Outdoor Living Furniture

Buying and Design Essentials

Outdoor Living Furniture

As the weather starts to warm up, our decks and patios will likely become the main living space for our families, and a prime location for entertainment. Whether you're thinking about hosting friends, neighbors, or gathering the immediate family for dinner, no outdoor space is complete without the right outdoor living furniture.

Creating the perfect outdoor living space is a shopping experience like no other - but do you know all the essential steps involved? Or, how should you layout your deck or patio space once you've bought your patio furniture?

When it comes to building your deck, patio, or backyard, it's not enough to just buy the first outdoor patio furniture set you lay your eyes on - you have to decide what pieces truly fit your lifestyle, so you're making the smartest investment for your space. It's important to create a patio or deck that's optimal for entertaining, comfort, and design.

So, if you want to learn more about the essential steps involved in creating your outdoor space, take a look at our favorite outdoor furniture buying and design tips. You'll be lounging in style on your new outdoor patio furniture before you know it.

When's the Best time to Buy Outdoor Furniture?

Before you can start enjoying your patio space, it's important to have the right patio furniture. If you don't have any, or your previous set is getting a little worn, it's time to give yourself the ultimate outdoor upgrade. There are so many beautiful types of outdoor furniture, and furniture materials available at our stores, the fun will begin before you even step outside!

But maybe you're wondering when you should start browsing for outdoor dining furniture if you're already itching to eat outside?

When it comes to buying outdoor living furniture, there is no "right time" to purchase. If you see something you love, whether it's a spacious dining set or quaint bistro set for two, buy furniture that speaks to you.

However, there are a few ideal times of the year that will help you high-quality furniture, at all the best prices.

Spring Selections

Springtime is when we begin migrating outdoors, and all of the top outdoor designers begin releasing their new patio furniture lines. You'll be able to flip through brand new collections of weather-resistant dining tables, outdoor sofas, and lounge chairs from some of our favorite designers such as:

  • Royal Teak
  • Castelle
  • Lloyd Flanders
  • Polywood
  • Gensun
  • And so many more!

The advantages of springtime furniture shopping are that you'll have a variety of options to choose from, and can find all the latest accessories and decor to match your space. You'll be able to continue customizing your space well into the summertime, or have it ready to go before your first outdoor BBQ! Springtime offers plenty of flexibility and design choices.

Fall Furniture Finds

At the end of every summer season, you might not find the exact same variety, but you'll be able to snag amazing outdoor patio furniture sets at great prices. Fall outdoor furniture purchases are typically amazing finds - at reduced prices between 30% to 70% off! At Casual Furniture World, we have our very own outdoor furniture clearance center, which is filled with designer pieces at phenomenal prices! You'll be able to find comfortable adirondack chairs, or a linear fire pit, at highly affordable rates.

Types of Comfortable and Stylish Outdoor Patio Furniture

Once you begin your outdoor furniture buying journey, it's important to explore all your options - and there is a lot to choose from! Outdoor living furniture comes in many shapes, sizes, and styles. But do you know all the furniture possibilities that await you?

There are dozens of different outdoor furniture pieces you can browse through, but rather than do all the research on your own, we've compiled a list of some must-have seating and dining options, along with various outdoor accents.

  • Chairs
    • Adirondack Chairs
      • These comfortable, yet durable, everyday outdoor seats are perfect for resting a drink and watching the sun go down.

    • Rocking Chairs
      • Sit back and relax on your back porch in this classic outdoor seat. Rocking chairs are great for a quiet evening at home or entertaining a crowd.

    • Dining Chairs
      • A diverse outdoor chair, great for every entertainment possibility. Outdoor dining chairs are there for gathering around the dinner table, enjoying a meal, or can be pulled up to your fire pit if you're hosting a last-minute gathering. Paired with the right outdoor cushions, these comfortable seats come in groups of six or more.

    • Hammocks
      • Admiring your backyard view has never been more fun in a hammock. This woven "seat" is perfect for an at-home date night, or even reading with your kids after a day of backyard fun.

    • Chaise Lounges
      • Perfect for the poolside, or your patio, chaise loungers were made for sunbathing, and small talk. Have friends come over while you're grilling out to catch a few rays before dinner.

    • Patio Ottomans and Stools
      • A stool or ottoman might not be your go-to place to perch, but these are great for last-minute guests, resting your feet, and drink trays!

  • Tables
    • Dining Table
      • A classic and elegant feature that is an essential piece of patio furniture. Out of every patio table, dining tables can carry conversations, share meals, and serve appetizers to a crowd with ease.

