When cushions dry out faster this helps them to resist mold and mildew, so you won’t have to worry about any strange smells.