Whether furnishing a new outdoor room or updating an existing space, Birmingham designer Tammy Powell says, “It all starts with the seating. Fabrics, colors, rugs, lighting, and other pieces come together easily once the seating choices are made.”
Before you start shopping, consider your patio, porch, or deck just as you would an indoor room. Start with its dimensions and function.
- Measure the space. The scale of your furniture should be appropriate to the seating area. Seating that’s the wrong scale can make your patio seem cramped or even make spaces feel isolating.
- Keep in mind how your outdoor room is most often used. Seating for enjoying the breeze and a fantastic view is very different from what is needed for a patio primarily used for family barbecues and game-day gatherings. Also note any focal points such as an outdoor fireplace, wall-mounted television, or view that should be considered in the design. You may find that your chairs need to swivel, and that lounges need to be light enough to move around.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing Outdoor Seating
1 | Don’t ignore the weather.
- Is your space covered?
- Will furniture be exposed to salt?
- How weather-resistant does your fabric need to be?
- Do you need quick-drying cushions?
“Know up front what kind of exposure your seating will get. Talk to your designer or dealer about what materials (metal, wood, or composites) best suit your space and what maintenance each requires.” — Tammy Powell, designer
2 | Know how many people you need to seat.
Plan enough seating for your family and guests (and don’t forget the kids).
3 | What’s your style?
Note the appearance of your house and the gardens adjacent to your space. Sleek, steel-framed sling chairs may look out of place in an English cottage side yard. A wide selection of design options ensures you’ll be able to find pieces that satisfy your tastes.
4 | Get comfortable.
Go to a showroom and sit in everything. The variety of styles, cushions, fabrics and finishes will amaze you. Find what makes you feel good and you’ll enjoy your outdoor space as much as any other room.
5 | Spend the money for quality and durability.
Your outdoor furniture should be an investment that stands the test of time.
Outdoor Seating Inspiration
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