Outdoor Patio Seating And Cushions

Outdoor Living Spaces

When you get to live in a climate that has more time available to spend outdoors, you likely take advantage of it. Out here in the southwest where I live, we get to spend a lot of the year outdoors. And, besides the middle of the summer days, it is really enjoyable. There is nothing quite like entertaining friends and family guests outdoors, sitting on the patio furniture, heels kicked up enjoying the stories, laughter, good food and fresh air. You can enjoy more times like these beneath your custom created covered patio structures.

In fact, this is what has created such a demand for outdoor living spaces these days. There has never been a more popular time to bring the traditional indoor home elements outdoors - like an outdoor kitchen or living room. Outdoor spaces have been popular options as far as patios go for quite some time. Covered patios are common in ranch style homes. However, the style of cover is usually a bit less than ideal when it comes to the outdoor living space type of ideals.

Most people are looking for that open feel when it comes to their outdoor room - that is exactly why they want it out there. If it was a ceiling and solid walls you wanted, you would just stay inside, right? There are, however, really exotic looking outdoor spaces that incorporate themes inspired from other countries or cultures. Some of these inspired themes are Asian-Japanese Zen garden type of spaces. These often have very simple lines with solid colors and nice features. Another popular theme is a Balinese look with darker woods and brighter colors like orange and purple. The Moroccan lounge style with a low flat bed-sofa and lanterns hanging overhead is also a style on the move.

Teak wood and other local hardwoods from the regions mentioned above help to create the feel you are looking for. This helps to keep the theme coherent, rather than haphazard and thrown-together looking. While this type of eclectic look can work, you have to know what you are doing with design. Missing the common elements and bringing the whole theme together with unifying elements is key to this type of patio design. In the end, your outdoor space should both reflect your personal taste as well as plans for use. This way, you will be able to be comfortable and feel natural in your space and help to create a sense of ease and excitement in your guests.

Nice teak patio furniture looks and feels even better with the right chair cushions.  Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/26088447@N02/3204978737/
Nice teak patio furniture looks and feels even better with the right chair cushions. Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/26088447@N02/3204978737/
Look how nice an outdoor room can look and function.  This outdoor family room is also showing the use of a wooden pergola to provide for more of a wall and roof ambiance.  Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/potteringaround/2815469792/
Look how nice an outdoor room can look and function. This outdoor family room is also showing the use of a wooden pergola to provide for more of a wall and roof ambiance. Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/potteringaround/2815469792/

Outdoor Rooms In The News...

One way to protect your new patio set is to treat it first, a very smart idea.  Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryner/2548603153/
One way to protect your new patio set is to treat it first, a very smart idea. Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryner/2548603153/

Protecting Your New Patio Furniture

The smartest thing to do before you even put any cushions on your patio set is to treat it with a weather sealant. This ensures that you will have much more life out of the wood patio furniture. Cedar, redwood and teak are all naturally suited to age well with the weather. In fact, they develop a nice grayish color and even more subtle hues of their original colors as they are exposed to sun and rain. One more obvious way is to keep them beneath a covered patio, like a pergola or gazebo.

However, if you really want your furniture to last, you will take the extra time effort it requires to add a weather resistant coating. This is well worth the slight amount of down time required to let dry fully. After it is completely dry, you can put your new patio cushions on, and sit in relaxed comfort. You'll be relaxed not only because your sitting on some cushioned chairs but also because your mind will be at ease knowing your big investment will be protected. If you follow the manufacturer's instructions, you will likely need to reapply depending upon weather and other elements to maintain the look and protection of your furniture.

There are other alternatives, of course.  You might opt for a man-made or synthetic type of material to be used for your outdoor furniture pieces.  The newer resin plastic patio furniture pieces are a far cry from those cheap plastic pieces of the past.  Now, they come in different colors and even with natural wood grains embossed, if you wish for that style.

This picture shows a cozy seating area with two deck chairs and chair pads - these chairs would not really allow for much else in the way of cushions because of their size. Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/netarc/2488264913/
This picture shows a cozy seating area with two deck chairs and chair pads - these chairs would not really allow for much else in the way of cushions because of their size. Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/netarc/2488264913/

Chair Pads vs Chair Cushions

This is a little subtly that is often not addressed by the larger cushion manufacturers and is something I found a bit confusing. That is, what is the difference between a patio cushion and a chair pad? The answer, as it turns out, is dependent on who you ask. Dang it! Well, most major brands and companies will use the term pad for referring to just the portion of the pad that you would sit directly on. When the notion of a seat cushion or chair cushion is raised, in the context of the patio set itself, it then becomes clear what is being referred to. Keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules to this. If you see the term pad used, that particular company may be referring to their most luxurious style of chaise lounge cushion - it just doesn't come across that way. That is exactly the problem, I believe - it isn't standard terms.

It isn't like this some type of major discovery but it may help you to find more specific guidance to your patio seating needs. Remember, if you have any questions, the online retailers will be happy to answer them. Most respond quite quickly and have operators that are trained to answer the details of many common questions. As you can tell from your searches, there is probably more than you first thought about when you went out to simply get some new cushions (or pads).

More by this Author

  • Build Patio Covers
    11

    If you are even considering building your own patio cover, then there are several options or things to consider before you even take one step into your local home improvement warehouse. The first thing to consider or...

  • Rain Chains
    5

    The concept behind rain chains is quite simple. They are used in the place of downspouts from your rain gutters. Normally, a downspout channels the water from your gutter to the end where it is washed out. The only...


Comments 4 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Lovely outdoor room, useful summary on patio living, thank you!


patioman profile image

patioman 7 years ago from USA, Arizona Author

I absolutely love the whole outdoor living and patio room ideas.  I don't see this trend coming to an end any time soon. Thanks for stopping by Gypsy Willow.


Kathy Shepherd 6 years ago

I think the increased demand for outdoor living space has been a result of the weak housing market. Many people are staying in their houses longer, even though they may be outgrowing their house. Creating a year-round outdoor living space makes a lot of sense and it's a really nice addition to any house.


patioman profile image

patioman 6 years ago from USA, Arizona Author

Kathy - I couldn't agree more. The outdoor room is becoming one of the most usable and desirable places of our homes. There will definitely be more value added to your house and help it feel more like a home with a great outdoor living space, furniture and cushions.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working