How to Furnish Your Outdoor Spaces with Luxury, Comfort, and Durability in Mind
Tips for Choosing the Best Patio Furniture for Your Outdoor Space
There are many benefits of creating indoor-outdoor living spaces, ranging from architectural beauty to expanded entertaining space to healthy living. To create a welcoming outdoor space that will function for both the family and guests, the proper patio furnishings must be selected and arranged in a way that invites use. Enhancing outdoor spaces could include adding furnishings for outdoor dining, relaxing poolside, or long conversations around the fire pit. Our San Antonio interior designers and architects share five tips for furnishing outdoor living spaces and choosing the right patio furniture.
5 Considerations for Furnishing Outdoor Living Spaces
In order to create beautiful indoor-outdoor connections that draw people to outdoor living spaces, many factors need to be considered by the homeowners and designers. Outdoor patio spaces will need to be defined, similarly to an interior room, and protected from the elements. Definition can be achieved with structural or decorative shades, including pergolas and awnings. To promote the use of outdoor patios in the evenings, an outdoor lighting plan will need to be developed to include ambient, accent, and task lighting, just like an interior lighting plan. Finally, high-grade patio furniture and accessories will need to be selected for durability, comfort, and beauty. As you can see by now, the home’s exterior spaces must be treated with as much care as interior spaces to create beautiful outdoor living areas that serve as an extension of the house. Consider the following five tips when buying patio furniture and designing an outdoor living space.
1. Invest in High-quality Patio Furniture That Will Last for Many Seasons
So many homeowners ask the same question: why is patio furniture so expensive? In many cases, quality outdoor furnishings will cost as much, if not more, than interior pieces. Unlike interior furnishings, patio furniture needs to be engineered to exist outside. Special paints, stains, foams, mildew-resistant fabrics, and fade-resistant dyes must be used to build furniture that can stand up to the elements. That being said, patio furniture will need to be replaced or refinished from time to time. Know that the investment of quality pieces will be worth it, as they will last longer, look better, and promote more use of the space.
Interestingly, patio furniture investments follow a regional trend. Homeowners in northern states with colder climates are more likely to spend more on patio furniture than homeowners in southern states with longer summers. Why? When the summer is short, you realize just how important it is to maximize outdoor living and enjoy the season to the fullest.
2. Furnish Your Outdoor Spaces with Comfort in Mind
One of the biggest mistakes in buying outdoor furniture is purchasing items without comfort in mind. The comfort level of outdoor furniture will influence the welcoming feel of the patio, the amount of time people want to spend outside, and how enjoyable that time is. Patio furniture is too important and needs to be as comfortable as indoor furniture. Don’t skimp on comfort! Make sure to test out the feel of each piece and evaluate the purpose it will serve.
3. Treat Your Outdoor Furnishings Like an Extension of the Interior
Our San Antonio interior designers’ favorite tip for selecting patio furniture is to treat the outdoor areas as an extension of the interior rooms. Patios are typically placed in view from the living room. Consider matching similar colors, styles, and textiles outside to unite the two spaces. Like an interior room, create a floor plan that defines the space and promotes flow. You can enhance patio spaces with outdoor rugs, shade structures, outdoor lighting, and accessories like potted plants.
4. Protect Your Patio Furniture in the Off-season
Once you invest in buying high-quality patio furniture, it is important to protect it. First, consider the placement of outdoor furnishings. Items placed under shade structures or inside a screened porch will be more protected from the elements than those in direct sunlight. Consider adding outdoor storage options, like a secure chest or shed, to store patio furnishings and cushions during the off-season. Patio furniture coverings are also a good option. Remember that wood furnishings will need to be oiled, and metal furnishings will need to be repainted. These practices will help increase the lifespan of your patio furnishings to be enjoyed for many seasons ahead.
5. Consider Function, Location, and Lifestyle
Finally, the last tip from our San Antonio interior designers and architects may be the most important one to remember. In order to create cohesive indoor-outdoor home living, you must consider your functional needs, location, and lifestyle. Functionally, different sized outdoor spaces will require different patio furnishings. Pools and other outdoor elements will also affect decisions, such as investing in pool lounge chairs. The weather and climate of your location will dictate the best material choices. In terms of lifestyle, are you looking to create a relaxing outdoor retreat or an expansive entertaining space for guests? An outdoor reading spot may only require a small bistro set, but entertaining for guests may require multiple seating areas and an oversized dining table. Working with a skilled design team can make it easier to identify functional needs and what your lifestyle requires.
Use Outdoor Patio Furniture Inside for Casual Looks and Transitional Spaces
Outdoor furniture doesn’t need to be limited to the great outdoors. Bringing patio furnishings indoors, especially items like wicker and wrought iron, adds texture and bohemian charm to indoor spaces. There are many ways to use outdoor furniture indoors. Consider using outdoor furnishings in sunrooms, mudrooms, and other transitional areas that bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor life. Textiles engineered for outdoor use are perfect for spaces that demand durability, like playrooms and family rooms. Don’t be afraid to bring the outdoors in!