    • End Table
      • End tables are more than just a place to perch a drink! You can use end tables to hold decor, outdoor lighting, and snacks. They're the perfect way to complete your outdoor living space.

    • Coffee Table
      • Adding a coffee table to your outdoor patio set is great for entertaining a crowd, or having quiet nights at home. You can serve drinks and snacks, or play games as a family. Plus, it doesn't have to be an oversized piece of furniture - we have a variety of sizes suited for your space.

    • Fire Pit Table
      • One of our favorite pieces of outdoor technology are fire pit tables. The secret to this stylish, but warm piece of furniture is simple! With the push of a button, located on a smart remote that comes with your table, and you'll be able to open a leaf within your table, and set it ablaze.

  • Sofas
    • Sectional
      • A sectional sofa is perfect for those of you who entertain all the time. Their plush and relaxing layout is ideal for spending hours outdoors with loved ones.

    • Traditional
      • The traditional, three-person seater sofa is great for small family gatherings. You'll be able to sit, play board games, and stargaze with your kids, without overcrowding your deck or patio.

    • Loveseat
      • A loveseat is a great furniture set for couples, or if you want another informal entertaining space on your deck. They're perfect for two, but still provide enough room for one to stretch out and relax.

  • Benches
    • An outdoor bench is great for your garden, pool, and patio. You'll be able to use it for seating, resting decor or trays, even potted plants! Benches are a diverse piece of furniture, that's great for any patio space.

  • Dining and Bistro Sets
    • Dining Set
      • A traditional dining set is great for families who love dinner time, BBQs and spend all their time outdoors. You can craft and play during the day, with plenty of room for the whole family, and then switch gears when it's time for dinner. Most dining sets sit anywhere between four, to twenty, comfortably, depending on the type of dining set you select.

    • Bistro Set
      • If you're looking to entertain, without the formality, a simple bistro set is a great option for your patio. Bistro sets can be built for two, or four, so you can still have a nice dinner outside. However, take advantage of this table and use it to hold your delicious weekend spread, if you don't want to have a traditional sit-down dinner.

  • Pergolas and Umbrellas
    • Pergolas
      • Trying to shade your space, but still enjoy nature? While they're not a typical piece of patio furniture, pergolas are ideal for shading your deck or patio. Our wooden pergolas are ideal for keeping you cool on the hottest summer day.

    • Umbrellas
      • If you want protection, but not full coverage, umbrellas are the perfect outdoor accessory. They'll keep you cool, but when the sun goes down, it can be easily folded and put away.

If you love the look of a formal dining table and chairs, but still want a comfortable loveseat for relaxing, our team of designers will work with you to create your perfect space! Simply schedule a design consultation with us, so we can take measurements of your deck or patio, discuss your furniture needs, and start finding pieces that work for you!

The Best Outdoor Living Furniture Materials

We believe there is something for everyone, and when it comes to your outdoor living furniture, not all materials were created equal. We carry nothing but high quality, durable, outdoor patio furniture in all three of our store locations, but it's always good to know a little bit about each material before you buy it. You want to make sure you're making a smart, long term investment.

Depending on your taste, and overall outdoor vision, here are our favorite outdoor furniture materials, known for their durability and distinctive appearance.

  • Synthetic Wicker
    • Known as one of the best furniture materials for any patio, synthetic wicker is extremely durable and has a unique woven design. While a traditional wicker is known to become worn down over time, synthetic wicker can go the distance, while still maintaining it's classic appearance. How is this possible? All high-quality synthetic wicker is made of HDPE (High-density polyethylene). That makes synthetic wicker highly resistant to harsh weather and UV exposure. These properties allow synthetic wicker to retain its appearance and avoid becoming more "weathered" wicker after a few years outdoors. This way, you can still have that classic patio look, without compromising on quality.

  • Poly / HDPE
    • Poly furniture is stylish, tasteful, and environmentally friendly - what more could you ask for! What makes poly so unique is that it's made from recycled plastic lumber, which means your furniture is highly sustainable and scratch resistance. No matter your color or style preferences, poly comes in a variety of options, so you could have one of everything, or keep things neutral if you wanted. Plus, at Casual Furniture World, most of our Poly furniture features a 20-year warranty - so you can sit down and rest easy.

  • Teak Wood
    • Out of all our furniture materials, teak is best known for its beauty and incredible longevity. Teak is particularly unique because of its natural oils, which give it a rich appearance. These oils also act as a sealant for teak wood, so it's less prone to rotting and cracks. This makes teak a top contender if you want a furniture set for decades to come. If treated regularly, teak's coloring can stay a warm, rich brown, or it will fade into a more natural silver-gray patina - both are exceptionally beautiful.

