Luxury Outdoor Furniture Buying Guide

Juliettes Interiors Guide to Buying Outdoor Furniture

Understanding Materials

When selecting luxury outdoor furniture, it’s important to understand the materials of the furniture you are investing in. Materials respond differently to certain climates, which can impact their durability and appearance over time. Choosing the right materials for your outdoor furniture and understanding how to maintain each material is key to making sure your outdoor furniture has a long lifespan.

Woods

Teak

Teak is a popular choice for outdoor furniture due to its adaptability in various climates, including humid, tropical, and dry environments. Its natural resistance to bugs and water makes it a standout choice for outdoor settings.

In terms of care, teak doesn’t demand much. While its natural colour is a golden brown, if left untreated, it can gracefully age into a silver-grey patina over time. However, for those who prefer its initial hue, it can be maintained with teak oil. While rain doesn’t inherently damage teak, it’s essential to ensure the furniture doesn’t stand in water to avoid mould or mildew.

Other woods used for outdoor furniture

Other woods used in outdoor furniture include cedar, eucalyptus, and pine, and more. There are many woods, but these are some of the most common, outside of Teak, and each one presents varying levels of durability. While cedar and eucalyptus boast natural oils that fend off moisture and rot, woods like pine will need treatments for longevity.

It’s a good idea to make sure you are regular sealing or staining these woods to prevent decay. Although these woods are viable choices for outdoor furniture, even with treatment they can still be affected by rot, warping, or cracking when subjected to consistent moisture or extreme dry conditions. As with Teak, prolonged exposure to sunlight might fade their colour and cause them to patinate over time. Some people like this and find it quite beautiful, others prefer the original colour. The original colour can often be restored by re-oiling the wood with the correct products.

Plastic

Plastic outdoor furniture is great due to its versatility for various climates. It’s both a practical and lightweight choice, coping well with extreme heat and colder temperatures. Its maintenance is straightforward: a simple clean with a mild soap should be fine.

However, the downside of plastic is its vulnerability to prolonged sun exposure, which might result in colour fading or brittleness over extended periods. There are ways to restore this colour, for example perhaps respraying it, however this is nowhere near as straightforward as re-oiling a wood finish. Despite being durable and great for weather conditions, it is often overlooked on high-end projects as it is by no means considered a luxury material.

Metals

Aluminium

Aluminium is a metal known for its resistance to rust, and due to this it is particularly suited to coastal, humid, and rainy environments. With minimal maintenance requirements, a simple wipe-down is generally enough to get it clean.

Although inherently rust-resistant, aluminium can display oxidation over time, which may give it a chalky surface appearance. As with plastic and wood, there are ways to treat oxidation and restore the colour with the correct products.

Powder Coated Steel

Powder-coated steel is another excellent material for outdoor furniture, due to its protective layer that protects it against moisture. This makes it suitable for a variety of climates, except highly saline coastal areas where the salty air might compromise the coating.

For maintenance, making sure it is occasionally cleaned and regularly inspected for any chips in the coating are essential. Should the coating get damaged, the exposed steel underneath is at risk of rusting.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is a classic choice for outdoor settings and has been a popular metal choice for years, particularly due to its timeless and sophisticated aesthetic. However, it’s best suited for areas away from the coast or excessive humidity, unless it has a protective finish. Routine checks for rust spots are important, as any exposed iron may rust when exposed to moisture.

Wicker

Wicker has a distinct aesthetic that tends to work best in warmer, drier climates. While traditional rattan can be sensitive to moisture over time which can lead to rot, its synthetic counterpart, polyethylene rattan, offers more resilience against varying weather conditions.

Regardless of the type, both natural and synthetic rattan require routine cleaning to maintain their looks and might fade if exposed to the sun for extended durations.

Style and Aesthetic Considerations

Making the right outdoor space with luxury furniture involves careful consideration of style and aesthetics. Your outdoor furniture should not only reflect your personal taste but also harmonise with the overall design of your outdoor space, from the greenery to the surrounding buildings or structures. When choosing furniture for your outdoor space, consider the architectural style of your home and landscape of your space.

Matching Your Surroundings

Coordinating Outdoor Furniture with Home Interiors

When choosing your outdoor furniture, you should be aiming to select pieces that resonate with the style, colour palette, and materials used in your home’s interiors.

