Tips for Choosing the Perfect Outdoor Furniture

by Smitty's Furniture

When summer hits, you want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. There are more choices than ever when buying patio furniture, but not all choices are very functional or durable. You want something that can stand up to the elements while looking appealing, to create a beautiful outdoor area you will spend hours in.

Here are some tips to find the right patio furniture for your backyard.

Materials for Patio Furniture

While the little plastic stackable chairs you can see anywhere are cheap and are easy to put away, they rarely last more than one or two seasons, and can be dangerous if they break under you. They also are likely to blow away in strong winds. While there are resins and plastics that can be incorporated into better-quality patio furniture, most people regret just getting the basic plastic options. They aren't comfortable, and can let an otherwise beautiful backyard down, with their lack of elegance and personality.

When choosing patio furniture, start by looking for sturdy pieces that are actually designed to be weather-resistant, comfortable, and long-lasting. Regardless of what patio furniture you end up buying, if you have limited storage space and can't put away your furniture when not in use, consider protective covers.

Metal Furniture

Patio furniture featuring durable metal, such as iron, stainless steel, or aluminum furniture, will last for years, for an excellent investment. Make sure the metal has been treated or coated, or it will rust and leave stains; this is fairly common with furniture that isn't high-quality.

Metal can also get unpleasant in extreme heat, so is best used as a frame with other materials to make the seating more comfortable. Some metals, like iron, can also be heavy, so are best used for pieces you won't need to move around much, or in windy locations.

Coated aluminum is lightweight, study, and hassle-free, so is a good choice. It's resistant to rust and other issues, and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.

Wood Furniture

Any sturdy wood that is treated specifically for outdoor living. Wicker is great - lightweight, comfortable, and durable, especially, colour-fast resin wicker.

Wood offers a natural look, but depending on the wood and specific furniture, will need some extra care. Some will need re-sealing after a while to prevent it from cracking and drying. You can sand and refinish a natural wood piece, however, to keep it looking like new if it does start to age.



Wicker is comfortable, and provides the natural look of wood that is excellent for any outdoor spaces, while being easy to clean. Resin wicker lasts longer than real wicker made from rattan fibres and doesn't fade, making it great for outdoor use.


Sturdy Outdoor Fabrics

The best outdoor furniture is comfortable, as well as durable, and cushions and fabric coverings are excellent for making them plush and restful.

Outdoor cushion covers elevate patio furniture, and let you have that touch of comfort you want, while being suitable for outdoors. Patio furniture cushions do need to be made of sturdy fabrics. Fabrics that are UV resistant, water resistant, and durable are essential, so they don't fade, get mouldy, or degrade quickly.

Patio Furniture Buying Guide

Dining Furniture

When buying outdoor furniture for dining, choose sturdy pieces that won't wobble while you eat. Complete sets are not only aesthetic, but also make sure the chairs fit well and are the right height for the dining tables, to make it easier to eat. Choose easy-to-clean surfaces, since you will be eating off of them.

Side Tables

Consider options beyond a single, basic dining table. Side tables are great for the outdoors as well, for drinks, books, or more casual eating. Just as they are useful in your living room, they can make your outdoor spaces more functional, too.



Think beyond the classic picnic table set-up, to create more relaxed outdoor areas you can really live in. Sectionals are cozy, comfortable, and get used more. Matching or contrasting outdoor cushions add a touch of personality as well as added comfort.

Modern outdoor patio furniture pieces are available in many more styles and colours to fit your backyard aesthetics. Bold, dark or black pieces make a strong statement, while bright colours are cheerful and always right in a garden setting. Lighter colours look airy, and don't absorb as much heat to stay cooler in summer. Whites and beiges also don't show any fading as much, although quality fabrics should be resistant to bleaching.


Also, consider some furniture pieces from your living room, such as an ottoman. A key to finding the right outdoor furniture for you is what works for you inside, as well, just adjusted for outdoor use. Whatever you find works in your family room will work in your outdoor space.


Lounge Seating Area

Don't forget a space for loungers. Under an umbrella or shade, or in the sun, loungers are the quintessential summer patio furniture. A sturdy fabric and frame is critical, but loungers need to be comfortable above all else. Some of the stretchy fabric ones attached to metal frames by springs don't last long, and you can get stiff or sore in them over time. Cushioned ones that have the sturdiness of 'proper' furniture will provide you with the hours of outdoor lounging you are looking for.


Find Pieces to Stretch Your Time Outdoors

Get more out of your backyard. Cool spring and autumn days and late-night gatherings can be wonderful times to stay outside, but you don't want to bundle up excessively to enjoy your outdoor dining and conversation. A fire pit or torches can make all the difference, and allow you to be comfortably outdoors a lot more. You'll probably want umbrellas or awnings in areas of direct sunlight, too.


Find Your Perfect Patio Furniture

Smitty's Fine Furniture has high-quality patio furniture for everybody's tastes, featuring fine craftsmanship and durable materials. Express your design style and enjoy summer in comfort!

Smitty's Fine Furniture is a family-owned furniture store specializing in Canadian made furniture and customized solutions. Visit our locations in Kitchener and Hanover:

 170A Gateway Park Drive, Kitchener, ON

 170 3rd Street, Hanover, ON