A comprehensive guide to outdoor furniture. Includes top picks for various sets based upon outdoor space, furniture characteristics, and where to shop for the best outdoor patio furniture!
It’s no secret I live for summer and months spent outside! Today’s post comes highly requested from several people. Over the years, I’ve gradually learned more and more about what to look for in outdoor patio furniture and where to find the best value for your money. So, although I definitely don’t consider myself an expert, I’m going to be sharing the ultimate guide to outdoor furniture and patio decor today!
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What To Look for In Outdoor Furniture
When we were building our inground pool and I was asking for outdoor furniture recommendations, I heard the same things over and over and over again. And since the advice was from all over the country, it started to feel like universal truths. Following are my top functional characteristics to look for in outdoor furniture based on personal experience and from reader advice:
- Read as many reviews as possible! I’ve found them to be so helpful when deciding on furniture and to know what is most likely to last the longest term. This is also an important step if you’re buying online and won’t have a chance to test the comfort level before purchasing.
- Pay attention to fabric options. If you plan to leave your furniture out in the elements, fabric choices are critical. Sun and water can wreak havoc on your outdoor furniture so you want an option that is durable. I am a strong believer in the Sunbrella line of fabrics, but there are other great options that are also weather resistant and beautiful. Again, reviews can help big-time here!
- If you’re buying furniture with any sort of metal on it (even most woven pieces have a metal frame), look for powder-coated aluminum or steel. This will help ensure your furniture doesn’t rust all over your patio as it gets wet over time.
- If you’re looking for wood outdoor furniture, I’ve heard teak or cedar is the way to go and will ultimately be the most hardwearing!
- If you’re buying patio furniture with cushions, be sure to look for frames that fit standard cushion sizes. We learned this the hard way with our pool chaise lounges! We absolutely love the chairs and bought them because of the oversized cushions. The only problem is now that the cushions rotted after three years (definitely not performance fabric), we aren’t able to find cushions that fit the oversized frame. As I bid out options, the cushions ended up being almost as much as the entire chair and cushion so it didn’t make sense. We ultimately ordered these chaise lounge chairs that come with a universal sized cushion that allows for a Sunbrella Rain slipcover (which sounds essentially indestructible).
- Store your furniture when not in use. We leave our furniture outdoors (uncovered for the whole summer) but then move it to our garage for the winter months. You could also purchase covers to keep your furniture covered when not in use.
Where To Shop for Patio Furniture & Decor
There are so many places these days that have a great selection of patio furniture and decor! I’ve actually used all of these sources at one time or another and think they’re all worth checking out! Each of the names below is clickable and will take you right to their outdoor section for easy searching!
- At Home – An affordable solution for outdoor planters, cushion replacements and furniture. They’re huge selection is hard to beat! They don’t offer online sales though, so you do need to have a local store.
- CB2 – A great option for those with a bit more modern taste.
- Costco – Although selection can be limited (and items move quickly), the quality is usually excellent and the prices are great.
- Crate & Barrel
- H&M – A great option for those on a limited budget but still looking for stylish pieces.
- Home Depot – Since you can now order online, I feel like the variety is much wider! Watch for sales on holiday weekends, particularly!
- Lowe’s – A great option if you want need a quick turnaround. I’m also usually pretty happy with their plant selection!
- McGee & Co. – They just launched an outdoor collection and it’s gorgeous! If you’re looking for a designer look (and typically prices that match) they have so many beautiful options!
- Pottery Barn – Although lead times can be longer, I’ve heard rave reviews about the durability of their outdoor furniture. I’ve also been very happy with the outdoor accessories I’ve purchased here in the past.
- Restoration Hardware – I’ve heard amazing things about their outdoor furniture if you can stomach the prices!
- Serena & Lily – If you’re looking for that perfect beachy vibe, these guys are hard to beat!
- Target – Probably not the best option if you’re looking for something to last for years to come, but they have so many cute finds and pieces that could for sure carry you through a season or two! I am super intrigued by these tabletop firepits (that connect through the umbrella hole on your outdoor table).
- TJ MAXX/HomeGoods/Marshall’s – This can be hit or miss, but when you hit the jackpot, you definitely hit the jackpot! The only issue is that it may be difficult to find matching pieces.
- Walmart – I’ve had a lot of luck with them recently (still obsessed with this set). And now they offer brands from other stores so I find their site even more helpful! I also just ordered this outdoor dining table there and we are in love with it! Hoping to share it in the space soon.
- Wayfair – This can be hit or miss, but I do love that they have such a huge number of reviews on their pieces, which is so helpful! I also love that they allow consumers to upload their own photos of products which can be super helpful if color is off on a stock photo.
- West Elm – Another great option if you’re looking for more of a modern vibe.
- Williams Sonoma Home – Comparable to Restoration Hardware in terms of quality and prices.
- World Market – We love our outdoor bistro chairs from here. And although I haven’t had long-term success with their house brand outdoor pillows (which is expected given the price) they also carry Sunbrella pieces that I’ve had great luck with!
Outdoor Chaise Lounge Picks
Following are my top picks for comfy outdoor chaise lounges. Simply click any of the images below to learn more about each item.
Outdoor Dining Set Picks
Following are my top picks for outdoor dining furniture. Simply click any of the images below to learn more about each item.
Outdoor Living Sets
Following are my top picks for outdoor living sets. Simply click any of the images below to learn more about each item.
Outdoor Decor Picks
Following are my top picks for outdoor decor. Simply click any of the images below to learn more about each item.
Any other places/sources you love that we should all know about?
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