Types of Outdoor Furniture

When making the decision to decorate your outdoor patio, front porch, or garden, careful considerations need to be made in order to choose the right types of furniture. Unfortunately, there are numerous types of outdoor furniture, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. As a result, you need to take into account a variety of things before choosing the right kind. This can include your patio or garden’s aesthetic, the price you’re willing to pay, and the type of furniture you’re looking to purchase. While you should inspect the different types personally, this guide will push you in the right direction.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron furniture is one of the most sought after and versatile types of patio furniture available. Its cool metal appearance, capable of being painted a variety of colors to suit any aesthetic, is suitable for all types of patios, gardens, front porch, and back decks. It’s made by taking iron, heating it up, and hammering and molding it into a specific shape. It can be found in mass produced forms as well as unique, one-off designs that can be custom ordered.

The benefits of wrought iron furniture are myriad. As stated above, it’s incredibly versatile, and when decorated with pillows, cushions, and, in the case of some tables that utilize glass tops, unique designs, it can serve to enhance the beauty of your outdoor patio in ways others types of patio furniture cannot. If you’re looking to enhance your garden, wrought iron furniture is a perfect choice, as many vintage sets are wrought iron, which can lend your garden an appearance that looks as if it’s ripped right out of the 1800s.

Other benefits include its long life. With proper care and cleaning, wrought iron furniture can last decades without worrying about rust or other weather damage. Since it’s typically heavy, you don’t have to worry about it blowing away in the wind. It’s also incredibly affordable and easy to find, with many big box stores selling wrought iron furniture sets at incredibly cheap prices.

Wood Furniture

Wood furniture is typically heavier and, due to the different types of wood that are used, can come in a variety of colors and styles. The three main types of wood used are redwood, which is softer and used primarily for “rustic” furniture suitable for cabins; teak, a waterproof and durable type of wood used for classier and long-lasting furniture; rattan, a type of palm similar to bamboo that can be considered an incredibly tough form of wicker; and wicker, a tough and durable for of furniture made from weaving together wood and fibers that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Given the many different types of wood, there are many options available for people with a preference toward wood furniture. Each shares a number of benefits, such as ease of cleaning and durability, while the main decision for each comes down to your own personal visual preference. Of course, some types are better than others, offering more options, a necessity when you’re seeking to purchase a complete set such as a dining table. Redwood and teak are heavier than rattan and wicker, but all are heavy enough to resist heavy wind.

Plastic Furniture

Plastic outdoor furniture is the go-to furniture for young professionals and college students on a budget. It’s inexpensive, incredibly light and thus making it ideal for those who move around a lot, and can be easily replaced. Typical sets include large tables and chairs, which can come in a variety of colors. Many types of plastic furniture are made of recycled plastic, providing an eco-friendly option for your decoration needs. Plastic patio furniture is easy to clean, requiring little more than a wet rag or some generic surface cleaner to remove dirt, mud, and other stains. Be forewarned, however, as most plastics retain a lot of heat, so if you plan on leaving them outside in the hot sun, make sure none of your skin is exposed before sitting down.

Another type of plastic furniture is resin furniture. Unlike its more inexpensive counterpart, resin patio furniture comes in a wide variety of styles, almost all of which are sleeker and give off a more expensive vibe than cheap plastic furniture. If treated with a UV finish, resin patio furniture can lost a long time out in the sun without worrying about it becoming discolored.

Aluminum Furniture

Similar in appearance to wrought iron furniture, aluminum patio furniture is a lightweight, yet incredibly durable alternative to traditional outdoor furniture. When it’s exposed to air, the aluminum oxidizes, giving it a unique silver color and making it more resistant to rust. The only real downside to aluminum furniture is its price, as its many benefits and the way it’s made tends to make it slightly more expensive than wrought iron furniture. It does, however, come in a wide variety of styles, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Posted on July 31, 2012 at 9:00 AM