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How to Choose Garden Furniture: 5 Factors to Consider

Posted January 24th, 2019 by Robin Nichols in

In buying outdoor garden furniture, there are certain factors you need to check for first to ensure that you spend your money on furniture pieces that will truly answer your needs. Budget is of course an important factor that you need to consider in shopping for your home and outdoor furnishings, but aside from that, the other factors where you could use more helpful information about include furniture material, style, size versus available space, comfort, and maintenance requirements. These five factors are further discussed in this simple but essential guide to buying the right outdoor furniture.

Material

Outdoor furniture is typically made of materials that can resist the elements better, such as rattan, timber, wrought-iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. Choose natural plant materials for an easy outdoorsy feel, or more modern metal materials for added character and spunk.

Style

Furniture style largely depends on material. Small wrought-iron chairs, for instance, usually have intricate designs that reflect the French style with an antique touch. Chunky timber benches inspire a more rustic ambience, while sleek stainless steel chairs offer sophisticated elegance.

Space

Take out that measuring tape and work out how much space you actually have for your garden furniture. Take care to leave ample space over for walkways and enough room for other movement; you don’t want your furniture to look like they’ve been crammed in too tightly without enough elbow room left over. Note down the measurements you have made and refer to it while shopping for your outdoor furniture, whether you’re just looking at online catalogs or visiting physical furniture showrooms. Do not commit to buying furniture without checking whether its dimensions will comfortably fit your available space. No matter how elegant the design or high-quality the material, if the piece doesn’t actually fit the area, it will be of no practical use to you and you’ll end up wasting time, money, and effort.

Comfort

Your garden furniture will not be there for mere display; they need to be functional pieces you can not only use, but actually enjoy using. The key to this is checking for comfort before purchasing furniture pieces such as sofa sets, chairs, sun loungers, daybeds, and deck chairs. If you’re buying a rattan chair, for instance, sit in it and get a feel for fit and comfort. Is the chair seat roomy enough to fit you front to back and side to side, but without having you feel dwarfed by its size? If it comes with a cushion—which is recommended, to prevent sagging over time—does it have ample padding? If you’re shopping for a rattan dining set, check that the seat heights are appropriate for the table height, and that the table’s legs give the sitters plenty of clearance.

Maintenance

Maintenance needs are determined by furniture material. All-weather wicker rattan furniture will need a simple routine cleaning involving a soapy but not wet wiping using a soft cloth, and air-drying it afterwards. You may use a small toothbrush dipped in soapsuds to reach the small crevices in woven furniture, but you would need to be careful not to soak rattan furniture. As for aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic furniture, you can hose them down with warm water to clear away airborne dust and dirt. With wrought-iron metal chairs made of more traditional heavy cast iron, you will need to protect them from rust by protecting them from rain exposure and performing routine repainting.

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