During this long, snowy winter, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching outdoor furniture and setting up trade accounts to be able to offer some of the finest site furnishings to my clients at great prices. Here is a primer on the different materials available for outdoor furniture, and some advice on what to avoid.
Teak: This classic, tropical hard wood, is known for its natural beauty, and its weather, salt, sun and insect resistance. New teak is a golden color, but that color will weather over time to a silvery grey. Solutions can be applied to protect the golden color, or instantly weather it to grey. Look for sustainably harvested teak that has not been pre-painted or pre-stained (which will result in cracking, peeling, and inconsistent weathering).
Woven: This is a general term that includes fibers woven together to create a rigid or semi-rigid structure. There is the type of fiber to consider (rattan, resin, or other synthetic fibers), and the style of weaving (it can be open or tight, traditional or contemporary). Indoor wicker, typically made of rattan, will not hold up outdoors. So, look for “all weather wicker” options. I particularly love when wicker is combined with teak.
Sling: This is a great category of furniture where there is a structural frame (typically of teak or stainless steel) and seating material made from a woven synthetic. A lighter weight choice, these can be easy to stack, fold, or bring in and out of doors if needed.
These are just a few of the options for quality, stylish outdoor furniture.
Of course, there are tons of choices for cushions and fabrics, but I’ll save that for the next post!