By Lee Merrill

hen it comes to creating an inviting and stylish outdoor atmosphere, one of the biggest challenges homeowners face is finding outdoor furniture that can withstand the elements. The battle against nature's harshness—be it the scorching sun, relentless rain, or icy cold—demands furniture that not only survives but thrives. However, with a thoughtful selection of materials and dedicated care, it's possible to curate an outdoor living space that not only withstands the weather but also enhances your home's aesthetic appeal. Through careful material choice and regular maintenance, you can make your open-air retreat as enduring as it is welcoming.

Weather the weather by choosing the right materials. Between the humidity, rain and stifling heat, our outdoor furniture is at risk for fading, warping and deteriorating over time. Choose weather-resistant materials such as teak, cedar, aluminum, or synthetic wicker. Teakwood is the preferred wood for outdoor furniture due to its natural oil content which makes it more water-resistant and unattractive to pests. Aluminum is a sturdy but lightweight metal option that holds up to the weather. Wrought iron is a popular metal option that won’t move an inch in high winds, but it’s important to protect wrought iron furniture against rust. Resin and Polywood are other synthetic options that have UV resistance, durability and require minimal maintenance. Emily Kinel of United Tile swears by high density resin for outdoor cabinetry. “High density resin has the beauty of fine wood but is weather-proof and more lightweight. It’s a beautiful way to extend your kitchen space to the outdoors.” Choose fade-resistant and water-resistant fabrics to keep cushions attractive and comfortable for years to come.


A little elbow grease and prevention pay off. In humid climates, outdoor furniture is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. No one wants to sit on tainted seats. Periodic cleaning with vinegar water or mild soap will ward off mold and mildew and protect the structural integrity of your outdoor furniture. Store cushions indoors or in an outdoor cabinet to protect against rain or excessive heat. Furniture covers are wise investments that are much cheaper than replacing weather-damaged furniture. Apply protective coatings or sealants as recommended. Inspect your cushions for wear and tear because rips and holes invite creepy critters to make a home in your cushions. If your furniture does get wet, provide the cushions with some ventilation to dry out quickly. By taking these preventive measures and adopting proper care practices, you can significantly extend the lifespan and maintain the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor furniture.


Get out there and use your outdoor space. Sometimes, life gets away from us and we don’t take the time to enjoy it. If you have an outdoor space, don’t forget to use it. Time outdoors will not only improve your quality of life, but it will also ensure your outdoor furniture is looked after the way it needs to stay spiffy. While outdoor furniture faces its share of challenges, proactive care and smart solutions can keep it in prime condition. By choosing the right materials, implementing regular maintenance routines, and addressing issues promptly, you can ensure that your outdoor furniture continues to provide comfort and style. Embrace these practical solutions to overcome common problems and enjoy your outdoor oasis with confidence. 

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