How to Choose Deck Furniture

By: Richard Vande Sompel

The style and allure of any area of the home is dependent upon the way that the entire space is pulled together. The choice in particular of deck furniture helps set the style for this outdoor living space. No matter what style of furniture is preferred it is very important that it is comfortable, versatile and inviting so that family members and guests are enticed to go out onto the deck to participate in a wide variety of activities.

The architectural design of a home should make some suggestions concerning an appropriate style for any outdoor furnishings. The furniture located in adjacent indoor rooms may also provide clues. It is an effective choice to use the same furniture style indoors and out or select a contemporary style. No matter what type of furniture is selected it should definitely be well built, comfortable and suited to the needs of the family members and their lifestyle.

A small deck with a few large furniture pieces will seem cluttered and crowded. Small scale furniture on a large deck will seem to be lost. It is most important to consider size when making a comparison of furniture styles. Adirondack chairs are comfortable. However, they do take up a great deal of space. Three equally inviting, conventional chairs can fit into the space occupied by 2 Adirondacks.

If the outdoor living space is blessed with a spectacular view from the deck, it might be adantageous to purchase bar height chairs and tables to make the most of it. High deck railings can block much of the view for deck occupants sitting in conventional height chairs but in bar height chairs they will easily be able to see over them.

Expansion seating is a means to save space and money. If only one table and 4 to 6 chairs are needed on a day-to-day basis and parties are hosted only occasionally, do not expend the furniture budget on a huge table and a stack of extra chairs. For special occasions there are alternative methods to expand seating and table requirements in a practical and economical manner.

Buy good quality stacking or folding chairs to use when needed. Move dining room or kitchen chairs outdoors for evening celebrations or large groups. Purchase a hollow core door and place it on 2 sturdy sawhorses. Cover it with an extra large tablecloth to create a festive style area for food and beverages and seating space to spare.

Where wind on a deck may be a potential problem the options for heavier types of furniture are cast aluminum, wrought iron and teak. Lightweight plastic or aluminum furniture is basically too easily moved by a strong wind.

On a deck where sudden gusts of wind are a regular occurence, the purchase of a glass topped table might not be a wise choice. Wind is perfectly capable of tipping over a glass topped table or at least lifting up the glass and breaking it if it is not fastened to the base.

If a glass topped table is a must, look closely as to how the glass is fastened to the base. Find out also how much it would cost to replace the top in the event that it is broken or scratched. Also consider whether winter storage for the glass top is recommended. This would mean there would be the added chore of getting the heavy glass top indoors and making a decision as to where it would be stored.

Probably the best advice regarding the selection and purchase of deck furniture is to try it out before buying it. Spend some time actually sitting on the various makes and models of chairs at local garden centers or patio and pool supply outlets. What feels comfortable is a matter of individual taste and body size. Test whether the chairs are the correct height and size. Check whether they are easy to get into and out of.

Adirondack chairs are popular choices. However, older family members and guests may have a great deal of difficulty with them. In some cases homeowners choose to purchase furniture from a catalog or over the internet. This unfortunately prevents them from testing out various designs which would help them to focus on what feels most comfortable and narrows down the many options that are available on the market today.

The process of choosing deck furniture can be a pleasant task which when completed will go far to help make the deck an inviting place on which to enjoy a wide variety of activities in comfort and style.

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