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Sears.ca>Resource Centre>Buying Guides>Outdoor Living> Patio Furniture Buying Guide

Patio Furniture Buying Guide

What better way to enjoy great weather than in your home’s outdoor space. Deciding what outdoor pieces are best for you is the first step.

 

Choosing the outdoor and patio furniture that’s best for you often comes down to budget, but also your lifestyle. Who will be using your patio gear? How will they be using it? For how long will you be enjoying your pieces on each use? How frequently will the furniture and accessories be used? For some, kids’ playtime, family meals and quiet evenings are important. For others, outdoor parties and social gatherings with friends are the best part of having an outdoor space. For others yet lounging and relaxing are the best uses for a patio.

What to Consider Before Buying

There are nearly as many types of furniture available for use on your patio, deck, balcony or backyard as there are for your home’s indoor space. They range from dining/coffee tables and sets of varying sizes and seating capacities to chairs and other seating/reclining pieces available in a huge spectrum of styles, materials and colours. Pieces like umbrellas, swings, hammocks, loungers, chests, ottomans and rockers enhance outdoor relaxing for even greater comfort and enjoyment.

Different Set Options

Will you be using your furniture for dining, socializing or relaxing? Dining sets are perfect for those wanting to enjoy a meal in summer weather, whereas a deck (also called a ‘chat’) set might be a less costly option worth considering if dining is not a priority. If you plan on using your patio only occasionally, a few basic items like a bistro set might do.

How Many People Will You Entertain?

The number of people you typically host is worthwhile to consider. For larger groups you might opt for a 7-piece dining set. If relaxing with friends and family for extended periods is something you enjoy, sectional 3- or 4-piece cushioned seating sets could be a good place to begin your patio planning.

Comfort

If you entertain frequently or spend a considerable amount of time enjoying the warmer months outdoors, comfort and durability are especially important when making patio furniture purchases. Solidly constructed pieces, cushions and umbrellas are ideal for longer, lingering use.

Space

The amount of outdoor space you have will help determine what furniture is best for you. If space is limited, round and hexagonal tables are ideal alternatives to larger dining tables. A hexagonal table can seat as many people as a rectangular table and takes up less space. However, per person table space at a hexagonal table will be more limited than at a rectangular table.

Bistro/café and bar/stool sets are also excellent outdoor furniture options for those with smaller spaces. Those living in apartments and condominiums with small balconies find charming bistro sets an ideal solution for relaxing and entertaining in their outdoor space. Nesting tables (a set of tables designed to fit and contain each other) and stacking chairs are also great options for those that are space-limited.

Storage

Keep available storage space in mind when deciding on what items to purchase. Some outdoor items integrate storage space into the pieces themselves. Ottomans, storage chests, coffee tables, carts, buffets, end tables and some chairs offer storage to reduce yard and patio clutter – storage that can be taken advantage of if the piece itself is stored over the winter. If storage space and moving the furnishings is a concern consider these kinds of pieces as well as collapsible tables and furniture.

Weather Exposure

If you cannot store or shelter your patio furniture and accessories from the elements, they might have to endure prolonged exposure to harsh outdoor conditions. If this is the case it is best to purchase furniture constructed with material best suited to inclement conditions typically seen in your area.

Surroundings

Will your outdoor pieces match, complement or enhance your outdoor space? If you have a sleek, modern outdoor design perhaps an Adirondack-style swinging bench is not for you. Of course these kinds of variables are subjective and depend on individual taste. Still, considering your current or planned décor scheme and surroundings is something you might wish to do when deciding on a purchase.