buying guide patio furniture

take it outside.
  • a table, with no reservations.

    If your patio space is smaller, try a bistro table or small square table. For a larger outdoor area, a round or square table is a good bet. If you're entertaining a more sizable group of friends, look for a long rectangular table. And don't forget about coffee tables–they're perfect for pairing with seating, especially if your patio space is too tight for a regular table.

  • take a seat.

    With so much variety in outdoor seating, it's never been more fun to pick a perch that meets your needs. Choose from Adirondack chairs, sofas, chaise lounges, benches and more.

  • under the umbrella.

    Beyond providing a break from the direct sun, patio umbrellas come in all sorts of fun colors and patterns that bring a punch of personality to your patio space. Patio umbrellas are made from a variety of materials with varying degrees of fade resistance, so think about your patio's sun exposure to find the right option.

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  • frame-worthy furniture materials.

    From steel to all-weather wicker, patio furniture frames are made from a variety of materials, each with a distinct aesthetic. Use this guide to learn more about each material type to find your ideal patio furniture setup.

it's a matter of materials.

Your patio set's look, durability and maintenance will depend on the materials that make it.

  • aluminum.

    Aluminum is the most durable option among metal-framed patio furniture. It's easy to maintain and clean, and comes in a variety of colors. Powder-coated or anodized finishes will help aluminum stand up to whatever Mother Nature brings. Keep aluminum furniture and its powder-coated finish looking newer longer by spraying the furniture with a coat of car wax. Aluminum is lightweight, making it easier for you to move, but also more likely that a strong gust of wind could move it too.

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  • steel.

    Steel furniture is durable and comes in a range of colors. Look for powder-coated finishes for weather protection and rust resistance. For added durability, look for e-coated steel. This is short for "electrocoating." E-coating gives the steel an extra layer of protection, even in areas that are typically more difficult to coat.

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  • all-weather wicker.

    For a more natural look, try all-weather wicker (also known as resin wicker). It's low-maintenance, long-lasting and highly customizable. Unlike painted natural wicker, it won't peel. Overall, it's extremely weather-resistant and great for most climates.

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wood: teak, mahogany & eucalyptus.

  • teak.

    This tropical hardwood is extremely dense-grained and highly resistant to rotting, warping, shrinkage and swelling, making it ideal for the outdoors (especially if you live in a temperature-changing climate). It polishes and takes varnish well—just remove surface resins with a solvent before staining. However, teak's high natural oil content acts as a preservative, requiring little or no finish. Left untreated, teak will weather to a beautiful silver-gray patina. And because teak is slow to grow, it's more expensive than other woods.

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  • mahogany.

    Known for its beauty, mahogany's heartwood (wood from the tree's center) is reddish and darkens to a deep red or brown. Overall, mahogany weathers well. It's one of the most stable timbers and keeps its strength when used in patio furniture. Just remember to keep your wood furniture looking its best by following refinishing suggestions listed in the item descriptions.

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  • eucalyptus.

    Eucalyptus is a strong, beautiful, versatile hardwood that's easy to finish with a stain or varnish. Also, it's naturally resistant to insect infestation and moisture damage. Eucalyptus sapwood is pale brown, while the heartwood (taken from the center of the tree) can range from white to dark red. To maintain the color, refinish periodically. Best of all, eucalyptus grows back very fast, making it a more Earth- and wallet-friendly option than teak or mahogany.

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patio-perfect pieces.

Add accessories to give your patio just the pop it needs.

gazebos.

Think about square-shaped gazebos for a casual, relaxing outdoor space. A 10' x 10' gazebo is perfect for a smaller home, while a 12' x 12' will complement a larger home.

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everything umbrellas.

Patio umbrellas add style and shade to your space. Consider the frame type—beautiful wood, dent-resistant steel, durable aluminum—and your desired features.

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patio furniture accessories.

  • umbrella bases.

    Don't forget these weighty counterparts. They keep your umbrella upright and stable.

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  • patio cushions.

    Patio cushions are a fun way to customize your outdoor space. Made from a variety of weather-resistant materials, patio cushions can be mixed and matched for a dramatic look.

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  • firebowl.

    When the weather cools, cozy up next to a warm fire.

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safe keeping.

  • patio storage.

    From outdoor cabinets and trunks to storage bins that double as a seat when closed, there are plenty of ways to keep your patio cushions, outdoor lights, firewood, hoses and other outdoor accessories out of harsh weather conditions to help them last longer.

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  • furniture covers.

    Extend the life of your patio furniture by protecting it from the weather with snug-fitting covers. If your climate includes a harsh winter, store your patio furniture indoors during the off-season.

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