Outdoor Buying Guide How to buy furniture that will last

They don’t call it the sunshine state for no reason! As Florida dwellers, we all know that outdoor living is one of the best parts of living here—especially this time of year. And of course, it all starts with the right furniture.

The key to choosing pieces that will last season after season is looking for the right materials. Here, we’ll give you the breakdown on everything to look for, so that you can just sit back, relax, and soak up the sun!

Teak Furniture:

When it comes to outdoor furniture for the backyard or patio, you can’t go wrong with teak. This tropical hardwood is known for its durability, strength, and resistance to water.

Even better, teak contains its own oils, making it naturally 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. You can also oil it yourself to preserve the color.

Plus, it doesn’t get hot in the sun, so it’s perfect for your outdoor dining room. All it takes is some warm, soapy water when it’s time for a cleaning!

All-Weather Wicker:

Another great material for outdoor living is all-weather wicker. It’s an alternative to rattan, since real rattan is prone to cracking. This handwoven resin material will not crack, peel, or fade—meaning it lasts virtually forever.

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.

100% Aluminum:

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 room).

Consider Concrete:

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.

Quick-Drying Materials:

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!

Weather-Friendly Fabrics:

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.

And because outdoor fabrics need to be extra durable, look for cushions that won’t stretch or sag, so they keep their appearance for years. Ours are specially made to be stronger than acrylic, and they’re mildew and water resistant to survive all those Florida rain showers.

Multi-Purpose Pieces:

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!

Be sure to choose fabrics that are outdoor-friendly, like our fade-resistant poufs that are UV tested for 1,000 hours of direct sunlight, with maximum resistance to mildew and stains.

Outdoor Rugs:

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.

Cantilever Umbrellas:

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.