Your Guide to Outdoor Furniture

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Design Ops

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Published on May 29, 2018

Summer may have officially arrived this past weekend with Memorial Day, but for a lot of the country, patio weather has been here for several weeks now. Is your patio ready for a refresh? Dive in to our ultimate patio furniture guide to pick the best options for your outdoor space.

How do you plan on using your outdoor space? Is this a spot to lounge and entertain an outdoor meal with plenty of friends? Or is it a smaller and more intimate retreat where you can curl up with a coffee and a good book? The possibilities are endless with the wide range of outdoor furniture on the market, but focusing how you’d like to use the space will help you figure out what pieces you need.  Just because the space is outdoors doesn’t mean it necessarily functions differently than it would indoors — outdoor poufs and side tables are key to making a lounge space feel comfortable and cozy.

It goes without saying that patio furniture should be durable and long lasting. Teak and cedar are the best options for woods that will fare well in all climates — all-weather wicker and metal are also great options that will resist every day wear and tear. Even with higher quality pieces, to truly lengthen the lifetime of your outdoor set it’s always a good idea to pick up a cover that will help protect your furniture from the elements. If you’re not ready to invest and opt for a less expensive wood set, it’s a good idea to add a coat of clear polyurethane to help the finish last a little longer.

For soft goods like pillows, cushions, and umbrellas, outdoor grade materials are a must — Sunbrella is the gold standard for durability and stain / mildew resistance. Cushions or pillows that have a zipper closure for easy removal is another great option to keep in mind if you’d like to wash these often!

Though it may seem counter intuitive to place a rug outside, outdoor rugs are a great way to make a space feel tied together and cohesive! Look for options made from polypropylene, which typically will be resistant to fading, and will be easy to rinse off clean with a hose. Area rugs can also be a great tool to help delineate separate “zones” in a large, multi use area.

Below is our round up for our favorite patio essentials — click here to shop!