When shopping for patio furniture, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure that you're getting the best set for your outdoor space.
First, consider the size and layout of your patio or deck. Measure the area and take note of any unique shape or features, such as different elevations, landscaping or a water/fire feature. This will help you determine how much furniture you need and what types of pieces will fit best.
Next, think about the types of activities you'll be using the patio for. Will you primarily be using it for dining, lounging, or both? If you plan to entertain guests, you may want to consider a larger dining table and more seating options. On the other hand, if you plan to use the patio as a relaxing retreat, you may want to prioritize comfortable seating and a few small tables for drinks and snacks.
Sectionals vs. Deep Seating
Outdoor seating is a great way to enjoy your backyard or patio. Whether you're hosting a BBQ, enjoying a glass of wine, or simply relaxing in the sun, the right seating can make all the difference. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which type of seating is best for your space.
Sectional seating is a popular choice for outdoor spaces because it allows for a lot of flexibility. A sectional is made up of several pieces that can be arranged in a variety of configurations. This means you can create a seating area that is tailored to your specific needs and space constraints. Additionally, sectionals typically come with a variety of different pieces such as corner pieces, middle pieces and armless pieces, making it easy to customize the shape and size of your seating area.
One downside to sectionals is that they can take up a lot of space. Because they're made up of multiple pieces, they can be quite large and may not be the best option for smaller patios or yards.
Deep seating is another popular option for outdoor spaces. It is essentially a type of furniture that is designed for ultimate comfort, often with plush cushions and a deep seat. The deep seating furniture is meant to be used to recline and relax in, much like indoor furniture.
Deep seating is ideal for those who want a more comfortable and luxurious outdoor seating experience. The deep seat and plush cushions make it perfect for lounging, reading, or simply relaxing in the sun. Additionally, deep seating furniture often comes with a variety of different pieces such as chairs, sofas, and ottomans, making it easy to create a cohesive and comfortable seating area.
The material of the furniture is also an important consideration. Will it be exposed to the elements or will it be covered with an umbrella or a roof? Aluminum, steel and HDPE are a good choice for outdoor use because they are rust-resistant and can withstand the elements. Wicker and teak are also popular options, but they require more maintenance and may not age as well.
Cushions and pillows can add comfort and style to your patio furniture. More often, people tend to select timeless, neutral colours for patio cushions and then accent them with the latest trendy colours on toss pillows for an added pop. The downside for cushions is that they require some maintenance to keep them looking clean and fresh and should be stored away in rain. There are waterproof options for cushion fabrics, but those tend to be less comfortable against the skin when compared to the standard. Consider how much time you're willing to spend on upkeep before choosing cushions.
Adirondack/Muskoka chairs are another popular option for outdoor seating. They have a distinct sloping back and wide armrests. They are typically seen as a more rustic and traditional option for outdoor seating, while still being very comfortable. An iconic look at Canadian cottages, modern Adirondack chairs are made from high density polyethylene (HDPE), a recycled plastic material that is durable and virtually maintenance-free. They have a fixed design and shape, which means they may not be as customizable as sectionals or deep seating. They also may not be as comfortable as deep seating with plush cushions. In addition, they are often not as easy to move around and can be quite heavy.
Lastly, think about the overall aesthetic of your patio and choose furniture that complements your personal style and the architecture of your home. Whether you prefer a more traditional or contemporary look, there are plenty of options available to suit your taste.
Outdoor Lighting: Always A Bright Idea
Another important aspect to consider when planning your patio furniture layout is lighting. The right lighting can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, making your patio or deck a pleasant place to be even after the sun goes down.
There are several different types of lighting to choose from, each with their own unique benefits:
Fire Pits: Fire pits and fire tables are another great way to add ambiance to your patio while providing warmth. It can be a great focal point in the seating area and allows you to entertain in the evenings. There are several types of fire pits available, including wood-burning, propane, and natural gas, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.
Ambient and Task Lighting: If you plan to use your patio or deck for dining or entertaining, task lighting can be a great way to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Overhead hanging pendant lights can be used to highlight your dining area, while small accent lights can be used to highlight key features in your patio or deck, such as a water feature or a sculpture.
Ground lighting can be a great way to highlight landscape features for a dramatic effect at night. Wall lighting can be used to illuminate a walkway or provide safe visibility on stairs and around the pool.
When planning your furniture layout, consider how the lighting will complement and enhance the overall aesthetic of your patio or deck. Grouping furniture around a central lighting feature, such as a fire pit or fire table can create a cozy and inviting seating area. Additionally, think about how the lighting will work with your outdoor heater, to create a functional and warm area in your patio.
Outdoor Heating: Extending Your Season
Outdoor heating is a great addition to any outdoor patio, as it allows you to enjoy the space even in cooler temperatures. On average, outdoor heating can give you an extra 5 weeks of your patio season by giving you a comfortable atmosphere as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.
There are a variety of outdoor heating options available, including gas heaters, electric heaters, and even infrared heaters. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to choose the one that best fits your needs.
Gas heaters, for example, are a popular choice for outdoor patios because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. They work by burning propane or natural gas to create heat, and can be controlled with a simple on/off switch.
Infrared heaters are another option to consider, they work by emitting infrared radiation that warms up people and objects directly, which makes them ideal for outdoor spaces. They are also energy efficient, and don’t consume a lot of energy.
Wall Mounted vs. Freestanding Heaters
Wall-mounted heaters and freestanding heaters are both popular options for outdoor heating, but they each have their own set of benefits.
One of the main benefits of wall-mounted heaters is that they take up less space. These heaters can be easily mounted to a wall or ceiling, which makes them a great option for smaller patios or decks. They also tend to be more visually appealing than freestanding heaters, as they can be hidden away when not in use. There are even models of mounted heaters that are made to match your outdoor lighting!
Freestanding heaters, on the other hand, are more versatile and can be easily moved around. They don't require any installation and can be placed wherever heat is needed.
Wall-mounted heaters are often considered to be more energy efficient than freestanding heaters, as they can be directed to specific areas or individuals. This makes them more efficient, as they aren't heating up the entire space. They also tend to have more advanced features like remote or smart controls, which can help you save energy.
Another benefit of wall-mounted heaters is that they are more safe, as they are out of reach and can't be knocked over. This is especially important if you have children or pets running around.
Overall, outdoor heating and lighting can be a great way to extend the use of your outdoor patio, making it a comfortable and inviting space to relax, entertain and enjoy with friends and family. With the right combination of heating and lighting and furniture layout, you can create the perfect ambiance for any occasion.