Choosing Outdoor Furniture



I grew up in an era when lawn furniture meant webbed aluminum lawn chairs and lounges or redwood-stained picnic table sets. We’ve come a long way baby. Today we can choose among an endless array of wood, wrought iron, and cast aluminum pieces, in a wide variety of styles.

Don’t just buy what’s on sale at the home store, but think about the style and colors that will tie your seating areas to the house. Our new Adirondack chairs, for example are paired with 30-year old end “tables” that are actually seats from a discarded picnic set. Once they were all painted the same color teal, they looked like they belonged together.

Color is the great unifier, regardless of the type of furniture. Paint or stain tables and chairs the same color as your shutters, or other trim, and see how they suddenly become visually attached to the house.

Most people like more than one style, but avoid mixing several unrelated outdoor furniture styles together, or it will look like the hodge-podge that it is. Formal houses, such as Colonial or Greek Revival need formal furniture, a la Monet or Luytens wood benches, or old-fashioned white wrought iron; while cottages and farmhouses look best with an informal treatment, such as Adirondack or rustic-looking logs. Sleek, minimalist furniture works best with a contemporary home, while pieces with ornate curlicues flatter a Victorian. Within these broad categories, today’s manufacturers offer many variations. You’re sure to find something you can love for many years to come.

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