This alignment creates a sense of continuity, blurring the boundaries between your indoor and outdoor living areas. Whether it’s through similar colour schemes, complementary patterns, or similar materials, coordinating your outdoor furniture with your home’s interiors enhances the overall aesthetic and creates a sense of harmony between your indoor and outdoor spaces.

Choosing Furniture That Compliments Surroundings

Consider the natural surroundings of your outdoor space, such as the types of backdrop and environment it sits in, along with the colours and textures that are present. For example, urban settings may call for sleek and modern designs, while rural landscapes may be better suited for traditional or rustic pieces.

By choosing outdoor furniture that complements and enhances these elements, you can create a seamless transition between the man-made and natural environments. Whether it’s through earthy tones that mimic the surrounding foliage or materials that echo the textures of nearby buildings, choosing furniture that complements the aesthetic of your outdoor space adds an extra layer of visual stimulation to your outdoor area.

Modern vs. Traditional Furniture Considerations

The choice between modern and traditional luxury outdoor furniture styles hinges on your personal preferences and the overall theme of your space. Modern designs embrace sleek lines, minimalism, and a contemporary edge that suits sophisticated urban environments. These styles often incorporate innovative materials and bold shapes, adding a touch of avant-garde elegance.

On the other hand, traditional styles exude timeless charm with ornate details, intricate patterns, and classic materials like wrought iron or teak. By assessing your outdoor space’s character and your aesthetic inclinations, you can select the style that resonates most deeply and complements your luxurious surroundings.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Comfort is of course one of the most important things to take into consideration when selecting luxury outdoor furniture, as your outdoor space should not only visually appealing but also cosy and comfortable. As important as getting the looks right are, realistically they are all for nothing if you cannot create a space that you can feel comfortable in.

When exploring seating options, think about things such as cushioned seating, lumbar support, and the angle of recline. Upholstered pieces can provide an added layer of comfort, but be mindful of their maintenance in outdoor conditions.

Upholstered vs. Non-Upholstered Pieces

The choice between upholstered and non-upholstered luxury outdoor furniture depends on your preferences, the intended use of the furniture, and the level of maintenance you’re willing to commit to. Upholstered pieces offer an additional level of comfort, particularly when it comes to lounging and relaxation.

However, it’s important to note that outdoor upholstery requires proper care and protection to withstand the elements. Non-upholstered options, such as teak or metal furniture, provide durability and easy maintenance while still offering comfort through ergonomic design and supportive materials. When making your choice, consider both the comfort and longevity factors to ensure a well-rounded outdoor experience.

Benefits of Cushioned Seating

Opting for cushioned seating in your luxury outdoor furniture is an easy way of adding a layer of comfort and style to your outdoor space. The good thing about cushions is, although some pieces are made specifically with cushions, you can easily accessorise them onto any almost any seating, allowing you to add your own personal touch. Cushions provide a soft and inviting place to sit, enhancing the overall relaxation experience. They can also add a pop of colour or pattern that complements your design scheme.

When choosing cushions, look for high-quality, weather-resistant fabrics that can withstand sun exposure and occasional rain. Keep in mind that proper storage during inclement weather is essential to prolong their lifespan. By going for some high quality cushions that you are able to look after and maintain, you will make sure your outdoor seating remains both comfy and stylish.

Challenges of Maintaining Upholstery Outdoors

While upholstered luxury outdoor furniture delivers plenty of comfort, it comes with the challenge of maintaining its condition in outdoor settings. Upholstery is more susceptible to damage from UV rays, moisture, and dirt compared to non-upholstered materials. To mitigate these challenges, choose fabrics that are specifically designed for outdoor use, as they are resistant to fading and moisture. Using upholstery that is meant for indoor use will likely lead to them being ruined quite quickly.

Regular cleaning, protective covers, and storing cushions indoors during harsh weather can significantly extend the lifespan of upholstered pieces. While they provide a comfortable lounging experience, make sure that you are prepared to invest time and effort into proper maintenance to preserve their style and functionality.

Different Types Of Seating

When picking your luxury outdoor furniture, consider the types of seating you can choose to put into your space, and how they are appropriate for different activities and preferences. Think about the primary function of your outdoor space – whether it’s lounging, dining, entertaining, or a combination of all of these things.

Lounge chairs, sofas, and daybeds provide a comfortable and relaxed environment for unwinding and socialising. Dining sets, dining chairs, and dining tables, on the other hand, offer functional seating for hosting meals and gatherings. Some furniture pieces offer modular or adjustable features, allowing you to customise seating arrangements to suit various occasions. By choosing the seating best suited for what you want to do in your space, you create an inviting outdoor setting that adapts to your needs. There are also bespoke options available if you want something completely custom just to suit your space.

