How To Create The Ideal Outdoor Living Space

A beautifully designed patio or deck, including carefully selected patio furniture, is not a matter of chance. It takes a bit of creative thinking and planning. The good news is — it’s fun, and not all that hard to do!

Wind Sectional Seating

Designing Your Space

Designing your outdoor space begins by deciding how you are going to use your area. Think about the Big Three – conversation, dining and relaxing. These determine what furniture you’ll want, which accessories are necessary to stay comfortable and how well you are set up to entertain guests. If you like to enjoy some coffee or wine with family and friends, then chairs that are more upright and smaller tables are ideal, along with a fire pit if you like to hang out in the evening.

If you spend a lot of time reading or napping on lazy afternoons, a sofa, chair with an ottoman or chaise lounge  are perfect for you. And if you love throwing full-blown dinner parties outdoors, a stylish dining set will have your guests raving.

Choosing A Style

Outdoor furniture, just like interior furniture, comes in all kinds of styles, with something to match everyone’s taste. Whether you want to develop a casual look, or you’re going after a sleek, contemporary feel or have your heart set on a romantic European effect, you’ll find what you’re looking for in our variety of Collections

It is also important to think about the entirety of your patio or deck — its layout, hardscape and landscape design, outdoor kitchen, fireplace design, lighting and color palette. The existing design of each of these should complement the style of furniture you’re shopping for.

Choose Your Material

Material has a significant influence on style — think of material and style as close cousins. So, as you shop, keep the following in mind.

Teak

Among our most popular items are teak anything — tables, chairs, lounges —and for good reason. Teak offers an unbeatable combination of sophisticated style, durability and “warm” texture. Whether you’re attracted to teak’s natural look, or its weathered style, it’s a great choice for your outdoor furniture because of its strength, durability and natural resistance to mold and rot.

Bali by Summer Classics

Wicker

All-Weather Wicker is a synthetic polyethylene fiber which is impervious to the forces of both Mother Nature and your day to day use. It is fade-resistant in the sun. crack-resistant in the cold and will not rust. This form of outdoor furniture is a smart and trendy choice for outdoor furniture.

Rio Sectional by Emerson

All-Weather Wicker is a synthetic polyethylene fiber which is impervious to the forces of both Mother Nature and your day to day use.  It is fade-resistant in the sun. crack-resistant in the cold and will not rust. This form of outdoor furniture is a smart and trendy choice for outdoor furniture. 

Aluminum

If you are looking for the ultimate in durability, you’ve found it with our cast Aluminum products. 

Cast Aluminum furniture cannot rust, is extremely durable and long lasting. It requires minimal maintenance and is comfortable with or without cushions.

When you’re thinking about material, keep maintenance needs in mind. Wouldn’t you rather be enjoying your furniture rather than maintaining it? Most teak, aluminum, and all-weather wicker pieces can take whatever our Southern California weather throws at them. High-quality furniture made of these materials will look terrific for years.

Vertice by Castelle

Keep Your Interior Design In Mind

Odds are, your taste in outdoor furniture matches what you like in interior design. So, take a look at your interior design with a fresh eye. How is your interior decorated — contemporary, European, eclectic? What colors predominate? Now think of your outdoor living space as an extension of your interior — with the opportunity to decorate more boldly in both color and style! You want the outdoor design to complement but not be constrained by the interior design.

The light outside is more vibrant, so bright colors will fit right into the colors of nature. Don’t be overly concerned about sun damage — with modern sun-resistant fabrics, you can let your imagination run wild when it comes to accessories, especially pillows and cushions. Even the material available in outdoor furniture is surprisingly versatile.

Pay Attention To Small Spaces

Balconies and out-of-the-way gardens offer great opportunities to create smaller, intimate seating areas. When you design these spaces to complement your main seating areas, you’ll find that these garden getaways will invite you outside time and again. Check out our Bistro Collections for a little inspiration! 

Equinox Bistro by Barlow Tyrie

Try Before You Buy

We can’t emphasize this one enough: Patio furniture is very personal, and comfort is subjective. That’s why it is so important to take the time to relax and sit back in your furniture before you buy. You’ll find that you and your guests will truly enjoy comfortable patio furniture and look forward to spending hours outdoors. On the flip side, less comfy patio furniture — just like interior furniture — may look wonderful but it won’t invite anyone to sit back and relax.

Invest In Quality

“You get what you pay for” is never more true than for outdoor furniture. It is, after all, going to be out in nature, even if it’s largely protected by umbrellas, patio covers or even slip covers. High-quality furniture is simply more durable and provides greater value over time. Plastic chairs or side tables may look fine for a while, but after a while they will brittle and lose their vibrant coloring.

Here are some tips for spotting high-quality furniture:

  • Check the finish. Wood furniture should be smooth and free of flaws. Run your hand over the table top or chair arm — you’ll be able to instantly appreciate a high-grade finish because of its satiny tactile feel.
  • Inspect the paint. Wrought iron furniture should have a uniform finish with impeccable paint. And all areas should be painted — no bare spots!
  • Look closely at the wicker. Modern wicker furniture should include finishing material composed of a solid, polyester resin-based paint. That’s what makes the latest wicker furniture that's exceptionally flexible as well as durable
  • Pay attention to welds. If you favor metal based furniture, inspect the welds — joints should be tight, well-fitted and fairly smooth.
  • Maintain your standards. Evaluate your outdoor patio furniture the same way you would indoor furniture. It should feel solid and comfortable when you sit in it. You should be proud to have your guests relax in style and comfort while you entertain.

Keep Warm During The Evening

Outdoor Patio Heaters

Even summer evenings can get cool in Southern California. To ensure that you and your guests are comfortable all evening along, consider placing an outdoor heater or two in strategic spots around the deck or patio.


Protect Your Furniture

Outdoor Patio Furniture Covers

Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about excess humidity or many summer thunder showers here in Southern California — they take a toll on outdoor furniture. Still, you can add years to the life of your patio furniture by shading it with a large umbrella. And when winter rolls around, either store it or invest in some high-quality furniture covers

Keep these tips in mind as you shop and you’re well on your way to designing the ideal outdoor living space for your patio or deck — guaranteed to provide you and your guests with countless hours of memorable entertainment.