Your outdoor deck or deck is an extension of your home. You could host guests, relax with your morning coffee, play with the kids, and more, all outside on your deck. So why not treat that space with the same care and consideration that goes into designing your inside living space?
There are many decisions to be made when it comes to outdoor living design, but one of the most important considerations is furniture. Outdoor furniture comes in many different configurations, materials, shapes, styles, colours… you name it! Choosing the right kind of furniture for your lifestyle takes some research, however we have put together this Outdoor Furniture Buying Guide to walk you through the steps to create a sweet and affordable outdoor setting space that will be the envy of all your guests!
Let’s start at the beginning!
Once you decide you want to purchase furniture for your deck, the next question you should ask yourself is a very important one: How do I want to use my outdoor space?
If you and your family enjoy dining outside, you’ll want to consider purchasing a table. If you typically host a lot of guests, you may want to consider a big dining table. If entertaining isn’t your thing, but you like to enjoy the fresh air from time to time, you might fare best with a few lounge chairs. In other words, your deck should reflect your lifestyle, so take some time to consider how you’ll be using your deck before making any decisions on the type of furniture that would suit you best.
Another important question is how much space do you have to work with? Can your deck fit a lounge set and a dining set? Before you can choose what kind, and how much outdoor furniture you want, you need to consider the size of your space.
Once you determine the desired usage for your deck and how much space you have work with, there are plenty of different types of outdoor furniture for you to choose from.
Dining sets are ideal for hosting meals, be it with your entire extended family or just your significant other. Depending on the amount of people you plan on typically hosting, dining tables come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you’ll be able to find the perfect set for your space. Dining sets include a dining table and dining chairs, and come in a variety of styles and materials.
Lounge sets are made up of any combination of chairs, sofas, chaise lounges, coffee tables, and end tables. Think of your living room set up, but outside! Lounge sets come in a variety of materials and are often cushioned for added comfort. The make a great hub for your entertaining space, providing seating for your guests and a place to gather away from the dining table.
You can achieve backyard perfection without purchasing an entire deck furniture set. Individual seating options are available so you can mix and match to create your ideal space. Lounge chairs, chaise lounges, loveseats, benches, sofas, and swings are all great seating options for your space (not to mention dining chairs to go with your table!). Consider even having a hammock or an outdoor bean bag that will give you that perfect afternoon nap, that feeling of relaxation or that sense of escape you've come to the right place. The different seating options are available in a variety of materials, colours, finishes, and sizes, so you can create a unique vibe on your deck.
You might typically think of a dining table when you imagine a backyard deck, but there are many different types of tables you can incorporate into your outdoor space. Coffee tables, bar tables, fire pit tables, bistro tables, chat tables, console tables, end tables… the possibilities are endless! Each type of table ranges in size, height, and function, so be sure to explore each type of table to see what would work best with your usage and space.
If you like to enjoy your outdoor space but sometimes need a break from the sun, incorporate an umbrella into your design. Umbrellas come in different styled, sizes and shapes, and tons of fun colours to customize your deck. Some deck tables have an umbrella hole in the centre where you can place your umbrella to shade guests seated at your table. Umbrellas can also be positioned with an umbrella base or stand to be placed near a lounge area. Some umbrellas even have tilt mechanisms, so you can position your umbrella to move along with the trajectory of the sun!
Outdoor heaters are a great, safe way to warm your deck on a chilly summer night. If you live in an area with cold temperatures, an outdoor heater will give you the ability to enjoy your deck for longer than usual! Heaters are typically powered by propane or natural gas, and all are safe for your space. They can be freestanding, portable, table top, and wall or ceiling mounted, and are available in a variety of finishes to match your desired aesthetic.
BBQs: Hosting family and friends and cooking on the grill is an all-time favourite summer activity, and having a grill on your deck will ensure that your backyard is the place to be! Grills come in different sizes and styles to fit your needs. They are available in different varieties like charcoal, propane, natural gas, electric, smoker, and wood pellet.
Lighting is an important, yet often overlooked, part of your deck design. If you want to enjoy your space even after the sun sets, it’s important to select functional and stylish lighting to illuminate your deck. Outdoor wall lighting, post lighting, hanging lights, ceiling lights, spot lighting, floor lighting, path lighting, and lamps are all the options available to light your space. There are also outdoor fans, ideal for use on a covered porch. Each has a different style and, depending on your preference, you can mix and match styles to create your own unique look.
Rugs in an outdoor space create the homey feel of an outdoor living room. Like indoor rugs, outdoor rugs come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, colours, and patterns to give your space a personalized look. The bonus? Outdoor rugs are made with durable materials suitable for outdoor use, so no need to worry about rainfall or muddy shoes!
Garden ornaments and sculptures can go a long way! Including small accent pieces in pops of bright colour and texture, provide great visual contrast and boost the visual appeal of your outdoor space. Also, brightly coloured potted plants, which add variety and interest.
Materials are an important part of choosing deck furniture, because different levels of humidity and weather may require different materials to ensure they remain beautiful and functional throughout the seasons. Different materials vary in weight and strength, so you may want to consider where and how you will be placing your furniture before deciding on a material.
Do you live somewhere that is typically very windy? You may want to invest in heavier furniture, such as steel, so you don’t have to worry about it blowing away. Do you think you’ll be moving your furniture around frequently? Something light such as wicker might work better.
