There’s a reason they call it the sunshine state. One of the best parts about Florida is year-round outdoor living, from morning coffees on the patio to sunset al fresco dinners. And naturally, it all starts with the right furniture.
The key to choosing pieces that will last is looking for the right materials, as well as furniture that meets your space and style preferences. Here, our outdoor furniture buying guide covers everything you need to consider, from the right materials to care and design tips.
Even better, teak contains its own oils, making it virtually maintenance free, and it can be left out all year long. Note that the yellowish-brown color will naturally weather into a silver gray, but we just think that adds character (and you can oil it yourself to preserve the color).
Note that with any outdoor furniture, you should always cover your furniture when not in use. It’s best to place in the shade, like under an awning, or use an umbrella to offer additional sun protection. You should also bring your items inside during long periods of inclement weather, a tropical storm.
Another great material for outdoor living is all-weather wicker. An alternative to rattan (since real rattan is prone to cracking), this handwoven resin material resists cracking, peeling, or fading—meaning you can enjoy it for seasons to come.
Like teak, you can also leave your all-weather wicker outside year-round, as it’s fully UV stabilized and anti-fungal to withstand rain and shine. It’s also low maintenance and can be easily cleaned or power washed. Again, just be sure to use well-fitted outdoor covers when not in use, and provide as much shade as possible.
If you love the idea of metal frames for your backyard sofa or chairs, be sure to choose 100 percent aluminum. This preferred material is rust free on its own, and all of our outdoor options feature an additional powder coating. This is especially beneficial in saltwater environments like Florida, as the powder coating gives maximum protection.
And because strength matters too, another quality of aluminum is its superior, heavy gauge strength (not to mention the modern, streamlined look it adds to your outdoor living space).
It doesn’t get more industrial or sturdy than concrete, making it the perfect tabletop for your outdoor dining table. But since pure concrete would be extremely heavy, our version is a mix of cement, sand, and glass fibers. It’s still totally durable, but much easier to move around. Covering is recommended if the table will remain outside, and a topcoat helps protect this more porous material.
We all know that Florida gets its fair share of rain, so if getting surprised with a soggy chair is your biggest gripe, go with a quick-drying material like mesh. Quality mesh is individually coated and woven, then heat set for superior strength. Plus, it’s mildew resistant and colorfast, making it perfect for any outdoor seating from dining chairs to chaise lounges. And it’s a great value!
Choose fabric that is especially made for the elements to keep your outdoor furniture looking fresh. All of our cushion covers are made from non-toxic, recycled materials that are solution dyed to resist fading. Another perk of this process is that it reduces waste and pollution—all while remaining color fast and resistant to fading.
If your outdoor space is on the smaller side, such as a patio or lanai, go for multi-functional pieces that can serve more than one purpose. We love the idea of an outdoor accent pouf, which can double as seating, and ottoman, or even an accent table. Simply add a tray to balance drinks and snacks!
An area rug is a great accent piece for pulling your backyard style together, whether it’s an outdoor living room or just a chic lounge spot. The key is selecting a weather-friendly rug that is specifically made for outside use. Natural fibers such as sisal, hemp, and jute all fare well, as well as synthetic fibers that dry quickly and keep their color.
It’s no secret that Florida sun can get hot, so an umbrella provides welcome shade from the heat. We recommend going big with a cantilever umbrella, because it provides plenty of coverage. Additionally, the pivot and tilt function allows you to change the angle as the sun moves. Go with a powder-coated aluminum base, which is sturdy, yet lightweight enough to move from your outdoor dining table to your outdoor sofa.
Think About Your Space:
So now that you know which materials to look for, it’s time to start thinking about your actual outdoor living area and purpose. Will you use it more for dining outside? If so, go with a table and dining chairs over an outdoor sofa or chaise. Is it long and narrow? Then choose a dining table that is rectangular versus round. Is it tight on space? Try a pub set or chat set in those cases.
Lucky for you, we have just about every style and option under the sun, from modern to classic. And, they just about all come with customization options to make the most of your personal space.