The time has come to invest in the perfect patio furniture, but you may not be sure where to begin. This patio set buying guide from The RoomPlace can steer you in the right direction. Here we walk you through the basics of selecting outdoor furniture pieces that serve your purposes, stand up to the elements and consistent use, and create a gorgeous outdoor space you’ll want to enjoy as frequently as you can.
List the Functions
Before you can determine the patio set that will suit your needs, you must know what those needs are. Make list of all the functions you want your patio area to serve. Perhaps you want a place to hold family dinners, casual get-togethers, children’s playdates—or a combination of activities. Knowing how you want to use the area directly correlates to the furniture you’ll need to get.
List the Furniture that Aligns with Functions
Determine which patio furniture pieces align with the activities you intend to engage in. If you’re amped up for family dinners and barbecues, you’ll definitely want a patio set that comes with a dining table. Children’s playdates or cozy get-togethers would do best with sets that include sectionals you can rearrange into intimate seating options.
You can also break down the patio into separate areas that serve different functions. Put a patio table and chairs in the main area for dining, along with a cozy bench and table off the side to create a welcoming reading nook.
If you want to relax, consider:
- Adirondack chairs
- Outdoor lounge chairs
- Outdoor chaises
- Couches and sectionals
If you want to dine outdoors, consider:
- Bistro table and chairs
- Patio dining table and chairs
- Barstools and tall tables
- Outdoor café sets
If you want to entertain outdoors, consider:
- Patio sectionals
- Outdoor couches
- Outdoor floor pillows
- Outdoor dining tables that double as entertainment centers
While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest patio sets you can find, it’s not necessarily the wisest move. Unless, of course, you enjoy purchasing patio furniture every few years or so. Plastic outdoor furniture is typically the quickest to break down and fade. You’re better off investing in quality materials, such as durable woods, metal, porcelain and other materials that last for the long haul.
Look for Low Maintenance
You want to spend your time on the patio relaxing and enjoying yourself, not constantly scrubbing down or repairing furniture. Go for pieces that are easy to maintain. Features to look for include maintenance-free cast aluminum frames, UV protection, and removable cushions wrapped in fabrics that are a cinch to keep clean.
Add Color Strategically
Adding pops of color to your patio can perk up the space, and the best way to do it is with accessories. Colorful throw pillows work well, as do accessories such as bright umbrellas and cushions. The furniture itself will last longest and appear cleanest if it’s a darker or neutral color. Dark brown, beige and natural wood tones are ideal choices. Choosing neutral pieces also gives you the greatest amount of versatility. You can change up the look with different pillows, cushions and accessories without having to invest in a new patio set.
Pull the Space Together
Another strategic move is to pull the space together with an outdoor area rug. Not only does an outdoor rug help pull the look together, but it can also add even more color to the space. Many rugs are quick-drying, some are reversible and others may have striking, eye-catching patterns. If you’ve divided your patio into different areas, such as a dining space and a reading space, select a different area rug for each space.
Invest in Versatile Pieces
Make the most of your patio furniture investment by looking for pieces that are versatile. This can include patio sets that feature sectionals, which can be arranged and rearranged as needed or desired. It can also include pieces that serve more than one function.
Benches that double as storage trunks or low tables are a good example, as are ottomans that can be used as foot rests or extra seating. If your patio is on the smaller side, you may also want to consider pieces that can be easily folded up or stacked for easy storage when not in use.
Careful planning is key to finding the perfect patio set that suits your needs, and you now have all the steps at your disposal. Start by listing the functions of the patio space, along with the furniture that aligns with those functions. Opt for high-quality, low-maintenance pieces that are versatile enough to do double duty. Add color with pillows and accessories. Pull the space together with an outdoor area rug. All that’s left to do now is order just the right pieces from The RoomPlace. Shop patio furniture now.