Patio furniture and poolside furniture may seem like essentially the same thing, but they tend to get used very differently. Yes, they are both outdoors, but poolside furniture needs to accommodate wet people with a lot of bare skin whose main focus is swimming. Patio furniture generally does not need to serve the same purpose.
Where to Start
So, how does one decide what kind of furniture they need in their outdoor space? Well, for starters, they decide how the space will be used. If they are trying to furnish the area around a pool, then they already have a central purpose. People will be swimming. They may also be trying to get tan, take a breather from swimming so they don’t get dangerously tired and having snacks and drinks to recover.
It is a good idea to go with heavy duty, but comfortable plastic or teak furnishings near a pool. These will stand up to the water while being more comfortable on bare skin than metal furniture baking in the hot sun.
For a patio not adjacent to a pool, there is more flexibility. People may ask themselves how they will use the space. Someone hosting cocktail hour for young adult friends will furnish it differently than someone hosting family barbecues where both adults and children will be fed.
For cocktails, no central dining table is needed. An assortment of seating, a fire pit and a few occasional tables will do. An outdoor bar may be desirable as well. For family barbecues, a prep area, cook area and dining area will be needed. Benches can help provide seating flexibility and help accommodate get-togethers of varying sizes.
Try Before Buying
Many people who would not dream of buying a couch without sitting down on it don’t hesitate to buy outdoor furniture without trying it, but this is a big mistake. Outdoor seating should be tried out before buying it, just like indoor seating typically gets tried.
Prioritize Easy Care Options
Part of the joy of using outdoor spaces is that they are supposed to be lower maintenance than indoor spaces. But this is only true if they are actually designed that way. Choosing easy care options can help make it so.
Furniture that can be hosed down and that will stand up to bad weather can reduce the amount of time and effort involved in taking care of it. If cushions are desired, some sets come with a cushion storage box. This will reduce the amount of work involved in putting the cushions away any time rain is expected.
Go for Quality, But Have a Little Fun
Higher quality pieces will stick around longer and require less care. In most cases, it is a good idea to choose neutral colors for the main pieces that will be around for a long time. Accent pieces or cushions are a great way to add a punch of color that won’t be regretted in short order.