CITY Furniture | Outdoor Buying Guide

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Buying Guide


Themes & Exterior Décor Ideas

To begin this outdoor furniture buying guide, let’s first think about your outdoor space… is your backyard, your patio, your porch, your pool, your deck, or your garden a place where you want to spend more time? Then we’re ready  to make your outdoor vision come to life.


Most of us spend so much time and effort on our interior decorating that we forget about all that outdoor potential. Your outdoor furniture should be on point; your patio furniture should have all the style you want; your patio chairs should be the best for miles.


If you’re here reading this outdoor furniture buying guide, it’s time to get serious about your outdoor furniture.


This patio furniture buying guide is going to take you step by step through some of the major points you’ll need to get started on your backyard decor, sending you in the right direction so you can find the best patio furniture. Good quality, durable outdoor furniture that you will be proud of, and that guests will love to use when they come to visit.


Let’s go for a walk in the backyard...

Outdoor Activities: Choose Your Style

Yep, this is one of those furniture buying guides that benefits from a theme. Though not necessary, an outdoor theme can really help you maintain focus when you’re looking at a corner where a wooden fence meets a steel fence, or where a tree is surrounded by some shrubs and an empty pot. You might wonder “what am I supposed to do here now?”


Choosing decorating themes and colors will give you laser focus. You’ll need that to maintain your creativity when you’re picking out patio furniture, grills, fire pitsoutdoor umbrellasdaybedsoutdoor storage sets, and everything in between.


Here are some interesting outdoor styles to consider when choosing patio furniture:

Tropical Days

Could we possibly write an entire outdoor furniture buying guide and not mention tropical as an outdoor theme? How do you pull off a tropical or coastal theme in your backyard, and what patio furniture and accessories do you need?


  • • Layers of green. We’re talking plants, cushions, umbrellas, layers, and layers.
  • • Soft light at night, such as tiki torches and soft lamps.
  • • Water features like slow running fountains or waterfalls between rocks.
  • • Bamboo chimes and bamboo fencing and bamboo plants.
  • • Woven outdoor sofas in soft colors.
  • • Bright colored outdoor accent pillows.


Modern is in right now. Modern classic usually stays in style because it’s always understated and sleek. Take a look at an outdoor sectional in a modern style that will turn your backyard into the perfect place to film a scene from your favorite television show. Modern themed is a great way to bring family and friends together outside, and you’ll want to include:



Lounging Around

If absolute comfort is more your aim, then consider nothing else in this outdoor furniture buying guide but this section right here. Let’s lounge. Your speed is neutral and you’re here to relax, and that’s perfectly fine - so your patio furniture and style should reflect that.


  • • A daybed would complete your backyard.
  • • An alternative or addition to a daybed would be a hammock, or hanging porch swing bed.
  • • Cushions, cushions, cushions, and more cushions.
  • • The occasional cozy outdoor blanket.
  • • All those cushions and blankets are going to require some outdoor storage.

Forever Garden Party

The forever garden party look is easy to pull off. You just have to find patio furniture and patio dining sets that match. Organized, clean, and clear is your friend. Make sure everything matches and flows to get the forever garden party aesthetic.


  • • First and foremost, you’ll need a nice outdoor dining set.
  • • Lighting is everything! Think string lights.
  • • Small pots for flowers and growing things.
  • • Water features, chimes, and trays as centerpieces for books or other decor.

Country Cottage Cozy

Think: forever garden party, with less perfection, less matching, and more mixing. Imperfection and organized clutter is your aim with a country cozy cottage feel. The trick is to focus on wood, durability, mix and match accent pillows and blankets, and fine antiques as centerpieces. Voila! You have a country cottage cozy exterior. Some more ideas:


  • • Nothing says country cottage cozy more than an outdoor rug.
  • • Lighting is so important, think of lanterns.
  • • Don’t be a minimalist, be a maximalist. You almost want to have too many things on the patio.
  • • Mix layers with textures (use cushions and blankets here).

What's It All Made Of?

You’ve figured out your theme; now onto the technical questions of this outdoor furniture buying guide. We’re talking materials. One of the most asked questions that customers at our furniture store will ask is: what type of outdoor furniture is most durable? Let’s talk about the durability of patio and outdoor furniture, as well as form and function.

First, a word on expectations:

Since we are talking about outdoor furniture, we want to consider the sun and rain and how your new furniture will hold up to these elements. However, it’s also important to invest in patio umbrellasoutdoor covers, and patio storage where possible.


There are so many subcategories like white oak, teak, eucalyptus, ire, recycled plastic, and shorea; however, this outdoor furniture buying guide is going to cover the three mainstays.


Wood: Wood has been the classic outdoor furniture choice for as long as we can remember. And although they are a great style choice, not all woods are created equal. Softer woods may look great, but they are not as durable as other types of wood. If you want long-lasting wood furniture, choose hardwood furniture like teak.


Metal: Your first thought is going to be that metal will outlast all; and in most cases, you’d be right. Aluminum is one of the most durable materials for outdoors and is the main metal in our outdoor furniture. The benefit of aluminum is that it is rust-resistant, which is also great for salt water climates.


Plastic: More and more companies are opting for man-made, synthetic materials like resin and plastic. Not only are these materials cheaper to produce, but they can be molded into many different shapes.


Your aesthetic will drive your decision ultimately; but if durability is the most important factor to you, consider all of the choices offered at CITY Furniture. Read more about specific materials here on our blog.

Time to Decorate

We are firm believers that your backyard can be a sanctuary if you take a little time to make it a place you're happy with.

If you don’t know where to begin, pick out a sofa, or a dining set, and a few potted plants. You don’t have to decorate the entire patio just yet, but you can start with one piece you like and build upon it. You’ll be sipping ice tea or drinking your morning coffee outside in a tranquil garden in no time.