Outdoor Furniture: Which Type Is For You?

By: Seora Zamila

For many homeowners, emphasis is laid on designing the interior of their houses to perfection. Providing a comfortable and inviting place to get together, well decorated homes can be a haven for many. But what about the outdoors? Does the garden complement what the interior has to offer? A well planned garden or yard can be equally inviting and comfy and says a lot about a homeowner.

Gardens are a mini Eden where flowers and trees are left to grow, not only providing a colorful view of the outdoors but also acting as a haven for birds, butterflies and insect life. For humans, their purpose is more to titillate the senses and provide a calm space to relax. To do that, proper outdoor furniture is required so that one can stretch out and take time to breathe in the fresh air.

Garden furniture can take on different forms from being made out of wood with intricate designs to plastic or metal. The choice is left up to the homeowner although matching furniture with the type of garden one has can make a lot of difference.

Wood: What is there to say about wood that hasn't already been said? It's beautiful, natural and hardy which is why it has remained among the top choices for garden furniture since years past. Wooden furniture components can be made out of virtually any type of wood although cypress is largely used as it is resistant to decay.

Wrought iron: Like wood, wrought iron has a long and rich history. It can be made to look light and whimsical if wrought into delicate patterns and painted a light shade or it can be made to look solid. To protect the iron from rust, it is coated with a couple of layers of paint.

Aluminum: Aluminum offers homeowners an affordable garden furniture option. Unlike iron, it is light weight and looks good painted in bright colors. And, like iron, it must have a powder-coated finish to protect it from moisture, heat and dust.

Plastic: Plastic is cheaper and lighter than aluminum. It is created to suit different décor preferences and like aluminum, can be painted in various hues.

Sling: Sling furniture is made by fitting fabric onto a metal or wooden frame. Those of a higher quality are able to bear greater weights and can last for several years.

Rattan: Rattan is a common furniture material and is known for its light and airy quality. Made of palm, it can be painted and designed into various styles. Due to its resistance to splintering, it is also used to make handicrafts and build small houses.

Fiberglass: Fiberglass is pricier than plastic or rattan as it is very durable and able to bear hard weather. Its strength-to-weight ratio is greater than most materials although it is very light weight.

Steel: Steel furniture is inexpensive and works well for homeowners who don't have money to burn. It's cheaper than aluminum and doesn't corrode if subjected to layers of protective coating. Another durable material under the steel category is stainless steel, more commonly used in construction. It doesn't stain and is extremely strong. It also comes in various finishes which include polished, brushed, pearl blasted and natural finishes.

Concrete: If you want furniture that doesn't have to be moved from place to place, then concrete is your answer. Extremely heavy and long-lasting, its surface is sealed to prevent moisture from soaking in. It's perfect for homeowners who're designing a permanent seating area outdoors.

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