residential interior design

Jun 6, 2023

Outdoor Furniture: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Want to turn your backyard into a luxurious outdoor living space? There’s no shortage of outdoor furniture options to help you do so. Springtime sees every home improvement warehouse, wholesale club, and grocery store transforming into outdoor furniture stores. 

Summer time displays in convenient purchasing locations and competitive pricing can create an impulse to buy. But there are many things you should consider when purchasing outdoor furnishing to ensure that it best meets your needs and complements your home.

Much of the outdoor furnishings that can be purchased at grocery stores and home improvement stores is built down to a price point, rather than up to a quality standard.

The best quality outdoor furniture can elevate your outdoor space, will last for years, and continue to look beautiful through many seasons. While the worst quality may look good when new but can very quickly begin to look shabby, neglected, and broken down, as the Texas weather takes its toll.

This post will guide you through the elements of quality outdoor furniture and help you find pieces that offer comfort and style season after season.

Outdoor furniture quality matters 

Your outdoor living area should be an inviting and comfortable environment where your friends and family can gather, and where you can enjoy your home’s outdoor space together.

Outdoor Furniture: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Here’s how the best of both worlds can be accomplished:

Touch and feel make a difference

Cheaply-made outdoor furniture is designed to look good but not necessarily to feel good. Proportions are planned to minimize manufacturing costs, so your outdoor chairs may have back supports that are too short, or seat depths that aren’t comfortable. Metal supports may be felt through the flimsy cushion material making it hard to sit comfortably. Inexpensive cushion fillers may flatten when sat on. Inexpensive outdoor fabrics are often scratchy and uninviting.

High-quality and built to last

There are two categories to consider when comparing higher quality and lower quality outdoor furnishings: frame construction and materials and cushion construction and materials.

Of course, the price point is another difference. But, if you wish to purchase outdoor furniture that will last for many seasons and continue to look beautiful, rather than disposable furniture you’ll have to send to the landfill and purchase again and again, here is what to look for:

Good patio furniture will usually be more generously proportioned with deeper seats and higher backs.  Look for welded frames, extruded aluminum metals, high-quality UV resistant resin wicker wraps, fully welded joints and powder coated aluminum frames. Fully welded joints ensure that there are no weak points, offering significantly sturdier frames than assembled furniture.

Teak materials should be consciously sourced solid, kiln-dried teak wood.

Cushions should be created for style, comfort and durability. Cushions on higher end outdoor furnishings are thicker, and are made from premium density, highly resilient foam, then Dacron wrapped to withstand years of wear and use without flattening or caving.  

Cushion covers should be made using authentic Sunbrella® performance fabrics which are specially manufactured to be mold and mildew resistant, fade, UV and stain resistant, weather resistant, and bleach cleanable.  

Don’t skip the warranty on outdoor furniture

Outdoor furniture that offers a warranty is a hallmark of quality and provides peace of mind. 

No warranty means it’s built to fail

Especially here in Texas, the sun’s intense UV rays and high temperatures can be hard on furniture and it can be ruined in one summer if you do not have high-quality products, leaving you with scruffy edges, broken plastic wicker and faded fabric.

Some are even designed to fail, knowing you’ll be stuck in an endless loop of replacing poor-quality furniture with more poor-quality furniture because you’ve lost your initial investment.

A warranty is worth every penny

Sunbrella and other reputable outdoor furniture manufacturers adhere to the voluntary ACT performance guidelines, which test for fabric’s performance in abrasion, flammability, wet/dry cracking, colorfastness, pilling, breaking, and seam slippage. The frames and joints are constructed with durability in mind, too. But in the event you need it, you are covered, in most cases, by a 3 to 5-year warranty.

Outdoor Furniture: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Align with your interior standards

An elegant outdoor living area should complement the standards for your home’s interior. Ideally, an outdoor space should feel like an extension of your home. Choosing outdoor furniture that matches the criteria of your indoor furniture creates a seamless transition from indoors to out.

Good taste is never out of style

As trends come and go, you want your furniture investment to remain timeless. Relying on a designer to help you make these decisions will ensure your outdoor living area never goes out of style.

A designer can also help you level up your space by adding decorative touches such as colorful throw pillows, rugs, throws, art or botanicals.

When creating your welcoming outdoor space, insist on the best outdoor furniture. You’ll find that meticulously-crafted furniture elevates the caliber of your outdoor living space and lasts far longer than the wholesale club variety. Good furniture is a sound investment, no matter where you’re sitting.

Let’s create a stunning outdoor space

Summer is here and now is a great time to plan your inviting outdoor living space. 

Gallagher Interiors partners with the best outdoor furniture manufacturers. We’ll help you plan your outdoor space that mirrors your home’s tasteful interior without compromising style, quality, or comfort. Need our help?

Schedule a call with us to explore how to transform your outdoor space.

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