Okay, there is a lot of patio furniture on the market. Like a ridiculous amount. So, how do you decide what’s right for you? Well, it’s hugely about personal preference – but there are a couple key questions you should be asking yourself, and the salespeople you interact with, on your quest to upgrade your patio.
Question One: How much room do I have to work with?
This will help remove a lot of options from the equation – especially if you have a small deck. You’re not going to put a full sectional on a 6’ x 8’ deck. And on the other side of that coin, you’re not going to put a little loveseat and a chair on a 20’ x 20’ deck. Deciding how much space you want to work with will help you discover what options you have and what configurations you might want to go with.
Question Two: What kind of mood do I want to set?
This is where you really get to start using your imagination. Do you want to focus on eating outside and creating an extension of your dining room? Or, do you want to focus on creating an outdoor living space, mostly for comfort and lounging? The world is your oyster! If you’ve got a ton of outdoor space, why not go for both. Once you know the feel that you’re going for, it’ll help narrow down your options even further.
Question Three: What style do I like?
Maybe you want your outdoor space to be an extension of your home, following the same design elements and themes. Or, maybe you want to go a little crazy – spice things up with some cool colours or different design elements. Deciding on the styles you like can move you even closer to that beautiful outdoor space.
Question Four: What’s my budget?
Unless you’re rolling in Beyonce-sized paycheques, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve got a budget you want to stick to. We totally get that – which is why we made it our goal this year to bring in patio furniture at a number of different price points. Something for everyone - even tiny dinosaurs.
Now that you’ve answered the four most important questions it’s time to get educated. Who knew there was so much to know about furniture? Well lucky for you, we did. We’ve outlined the most important things to know about outdoor furniture.
It’s important to do your research on warranty, as this will probably give a pretty good indication as to the lifespan of a piece of furniture and the price point will probably reflect the length of the warranty.
Mallin furniture, for example, carries a 15-year warranty on their frames, finish, and vinyl strapping under the cushions. What does this mean for you? A patio furniture set that is going to last at least 15 years (and probably a lot longer).
Okay, ask anyone in our stores and you will get an earful about fabric. We’re a bit obsessed with pouring over swatch books, picking out the perfect fabrics for the upcoming season.
Most companies categorize their fabric options by grade. A grade is the most basic, and it goes up from there. Higher grades are going to feature more texture and thicker weaves, they’re also going to be more exclusive and, of course, more expensive. We tend to focus on bringing in C and D grade fabrics – but we keep the prices around the same as they would be typically for lower grade fabrics. Better product for the same price? Seems like a no-brainer.
When you go into a store, ask about the fabrics they’re bringing in. Are they Sunbrella, or another brand of outdoor fabric? Does the fabric carry a warranty separate from the furniture frames? If you’re in the outdoor furniture business, you’ve got these answers in your hip pocket at all times.
This is the most important thing you need to worry about when shopping for patio furniture. If it's not comfy, you're not going to sit in it. Simple as that.
Sit. On. Everything. That's the point of a showroom. Test out everything you like, and make sure it's something you want to sit in every day of our short Canadian summers. Throw your feet up on that ottoman and make sure you like it. It's outdoor furniture, if your shoes are a little dirty it'll just help us show you how easy it is to keep the set clean!
Don't Forget the Accessories
There are so many options when it comes to accessorizing your new patio furniture set. Throw pillows. Outdoor rugs. Fire features. Umbrellas. Outdoor lighting. We could go on all day. Like your spaces indoors, spicing things up with some new throw pillows or some cool lighting is an easy way to feel like you just redid your patio, without buying new furniture every two years.