How To Shop For Outdoor Furniture

outdoor furniture - dining on the patio
SHOP: bradley dining table | swivel rocker | dining chair

Outdoor living is a huge part of how most of us enjoy our summers.   BBQ’s with friends and neighbors. A restful afternoon soaking up sun on the patio. Hanging out by the pool.  Watching the sun set over the lake…

And, if it’s nice enough, we’ll use our outdoor spaces for a large part of spring and fall too.  So we need outdoor furniture that looks great, yes, but functions well and is long-lasting too.

Here’s some ways to make sure that’s the case in your outdoor space:


Much like when designing an indoor room, it’s best to assess and measure your space before heading out to shop.

outdoor furniture - patio with curved sectional and firepit
SHOP: malibu curved sectional | wedge | firepit

Ask yourself questions like:  How many people do I need to comfortably seat?  What type(s) of furniture will most easily accommodate my activities?  Will I be dining outside?  What size is my space? (And once you have those measurements, be sure to take them when you shop.)


Look for outdoor furniture that is truly made for the outdoors – low-maintenance, outdoor-friendly, and durable.

The good news is, with all of the new technology, it’s never been easier to get all of those things and still have great style.

Beautiful patio with by the yard outdoor furnitureShop By the Yard in our stores

Here are some things to consider when exploring your options:

1. High density polyethylene furniture made from recycled materials won’t crack, rot, or splinter.

2. Vinyl/all-weather wicker won’t shred or mold like natural wicker.

3. Furniture with TerraFab™ technology has the look of wood, stone, or concrete, but is all-weather, lighter weight, and flame-resistant.

Outdoor furniture with TerraFab technology. Tables that mimic the look of wood.
SHOP: monterey coffee table | square end table

4. Solution-dyed acrylics, like Outdura or Sunbrella, or solution-dyed polyester, such as Spuncrylic, are specifically made for outdoor use (vs. regular upholstery fabrics).


Aluminum is well-known as the best material for an outdoor frame.  Look for powder-coated, not painted, since painted pieces will chip more easily.

{TIP:  One way to tell if a piece is painted, vs. powder-coated, is to check the corners and edges for telltale drips and globs.}

Outdoor furniture - comfy modern swivel chair on the patio
SHOP: santa maria swivel chair | yellow pillow


If you’ve ever sat on wobbly furniture, you already know it doesn’t exactly lend itself to relaxation.  So, to avoid that uneasy feeling, always check seating for stability before committing.

Also, make sure the base/leg style is appropriate for your particular outside surface. For example, skinny legs can sink into grass quickly and may also get caught between decking boards.


So the key to this whole outdoor furniture shopping experience is really to know what you need, and focus on quality furniture that’s specifically made for outdoor use.

We’ve highlighted some of the great options available and now we’d love to help you create the space you’ve been dreaming of!  Browse outdoor options on our website or shop the complete selection in our showrooms.

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