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Make Your Outdoor Patio or Deck Comfortable and Stylish with the Right Furnishing Choices
It's springtime! There's nothing Southerners enjoy more than spending time in the great outdoors. Because of this, patios, decks, and porches are often transformed into exterior rooms with comfortable, practical furnishings. So whether you're dusting off your old porch furniture or shopping for something new, now's a great time to get your outdoor room ready for the glorious months to come.
As you are shopping for outdoor patio furniture, here some important facts that you should keep in mind.
* Function: Consider the practical uses of an intended furniture piece, along with your space requirements. For instance, is there room for a conversation seating area? Will you need a patio table and chairs for dining? Or do you have just the right amount of room for a Chaise Lougue and potted plants?
Could your outdoor patio space serve more than one purpose, providing a place for entertainment as well as a solitary retreat? Would the furniture be a permanent fixture, or should you consider lighter weight options for flexibility, storage, and easier movement?
* Design: Quality design and craftsmanship continue to characterize the diverse outdoor patio furniture choices available. You can find simple or ornate options that blend well with historic, rustic, or contemporary settings from the timelessness of wrought iron to the charm of wicker, from the sturdiness of teak to the lightweight durability of aluminum and polywood materials.
* Materials: Yes, beauty counts, but from a practical standpoint, you need outdoor furnishings built to withstand heavy wear and tear. From the foundation to the frame to the decorative cushions, the best choices are weather resistant or weather friendly. Outdoor furniture pieces made of strong materials with longlasting finishes are best, including hardwoods, wrought iron, aluminum, and allweather wicker.
* Finishes: Many finishes-including oil-based paints (best because they work to repel water), lead patina, and powder-coated treatments-provide a beautiful presentation and varying degrees of protection from the elements.
* Weight: Consider whether the furniture will be permanently placed in a specific location or continuously moved and adjusted. The weight of a piece makes all the difference. When choosing a patio chair, for example, be sure to sit in it for a while and, if possible, pick it up to see how heavy it is. Dining chairs and other outdoor furniture that will likely be moved regularly should be solid but not too heavy.
* Fabric: Decorative cushions and pillows may have the appearance of heavy canvas, but they should be fashioned from vinyl or acrylic fabric that dries quickly and resists mildew. Even the most water-resistant fabrics will break down when they sit outside for too long without use. No matter which fabric you choose, store cushions in a dry place if your patio or deck will not be used for some time.