How to Choose Outdoor Furniture That Lasts
Your pool lifestyle will determine which type of outdoor furniture you choose — whether you need kid-friendly pieces that are easy to move or comfortable patio or dining sets that function as an extension of your indoor living space. Whatever your needs, everyone wants their furniture to last. Here are a few factors to consider when searching for lounge pieces for your poolside.
High-end wood options for patio furniture
Teak and jarrah are two tropical hardwoods that are well known in the furniture and construction industries for their durability and longevity. Although a bit pricey, teak and the Australian eucalyptus jarrah both resist insects, mold and rot and can either be oiled to your favorite color or left to develop to a nice weathered look. Read more from teak furniture retailer Country Casual about the benefits of teak furniture. Bamboo is also another furniture type to consider, as it grows quickly and is considered a renewable and sustainable option.
Sun exposure on your fabrics
Natural-fiber fabrics such as cotton and linen will not hold up well in the sun. If you live in a very sunny and warm climate, search for synthetic fabrics that are “solution dyed” and resist fading in direct sunlight. In the synthetics from Kravet Soliel fabrics, Perennials’ Fabrics and Sunbrella, UV-resistant pigments are mixed into the fiber during production (think how a beet is purple all the way through) instead of sitting on the surface, like natural fibers such as cotton or linen. These fibers can also be fully cleaned with bleach without harming the integrity of the fabric — which makes a big difference in a rainy or humid climate where mildew or mold could be a concern.
Synthetic fibers have evolved into some beautiful options today — don’t write off synthetic as the sticky vinyl, cracked plastic cushions of yesteryear. Read more information from Calico Corners about their indoor/outdoor fabrics. Keith Reding Designs also has a helpful guide to upholstery fabrics, if you have a shaded area where you’d like to use other fabrics like cotton or linen.
What water can do to furniture
If your climate is typically rainy or very humid, you may want to steer clear of wood furniture — it will expand when waterlogged and contract (and possibly crack) when it dries. If you do choose wood, look for hardwoods like cedar, mahogany or even teak or jarrah and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sealants and oil care. Better Homes and Gardens suggests, “the best-quality wood furniture is made from center-cut heartwood lumber with consistent grain. Look for furniture built with zinc-plated or stainless-steel screws — so you can tighten them if they get loose.”
Other choices for rainy climates would be aluminum or composite plastic furniture that won’t be affected by moisture and dries quickly. Both are very durable for kids and pets and are easy to move around your patio. If you’re interested in more eco-friendly options, you can also find patio furniture made from recycled materials like milk jugs or reclaimed wood.
Storing your patio furniture
If you open your pool for limited months of the year, consider more than the standard vinyl covers for your cushions and fabric umbrellas. A breathable cover like Koverroos will allow moisture to escape, while keeping dirt and debris out. Air flow around the fabric ensures that mold and mildew is kept at bay and that your furniture will last for seasons to come.
Your outdoor space is a haven for relaxation — and that feeling should extend from your pool and spa to the furniture you choose. Whether you choose cushioned rattan or sleek steel, find something that fits your outdoor space and add a few custom touches to make it your own.