Experts Recommend The Best Online Resources For Affordable, Good-Looking Outdoor Furniture
After years of apartment living, I’ve finally moved into a place with a small yard area, which means I get to drink my coffee outside in the sunshine each morning. I just need to buy some patio furniture first.
A quick look for umbrella tables and good-looking outdoor rugs reminded me that outdoor furniture can be pretty expensive. To help myself and others refresh an outdoor space without spending every cent, I asked some interior designers for tips on where to buy all-weather gear without breaking the bank — and what to look for when shopping for outdoor settings.
Unlike the fancy living room that no one sits in or the dining room you use once a year, you’re likely going to be using your yard or patio space for cookouts, dinners, sunny days or just hanging out with family. With this in mind, Michelle Gage, founder and creative director of Michelle Gage Interiors, suggests finding pieces that fit your needs and that are durable and relaxing.
“Look at the quality and care of the wood, as well as the comfort of any cushions,” Gage told HuffPost. “Make sure you’re selecting a performance fabric so that the cushions stay looking new for as long as possible.”
When buying larger pieces of outdoor furniture that will last a while, Larina Kase, founder of Larina Kase Interior Design, recommends investing in more mellow tones. “I recommend neutrals for your larger pieces and colorful accents if you enjoy color on items like pillows, side tables, planters or just in your flowers,” Kase told HuffPost via email. “You can keep the style consistent with your interior or try something different since your exterior will have its own environment.”
When mapping out where your outdoor sets will go, Kase recommends using sidewalk chalk or painter’s tape to get a general sense of space and scale. “Generally outside furniture is a smaller scale than interior furniture, so you might be surprised with what you can fit,” she said. “Make sure you have 24 inches for pathways. Also, consider the sunlight. You might want/need a strategically placed umbrella or two.”
To help you set up your backyard oasis, Kase and some design-expert colleagues shared their favorite stores to shop. We threw in a few places that our own editors are shopping, too.
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Perhaps surprisingly, Kase recommended checking out hardware stores. She said you can often find some great items like Adirondack chairs, garden stools and benches and other planting decor to spruce up your space. “I really love planters and enjoy mixing a set of two or three planters of different sizes, textures and colors,” Kase said.
As a result of my own personal shopping, my heart has been stolen by this fringe outdoor umbrella from the big A. It’s a fraction of the price of other fancy umbrellas I’ve been lusting after, and is eligible for free shipping for Prime members. While it may not be your first thought for furniture, Amazon has some super cute outdoor pieces that won’t break the bank.