The different materials available for outdoor furniture are aluminium, wrought iron, steel, wicker, rattan, recycled plastic, wood, and each has different pros and cons depending on your local weather conditions and desired look. Let’s look at some of your options.
|Aluminium||A durable yet light weight material that is rust resistant. With the protection of a quality powder coat, the furniture has additional protection from the elements.||Clean all surfaces with mild soap and tepid water as required. Use furniture covers to protect your furniture from the elements.|
|Steel||Very durable and sturdy material used in furniture for its strength. However, it is susceptible to rust and therefore must have a quality powder coat to protect it from the elements.||Clean all surfaces with mild soap and tepid water as required. Use furniture covers to protect your furniture from the elements.|
|Plastic Resin||Plastic is a durable, easy to clean material. It withstands rain, snow, low and high temperatures. In freezing temperatures, plastic can weaken and is not recommended for use. All our plastic outdoor furniture is both fade-resistant and UV-stabilised which helps prolong the life of the product.||Clean using a mild liquid detergent and tepid water. Do not use abrasive powders or chlorine bleach.|
|Wicker (Rattan)||Colour fast, UV resistant and designed to look like real natural wicker and made to stand up to NZ weather conditions. Wicker is all hand woven onto powder coated aluminium or steel frames. All our wicker is UV treated to help prolong the life of the product.||Clean using a mild liquid detergent and tepid water. Do not use abrasive powders or chlorine bleach.|
|Resin (Plastic) Wicker||This form of Wicker is moulded rather than woven which means it maintains its shape. it is colour fast and UV resistant so it is highly durable. Our outdoor plastic furniture has been designed in a rattan style, making it just as attractive as traditional rattan outdoor furniture while being stronger, easier to clean, and waterproof.||Clean using a mild liquid detergent and tepid water. Do not use abrasive powders or chlorine bleach.|
|Wood - Eucalyptus Grandis||Eucalyptus Grandis is a hardwood commonly used in outdoor furniture because of its durability. Our collection of hardwood is Forest Stewart-ship Council (FSC) certified which means it comes from a renewable and sustainable source. This wood is finished using a natural oil for protection and to extend the life of the product.||Your furniture has already been factory treated with an oil preservative. Once assembled wipe every surface to remove excess oil and dust particles from your furniture. We recommend that you place your setting on a grassed area and hose off several times as excess oil will stain light coloured pavers, this should be done each time your setting is re oiled.
The frequency of oiling will vary per the climatic conditions in your area and direct exposure to the elements your furniture is subjected too. We recommend timber needs to be oiled a minimum of (3) three times a year. After oiling wipe off excess oil, then allow the oil to dry for (4) hours, and then wipe off again with a clean rag removing any excess oil that may not have penetrated into the timber.
If your furniture is left unprotected and exposed to the elements this will cause the timber to fade to a silvery grey and hairline cracks may appear. If in the event your setting does fade, to restore the timber, sanding and oiling will be required. We recommend using furniture covers for protection during the winter months.
This species of hardwood timber is kiln dried under strict guidelines. Upon purchasing your furniture small hairline cracks may appear, this is part of the drying process of this timber species, these cracks will not impact the durability of the furniture.
|Wood - Karri Gum (Eucalyptus diversicolor)||Karri Gum is a hardwood commonly used in outdoor furniture because of its durability. Our collection of hardwood is Forest Stewart-ship Council (FSC) certified which means it comes from a renewable and sustainable source. This wood is finished using a natural oil for protection and to extend the life of the product.|
|Wood - Eucalyptus Camaldulensis (sometimes referred to as Camal or Camang)||Updated range with classic outdoor styling. Constructed from Eucalyptus Camaldulensis which is a dense hardwood making it highly durable. With a range of items to choose from this collection represents excellent value for money and is a must have for the kiwi backyard. Our Camal Collection hardwood is Forest Stewart-ship Council (FSC) certified which means it comes from a renewable and sustainable source. This wood is finished using natural oil stain to help prolong the product's life and provide an attractive finish.|
|Textilene / Sling||Polyester fibre with a PVC coating that is extremely durable as well as tear, mildew, UV and fade resistant.||Clean periodically with a soft bristle brush using tepid water and a mild liquid detergent.|
|Polyester||Polyester is a synthetic fabric which is water resistant making it durable for outdoor use.||Clean using a mild liquid detergent and tepid water. Do not use abrasive powders or chlorine bleach.|
|Spun Polyester||Spun polyester is an all-weather fabric with a silky, soft hand feel. It is resistant to stains and mildew with a special UV inhibitor for long-lasting colour.||Clean periodically with a soft bristle brush using tepid water and a mild liquid detergent. Avoid abrasive cleaners. Store indoors, under a quality furniture cover or in a weather proof cushion box during wetter months.|
|Olefin||Olefin Fabric is a lightweight but very durable synthetic cushion fabric. In addition to its strength, Olefin is resilient in retaining its shape in the event it gets wrinkled. Olefin Fabric has good abrasion resistance and does not soil or stain easily which makes it perfect for furniture cushions and pillows. Our Olefin cushions are treated for colour fastness and are water resistant.||Clean periodically with a soft bristle brush using tepid water and a mild liquid detergent. Avoid abrasive cleaners. Store indoors, under a quality furniture cover or in a weather proof cushion box during wetter months.|
|Tempered Glass||Toughened or tempered glass is a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. When broken, the glass will crumble into small granular chunks which are less likely to cause injury.||Wipe down with warm soapy water. For an even cleaner and streak free finish use a glass cleaning product.|