Long-Term Investment Factors

Another important thing to consider are factors that contribute to the lifespan and value long term value of your pieces. Buying outdoor furniture, particularly luxury outdoor furniture, can be a big investment for many people, often bought with the purpose of lasting many years to come. By making, sure of the correct durability, materials, and potential for future upcycling, you ensure that your outdoor furniture remains a valuable asset for years down the line.

You may move properties and want to sell your furniture as the surroundings may be different, or you may just fancy changing things up in a few years. It is always good to take extra care so that if you do decide to do it, your furniture will be in a good condition to do so. Not only this, even if you aren’t planning on ever selling it, it’s always good to make it last as long as possible.

Durability

Durability is an important factor in choosing luxury outdoor furniture that withstands the test of time and changing weather conditions. Choose  materials known for their resistance to wear and tear, such as teak, wrought iron, and high-quality wickers.

These materials not only offer exceptional durability but also require minimal maintenance to retain their appearance and functionality. Additionally, consider furniture constructed using sturdy joinery and quality craftsmanship, as these aspects contribute to the overall longevity of the pieces.

Materials Known for Longevity

Certain materials are renowned for their exceptional longevity in outdoor settings. Teak, for instance, is by far the most popular wood when it comes to outdoor furniture due to its natural oils that make it resistant to moisture and bugs. Wrought iron is another robust option if you aren’t in a coastal location, as it is known for its sturdiness and ability to withstand various weather conditions.

High-quality synthetic wickers are engineered specifically to look and feel like natural materials, and they also offer the advantage of being weather-resistant and low-maintenance. By choosing materials that are inherently durable, you ensure that your luxury outdoor furniture maintains its allure for many seasons. There is plenty of information on which materials are best suited for what climates at the top of this outdoor furniture buying guide.

Construction Methods That Increase Lifespan

Alongside making sure you pick furniture with durable materials, paying attention to construction methods can also enhance the lifespan of your luxury outdoor furniture. Look for furniture that have robust joinery, such as mortise and tenon or dowel joints, which will provide stability and longevity.

Welded frames and reinforced connections are essential for metal furniture as they provide structural integrity which will prolong the lifespan of the pieces. Properly sealed and finished wood pieces are less susceptible to water damage and insect infestations. By investing in well-constructed furniture, you guarantee that your outdoor pieces endure years of use and exposure to the elements. It’s always worth spending a little extra for a higher quality piece if you are looking for something that will last a long time.

Resale and Upcycling

You may not be buying with the intention of ever selling, however take into account a few years down the line you may think differently. The potential for resale and upcycling is an important aspect of your long-term investment in luxury outdoor furniture. High-quality, well-maintained pieces often retain their value, making them much easier items to sell in the second-hand market. Additionally, some furniture designs lend themselves to creative repurposing or upcycling projects.

For example, a bench that is well put together could be transformed into chairs by a skilled carpenter, or a sturdy dining table might find new life as a workspace in a covered outdoor area. By choosing pieces with timeless appeal and versatile designs, you open up possibilities for future reimagining and extending the lifespan of your furniture.

Additional Buying Tips

Testing Furniture Before Buying

It’s always useful to actually see and feel the products before making a purchase if possible. A lot of luxury pieces are often made to order, however if you do have the opportunity,  take the time to test the furniture for comfort and functionality. Sit on chairs, lounge on sofas, and try out any adjustable features. Taking into account the height and dimensions to ensure they are suitable for your space and needs. Testing the furniture in person helps you make an informed decision about its suitability for your outdoor environment.

Seeking Expert Recommendations

Don’t hesitate to seek advice from our friendly expert team if you want to chat about your luxury interior design needs. We can guide you and talk you through each one of our pieces and help you choose the right ones that align with your style preferences, outdoor space, and intended usage.

Balancing Budget with Quality

While luxury outdoor furniture comes with a premium price tag, remember that quality and durability are worth the investment. Strive to find a balance between your budget and the quality of materials and craftsmanship. High-end pieces often provide better performance and longevity, ensuring that your investment stands the test of time.

All items can be produced in any colour, finish, size or fabric

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Contemporary Outdoor Teak Garden Set

Contemporary Outdoor Teak Garden Set

£28,825.00
JMN131 SPECIAL ORDER