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How to Choose the Right Outdoor Furniture for Your Deck

July 18 2017
Decking Porch Lifestyle
william short photography

Your new outdoor room won’t be complete until you’ve outfitted it with all the comforts of home. Here’s a simple guide to assist you in selecting the right furnishings for your new deck.    

Room for All 

It may seem like stating the obvious, but ensure that every member of your family has a comfortable place to sit. If your deck has that one really great chair, then everyone will be constantly vying for it. Everyone gets a comfy chair—period.  

To accommodate guests, invest in foldable, collapsible, or stackable seating to accommodate your overflow guests, and pillows and seat cushions to help ensure they’re comfortable.  

Think Versatile 

If you ever lived in a small space, you quickly learned the value of furnishings that could pull double duty: couches that convert into beds, desks that can serve as dining tables, coffee tables with integral storage compartments, and so on. Use the same thinking for your deck. Invest in modular pieces that can be easily reconfigured on the fly into new arrangements will give your deck the flexibility to easily accommodate unexpected guests. For more tips on making the most of a small deck, check out Small Outdoor Spaces: Five Ways to Create a Big Impact.  

Easy-Care Everything 

If you cleverly chose easy-care building materials when building your deck, then good for you; your low-maintenance deck will always be a place of rest and relaxation, just as it should be. It’s equally as important to choose furnishings made of all-weather materials.  

  • Furniture made of recycled plastics, resins and marine-grade polymers are durable, resistant to stains, moisture, mold, mildew, and insects. They also won't peel, crack or fade, come in a range of colors, and never require painting or sealing. 
  • Powder-coated aluminum is rust-proof, durable, lightweight, and comes in a variety of colors. 
  • Stainless steel is another solid choice, stronger than aluminum or polymers but also significantly costlier and heavier. 
  • Fabric tablecloths, seat cushions, area rugs, canopies, and so on must be stain-resistant, color-fast, easily cleaned, and rated for outdoor use. 

Fussier Materials to Avoid:  

  • Natural wicker pieces offer some degree of weather resistance but why bother when synthetic imitators provide the classic look, feel, and comfort of wicker without any of the significant downsides?  
  • Some high-end hardwoods such as teak, cedar, and Ipe wood can be used outdoors if properly and regularly sealed but they are very expensive, and will always be susceptible to warping, bowing, rot, mold, insect damage and more due to their natural composition. Once again, the idea is to select furniture that is as low maintenance as possible.   

Have Fun with Colors and Patterns 

Add color to your space with throw pillows, seat cushions, tablecloths, and other accessories. This allows you to easily and affordably update your deck to stay in tune with the changing seasons, and your evolving tastes.   

Don’t Skimp 

Good-looking, well-made, comfortable deck furniture doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but you’d be wise to not cheap out on it either. Flimsily constructed pieces made from low-end materials will never provide the comfort your family needs, and will quickly reveal their shortcomings, forcing you to buy new all over again. Be smart, and do it right the first time.