  • Wrought Iron
    • If you love a traditional patio appearance, wrought iron is the perfect material choice. Newer, modern wrought iron furniture still maintains it's well known classic appearance, but it's built with a blend of metal materials, which make today's wrought iron easier to maneuver. Wrought iron is very dense and durable, which makes it a great furniture buy, but you should still use furniture covers to protect your beautiful set.

  • Aluminum
    • Aluminum furniture is stylish, sleek, and a highly popular furniture choice for a number of reasons. It's lightweight design and inability to rust make it ideal for patios that face a variety of elements throughout the year. It can sit outside all year long, and look the same for years to come. Plus, it's ability to be molded, shaped and cast in multiple ways gives you plenty of design freedom - every piece will be unique.

  • Stainless Steel
    • Stainless steel is known for keeping it's cool and being pretty comfortable to sit back and relax in. Even during hot summer days, it won't get overheat - but it can still get a little hot to the touch. If you like to rearrange your patio for entertaining, stainless steel is ideal for lifting because it's completely hallowed. An added bonus? High quality 304 or marine grade stainless steel doesn't rust! If you need furniture that can truly go the distance, stainless steel is the choice for you.

One thing to keep in mind above everything else is your furniture's durability. The last thing you want is to compromise on quality for such a big investment. It just so happens we have an eBook that covers outdoor furniture material durability, featuring the six materials we listed above. The best part? Its completely free and yours to keep! Check out The 6 Most Durable Outdoor Furniture Materials for yourself!

Essential Outdoor Furniture Buying Tips

Before you can set up, rearrange, and enjoy your beautiful outdoor patio furniture, you have to go out and buy the set that speaks to you! Once you've narrowed down what type of furniture you'd like to have on your patio or deck, and the material that suits your taste, it's time to go shopping. But before you go, we have a couple of suggestions that will help simplify your experience and expedite the process.

Before you go outdoor furniture shopping, remember:

  • Measurements Matter
    • It's important to record your patio measurements, so we can better serve you while you shop! However, if you'd rather get helped beforehand, you can schedule a complimentary at-home design consultation with one of our designers. We'd be happy to help you!

  • Sunlight Determines the Space, and Layout
    • If you get a lot of sun exposure on your deck or none at all, it's important to think about how you can protect your furniture, and yourself! Some outdoor accessories, like umbrellas and pergolas, are going to be helpful if you get blinded by those UV rays. We'll discuss this more in-depth when you're ready to shop.

  • Think of Your Space's Function
    • Are you someone who entertains all the time, or loves having family BBQs? Do you host weekly pool parties or keep the family close by? It's important to have a vision for your space prior to purchase, so we can better assist you with your designs.

  • Bring Pictures or Videos
    • Pictures and videos are great to reference while you shop - plus our designers and sales associates will be able to help you find a style or layout that matches your vision.

The truth is, there is actually a lot of work that goes into your outdoor furniture shopping experience - those tips are just a glimpse into the pre-shopping preparation! If you want an essential shopping checklist, we have just the thing - our must-have Outdoor Checklist goes in-depth about how to prep and purchase your outdoor furniture with ease!

Space Matters: Find the Best Outdoor Living Furniture Layout

Once you've found the furniture of your dreams, it's time to create your space, and that all begins with the right outdoor furniture layout . The way you arrange your furniture can be formal, informal, asymmetrical, whatever you prefer - but we do have a couple of suggestions that will help your space flow a little smoother.

  • Find a furniture piece that excites you, and use it as your outdoor focal point
  • Be mindful of your patio arrangement - you don't want your furniture getting into people's way!
  • Make the space feel open and inviting
  • Create an environment that feels like home
  • Arrange your space in a way that's cohesive but comfortable

Every space is unique, but your primary goal should be making your space feel open and welcoming. In order to reach that goal, here are a few layout ideas for a variety of different outdoor spaces

  • Patios
    • Make this a multi-functional space, that's perfect for hosting a crowd, or having a small family dinner. A small dining table, and informal seating area, are diverse enough for any social gatherings. Simply create two separate areas that can be used at any time. Plus, lightweight furniture like stainless steel or wicker will make your patio easy to rearrange on a moment's notice, when you're having an outdoor BBQ.

  • Decks
    • Because every deck is a little different, keep the layout simple and classic. Go for a traditional sofa or loveseat, and compliment the space with a few armchairs and outdoor pillows. You'll still have plenty of room for your grill or fire pit, but won't overcrowd your space.

