To the untrained eye all outdoor furniture might look the same. Too often the difference seems to be only the price. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. It is important when you are buying furniture for outdoors that you seek clarity from the sales person in the store about key points to avoid making costly mistakes.
Here's 5 things you need to know when buying outdoor furniture:
1. Comfort Comes First
You will be relaxing and entertaining on your furniture which is why you are buying it. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable. Cheaper furniture items compromise on fabric and foam using low cost options. This often means that the furniture wears very quickly. An outdoor lounge suite for example may collapse after just a few months leaving you with shapeless saggy cushions which you won't want to sit on. The fabric is where you interact with the furniture so you want it to feel great and give you the luxurious feel you're after.
2. Whatever the Weather
There is often confusion about what the terms 'patio' or 'outdoor furniture' really mean. Some 'patio furniture' can only be left outside when it is under cover and not fully exposed to the elements. Who wants to worry about what furniture can be used where? Pret a l'emploi is the philosophy you need to know. This means that your furniture is 'ready to use' whenever you are. You should be able to step out onto your patio and your furniture is ready to enjoy. No need to bring cushions in from the garage or remove furniture covers. Just sit back and enjoy.
3. A Style to Suit Your Space
Advances in materials and technology has made it possible for furniture to be outside in all weather conditions. Now choices are wide ranging from engineered rattan to sleek glass and aluminium through to fully upholstered furniture with the latest technical fabrics. If you love the look of wood that's great, but choose wooden tops placed over an aluminium frame to guarantee longevity and avoid all the constant maintenance with all-wood furniture. In our experience buying cheaper furniture now may mean spending double in the future as you'll have to replace it sooner rather than later.
4. Proudly South African
The South African climate emits some of the harshest UV rays on the planet. It is so severe that furniture is not able to withstand it for a prolonged period of time if it is not made to suit the weather conditions. Be sure to investigate how the furniture you choose will behave when exposed to continued sun, wind or rain. Don't fall into the trap of buying add on protection such as furniture covers either as they will only mean extra hassle taking them on and off. Only buy furniture which has been designed purposely for South African conditions to ensure it will last.
5. Low Maintenance
Who has the time to scrub, clean and oil their furniture? If outdoor furniture is made from the right quality materials cleaning will be a breeze. Make sure you have a clear idea from the store of what care the furniture requires and what happens in the event of an accidental coffee or wine spill.