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Choosing Outdoor Furniture

Updated on July 15, 2011

Dining outside, taking your meals under an overhanging vine with sunlight shimmering through the leaves is a tempting idea. All you need are some chairs and a table, something to keep the drinks cool, and a wheeled cart or tray to bring food and drink from the kitchen. Any lawned area, balcony or patio can be transformed into a dining area. The variety of design of outdoor furniture is so wide that you can complement contemporary or classic garden styles.

Choosing chairs and tables for the yard can be confusing considering the vast array available. Wrought iron and wooden furniture styles are both popular and offer contrasting effects in the garden. Fortunately there is a range of prices in both materials, determined largely by the quality of the materials and construction.

Image by rick
Image by rick

Outdoor Furniture - Materials and Durability

Outdoor furniture is available in all styles, materials, and prices. You can find tables that can be left outdoors all year, and chairs that fold up for indoor storage. Lounge or deck chairs offer a relaxed approach to outdoor life, while classic benches add a olde worlde formality to a garden. Consider the portability of outdoor furniture, its durability and maintenance, and shapes and sizes to suit your families needs.

Will your furniture be placed on a lawn or a paved patio area? Heavy hardwood furniture can be difficult to move for mowing; lightweight stacking chairs may be more suitable for sitting and eating on the grass, if less attractive. Remember that furniture may sink into a damp lawn if much weight is placed upon it.

Will you be leaving the furniture outside all year? Does that create a security issue? Heavy tables and benches, made from long lasting hardwood, will last well outdoors, need very little maintenance, and are considerably more difficult to steal. Metal furniture needs to be painted to last and will deteriorate within a few years if not of the best quality. Lightweight aluminium furniture can be a good choice for water resistance but it is not always very strong.

Image by naotakem
Image by naotakem

Outdoor Garden Furniture

How versatile do you need your garden furniture to be? Buying two smaller tables rather than one large one may be good option because you can place them around your yard and put them together to create more dining space for parties. Benches are more difficult to move than individual chairs but seat more people. Rectangular tables take up less space but round ones can look more attractive.

Wooden garden furniture is usually either oiled or varnished. Varnishing gives a high gloss and good protection against the elements but with time the surface coat may blister and crack. This can be repaired only by sanding and re-varnishing. An oil finish, is built up gradually and needs to be maintained by oiling every year or so, rubbing the oil into the grain with a nylon scouring pad. Alternatively, for a shabby chic look you can just leave the wood to age on its own, with cracks appearing as it dries out.

Are you concerned about eco sustainability and the materials in your furniture? Garden furniture is often made from tropical hardwoods. It can sometimes be very difficult to find out where the lumber is from, let alone if it was harvested responsibly. Look for wood from sustainable sources. Other options include bamboo and rattan, which are quick growing and sustainable.

Image by
Image by

English Bay 5 Piece Dining

There are few things more lovely than an English garden in full-bloom! Now, you can feel like you have your own manor in the countryside with this gorgeous outdoor furniture set. Each skillfully handcrafted piece of the 5 Piece English Bay Living Dining Set is meant to create a fresh, elegant look in your garden, backyard, or patio.

Free Shipping. English Bay 5 Piece Dining - Mocha-Montego Bay

Huge Range available here Outdoor Furniture

Choosing Outdoor Furniture - Your Comments

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  • patioman profile image

    patioman 8 years ago from USA, Arizona

    Great ideas and images for patio furniture. It gets so boring at looking at the 'standard' patio furniture you see all over the internet. Thanks for bringing some organic life into the scene. Nice article.

  • sibaja_health profile image

    sibaja_health 8 years ago

    I am looking for some outdoor furniture, and this was a very welcome hub, thanks

  • profile image

    adjunct 8 years ago

    i ran across your hub at exactly the right time! During early sprint someone took a number of my outdoor furniture pieces. I need to replace them now, and your hub helped me make up my mind.



  • David Ford profile image

    David Ford 8 years ago

    Impressive hub!

  • Reed Talonario profile image

    Reed Talonario 8 years ago

    Thanks for the tips. I was getting tired of looking at the old resin chairs and table.

  • BobHander profile image

    BobHander 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    One of my favorite topics to talk about. I'm currently re-doing my house, and putting it up for sale. We've just finished working on our landscaping, and are looking into adding some more furniture.

  • chandanakumarct profile image

    chandanakumarct 8 years ago from Bangalore

    nice. I liked that classic furniture - laguna beach oudoor.

  • Alex ONeill profile image

    Alex ONeill 8 years ago from Sweden (But I'm from Colorado)

    Oh I love that English Bay set. Wicked pretty.

  • Gypsy Willow profile image

    Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

    We use outdoor chairs, just like your picture, indoors. We have the option to take them outside any time we need more seating.

  • jazzuboo profile image

    jazzuboo 8 years ago from Queensland, Australia

    I love the old rustic style of outdoor furniture. Nothing like a hand carved piece of wood to enjoy the outdoors with a good book under a shady tree.