  • Backyard
    • There is so much potential with an entire backyard - so use that space wisely! Have an oversized sectional as your primary seating arrangement, but place a love seat or bistro in another area of your deck. This way you're creating multiple entertainment spaces, so your guests can sit back and relax wherever they want.

  • Porch
    • Because a porch is a combination of the indoors and outdoors, make this space comfortable and functional. A few rocking chairs, a coffee table, and a rug create an inviting space that's perfect for sipping morning coffee while reading the paper. The key is to use pieces that are functional but won't overwhelm the confined area.

  • Pool
    • With so much space, there are a lot of possible layouts. While it might be tempting to commit to nothing but chaise loungers, use this space as a dining option as well. Even if you keep it quaint, a nice bistro set or coffee table and chairs are a great way to enjoy your pool when you don't want to swim.

For more layout advice, check out our essential outdoor layout ideas and tips, or schedule a design consultation. The possibilities are truly endless.

Complete Your Patio with Outdoor Furniture Accessories

While furniture shopping is an exciting journey, it's only half the fun. In order to truly complete your outdoor space, you have to have the complementary accessories to go with it. Your outdoor accessories can truly bring a level of comfort, and style, to your patio that you've never experienced before.

Some of our must-have favorites include:

  • Outdoor Rugs
    • Outdoor rugs bring a touch of home to your porch or patio. They're great for keeping your space clean and tying your color scheme altogether.

  • Outdoor Pillows
    • What space is complete without the right pillows? At Casual Furniture World we offer a wide variety of unique pillows for your sofas and chairs, and even make our own! You can create and customize beautiful pillows, from the most durable outdoor fabrics on the market.

  • Outdoor Cushions
    • When it comes to your patio, you should never compromise on comfort, which is why we offer custom cushion services for all our outdoor cushions. This way, you can find exactly what you want the first time you shop. Plus, if you ever experience a rip or unexpected weather damage, we'll repair or replace them - free of charge.

  • Blankets and Throws
    • Summer nights can get a little chilly, so it's great to have a blanket or throw handy when you need it. Plus, they can add a pop of color, and complement your cushions, while keeping you warm.

  • Outdoor Lights and Lanterns
    • When the sun goes down, the lights come on! Using solar-powered UV lights and lanterns adds charm to your backyard, and ensures your lights never run out of power! They'll soak up the sun's rays, and stay lit all night long, so you can sit and watch the stars.

Fast and Easy Outdoor Furniture Cleaning Tips

Once you have the right outdoor furniture, custom cushions, and outdoor accessories, what more could you need? A quick cleaning and maintenance routine!

While cleaning and care can be a chore, it's essential for protecting your investment for years to come. If you need a few quick cleaning fixes before company arrives, but don't have time to thoroughly clean up your furniture it's not a problem - we can get your backyard party-ready in no time.

  • Brush off Dirt and Debris
    • It's easy for pollen, dirt, and leaves to land on top of your furniture if you don't cover it often. The first step in cleaning your furniture is clearing off excessive dirt. Just use a rag, or even your hand, to clear off anything that's sitting on your furniture.

  • Wipe down Arms, Seats, and Backs
    • Use a multipurpose cleaner, or a little water and dawn dish soap, to wipe down the arms, seats, and backs of your furniture. If you have cushions, you don't have to worry about the seat - but your guests will definitely rest their hands and arms all over your furniture. It's important to clean these areas thoroughly, so your guests don't prop their elbows on an armful of pollen. The same thing goes for your dining, coffee, and end tables.

  • Rotate Your Cushions
    • It's a good idea to rotate your cushions every so often, so they retain their shape. Luckily, Casual Furniture World's cushions are designed to preserve their shape, and stuffing, for years to come, so you shouldn't have to worry about it very often. But, if you want to optimize them for comfort and longevity, rotate them once a month.

  • Cover Once You're Done
    • In order to keep your furniture and cushions clean, cover them the second you're headed indoors! You don't want rain, high winds, or dirt getting all over your investment. While all our furniture is weather and wind-resistant, it's still best to cover and protect it when it's not being used.

For an in-depth look at seasonal cleaning and maintenance, we've created two helpful guides, guaranteed to preserve the look and feel of your furniture:Four Essential Steps to Outdoor Furniture Maintenance and  How to Create and Care for Your Outdoor Furniture Cushions.

If you feel informed, excited, and are ready to invest in your outdoor living furniture, stop by your local Casual Furniture World store! Our team of designers are excited to help you create your outdoor space!