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A perfect set of furniture brings life to your patio and enhances your outdoor experience. You can turn your basic patio into a vibrant dining space with a spacious table and comfortable chairs. Or you can turn it into another family room for a warm summer by adding a wicker sofa with plush cushions on it. When complemented with the right furniture, even your balcony will feel lively. Hence, use the following outdoor furniture buying guide to pick the right furniture for your patio.

What activities do you want to do in your outdoor space?

Before making a buying decision for a teak bench, consider what purpose your outdoor space would serve? Do you want it as a dining space on warm summer nights with an expandable dining table and armchairs? Are you planning to host catered soirees for your next dinner parties or child’s birthday party?

Do you want to hang out with friends on a comfy couch and lounge chairs with a coffee table for snacks and drinks? Or want to enjoy a peaceful reading corner with cold coffee by your side? Make a list of what you want to do in your outdoor space and pick your desired patio furniture according to the list.

Do you need to speculate on your patio?

One of the essential things to consider before buying patio furniture is the dimensions of your patio. You don’t need the exact measurement of your patio, but you can think about the usable space. Use your imagination of what it would look like when being seated in that particular area? Is there enough room to stand up and move around? Don’t end up buying a sectional sofa only to find out it’s too big for your space. If your area is oddly-shaped, smaller pieces will be a good option.

What kind of environment do you live into?

People often ignore environment-factor while buying patio furniture. How are the summer days where you live? Is it too hot? Does your space contact with direct sunlight? What about the off-season like winter? Do you experience a lot of rain every year or high winds?

For example, extreme heat causes untreated woods to splinter and has cracks in the cold; rain causes uncoated metals to become rusty; humidity wrecks natural wicker; and lightweight aluminum or acrylic furniture might be blown over by high winds. Moreover, many fabrics wear a little quicker under harsh sunlight. The weather in your area will potentially impact your buying decision. Make a note of the weather condition and think about what kind of furniture is appropriate for that condition.

What type of outdoor furniture is most comfortable for you?

Before you pick the right one, consider the comfort level the furniture can offer you. Always check the seating of the furniture before making a purchase. Patio furniture will be regularly used, especially during summer. Hence, the seating must be comfortable. Look for the furniture with plush cushions on the seats and backs or fluffy pillows to ensure absolute comfort. Also, make sure the fabrics are weather-protected to prevent color-fading and mildew-growth.

Should you invest in high-end patio furniture?

Now the question arises how much should you spend on patio furniture? High-end patio furniture is more expensive than its indoor counterparts, as it has to endure environmental elements and rougher use. The materials of this kind of furniture will be stronger, fade-resistant, weather-protected, and more water-repellent than other less expensive alternatives.

Moreover, the construction and warranty the furniture comes with will be longer and more inclusive. But, it doesn’t mean you cannot go for inexpensive pieces. If you are on a budget and want something vibrant and lightweight, plastic resin chairs and side tables or wicker pieces will be good options. But these might fade or break after a summer or two. And, with the replacement cost, you might end up spending more in the long run.

Do you want your patio to be vibrant?

The best part is— while buying patio furniture, neutral colors or designs won’t limit you for the wood, wicker, and metal furniture now comes in a wide variety of colorful finishes. Look for the furniture that best complements the landscape of your outdoor space with its playful colors. If you can’t find your desired color, opt for a DIY paint job to perk up your furniture with the hue you want. But, if you want something more long-lasting and less- expensive, choose cushions and accents with bolder color instead.

What accessories do you need?

There are plenty of accessories you might add to enhance the beauty of your patio. If you plan to spend more time outside during the daytime reading book, you might think of a little shade by bringing a patio umbrella. Clear starry skies might create a magical ambiance in the night, but it will be too dark to enjoy your evening. If you want something creative, try DIY lighting ideas that use Mason jars for hanging lights and candles to enhance your outdoor experience. Also, for color and comfort, complement your furniture with weather-proof, colorful, patterned rugs beneath it. With soft underfoot and rich texture, outdoor rugs are sure to bring indoor-like comfort to your patio.

Should you search for multipurpose furniture?

Furniture that will serve multiple purposes can omit the need for buying extra furniture and save enough space for your favorite outdoor activities. For instance, an ottoman and garden stool can be arranged as extra seating for the guest by saving a lot of space. So, choose patio furniture that can make the most out of your space and budget.

How much effort do you have to put into maintaining your patio furniture?

Usually, the material and finishing of the furniture will determine how much care it needs. If you want to enjoy your outdoor time in playful activities and not maintain the furniture, choose easy-care pieces to minimize the need for frequent upkeep. Though most metal, teak, cedar, and all-weather wicker can withstand any weather, regular cleaning will ensure their longevity and vividness.

Where to store your furniture in the off-season?

You can add some years to your furniture’s life by storing them in a protected space during the off-season like winter. A garage, basement, or shade can protect your furniture from potential damage or wear. If you don’t have storage space or the space is limited, opt for folded furniture like Stackable chairs for compact storage.