The Best Outdoor Furniture for Your Investment
What characteristics make for the best outdoor furniture for your investment? Answer: the materials. Our number one consideration is that you invest in materials that match the function of your outdoor space and the longevity you desire. For example…
Are you hosting kids’ birthday parties by the pool? Enjoying your morning coffee on your balcony, no kids in sight (lucky you)? Do you have a huge tree over your outdoor area, where sap, debris, and bird droppings are a risky business?
What you need in these scenarios is very different. (And I wouldn’t suggest a white cushioned lounge chair under that tree…) So, which outdoor furniture materials are the best investment for your particular outdoor oasis? Which should you avoid?
1. Powder Coated Aluminum
What It Is: Powder-coated aluminum (or another powder-coated metal) is great for durable outdoor furniture. When the powder coat is applied (instead of traditional paints), the powder is bound to the metal with heat, allowing for a strong and precise finish that doesn’t chip.
Right For You If: You should choose powder coated aluminum if you want furniture that is easy to clean (THIS is the chair I’d put under the tree) and lightweight enough to be stored in a safe place during bad weather. Note that you may want to consider adding cushions—the metal furniture tends to get hot in the summer sun.
Our Pick: The organic Forest Lounge Chairs from Janus et Cie, shown above, are powder coated aluminum and come in various stylish colors.
2. Some Types of Wood
What It Is: Wood is a classic material for outdoor furniture, and you can find it in styles ranging from sleek and modern to the overbuilt craftsman and adirondack. This option doesn’t get hot, but it is much heavier than the powder coated aluminum furniture.
Right For You If: Because of its heavy weight, it will probably stay in place year-round, so choosing the right kind of wood for your location is a must. Teak wood is highly desirable for outdoor furniture (though a more significant investment) because of its durability. Just be warned that teak requires yearly maintenance to keep the wood from cracking and splintering. If you choose a softer wood, you will want it protected, during the rainy season especially. Furniture covers for tables, chairs, or sofas are a MUST.
Our Pick: This Gisele Outdoor Lounge Chair (above) from Sossego is a modern outdoor reclining chair made from camaru wood. We also love these Anatra Teak High Back Lounge Chairs from Janus et Cie (below) that are made with a solid teak frame.
3. Synthetic Materials
What It Is: Many brands these days make synthetic materials for outdoor furniture that lasts. This can take the form of a high-density recycled plastic (HDRP) for the frame and performance fabrics (like Sunbrella) for the cushions. There are several others you might find, but we tend to prefer HDRP for it’s eco-friendliness—it’s made mostly from milk jugs!
Right for You If: These materials are right for you if you want the lowest possible maintenance (hello, kids and pets), you don’t mind synthetic materials, and you love having endless color options.
Our Pick: Below, this Nisswa Sofa from Loll Designs (one of our fave brands) is made of recycled high-density plastic and topped with Sunbrella covered cushions. From the fabric point of view, Sunbrella fabrics are by far the best. They are fade-resistant, mildew resistant, and easy to clean (though you should always store them in a dry place). In addition, you can add cushions made of Sunbrella to any of the above options to make them low(er) maintenance and add longevity.
Outdoor Furniture Materials to Avoid
We don’t suggest investing in furniture made of rattan or wood that is untreated or painted. These materials will age quickly, rot, chip, and break down over time. However, if you absolutely love the look of one of these materials, find a weather-safe alternative with the same texture or style.
Important Advice: If you’re daydreaming of your outdoor living area, the summer sun, and a spicy margarita on the side, you should order your outdoor furniture NOW. (Now, meaning February 2021). Although summer is months away, with those long lead times (broken record over here), you should be able to get your furniture in time.
Looking to get your interiors (and outdoor living area) professionally designed? Now is a good time to start that, too. Contact us here for a 15-minute chat to see if we’re the right team for you, OR try out our fun style quiz to take your first step toward discovering what you love.