Outdoor Furniture

More than just chairs and tables

The big trend today is outdoor rooms. Outdoor rooms are more than just patios with metal or plastic chairs and a garishly-colored umbrella; they're extensions of your home and deserve the same careful thought and planning that an indoor room receives.

Creating Moods

When decorating an outdoor room, you need to consider what kind of mood you want to create.

Think about:

  • What kind of mood your yard creates. You'll want to tie in any outdoor room to the decor already present in your garden, and use elements from there as ideas for your room's furnishings.
  • Natural focal points in your yard. If you live by a sea or lake, why not create a calming theme in your outdoor room? If your house abuts the woods or is set in the middle of a field, you can use the natural colors, shapes and textures as inspiration for your space.
  • The functionality of the room. You want your furnishings and accessories to reflect the use of the space. For example, wrought-metal benches may look wonderful, but they're really more for art than sitting, and won't create a sense of coziness in an outdoor living room. However, you can get that sense of delicacy and beauty by choosing a fabric that features dragonflies or lace or by adding a few metal outdoor sculptures, like cranes or butterflies.

Choosing Furnishings for an Outdoor Space

Obviously, choosing furnishings for your outdoor room will depend on what kind of room it is, but if your rooms are close together, you may want to choose furniture that is multi-functional and will work in every space. Once you've decided what kind of mood you want to set in your outdoor room, you should consider these things:

  • Seating - how many people will you entertain on a regular basis? A table for outdoor dining typically comes with two to eight chairs. A living room should contain enough furniture to seat people comfortably, with space enough for outside chairs to be brought in.
  • Furniture functionality - can your furniture work comfortably in one or more outdoor rooms? For example, a daybed can be a place to nap as well as a place to chat with friends. A sofa with a coffee table can be a place for a coffee break as well as somewhere to eat an impromptu barbecue meal for outdoor lounging. Outdoor furniture can be expensive, so make sure you get the most out of it.
  • Properly weatherproofed - if you don't have a pergola or shelter (or even if you do), you need to make sure that your furniture doesn't get ruined if it comes in contact with water. Many people buy furniture made of strong wood and acrylic or tightly-woven fabrics for this purpose. Don't worry - you won't have to sacrifice comfort and style for weatherproofing.
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