Summer in Style – Create a Great Outdoor Space!

Posted on May 15th, 2016 by chelsicreegan.

After a long winter spent indoors, here in the Midwest, we are all anxious to get outside, breathe the fresh air, and soak up some sunshine.  Make the most out of your outdoor space by making it an inviting and comfortable place to spend time. The outdoor area of your home whether a patio, deck, etc, can be used as an extension of your home. An extra space to spend time and entertain during the warm weather months.


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To get the most use from your outdoor space, it is important to think about how you intend to use the space. Who will spend the most time there? How much of an investment you are willing to make? Is it a place for relaxing on a comfy sofa or chair? Will you be using it to dine or entertain? Both? The quantity and variety of pieces you may need, will depend on how you plan to use the space.

Deciding how you are going to use your outdoor space is important when considering what materials will be best. For example, aluminum pieces are rust resistant and easy to move around, but will not be as sturdy as steel pieces. Cedar furniture is beautiful and comfortable, but requires maintenance, like a coat of sealer every few years. Here a few things to consider when selecting what material is best for you.

  • Aluminum – Rustproof, lightweight and relatively inexpensive. Requires little weather treating and is easy to clean with soap and water.


  • Plastic, Polymer, & Resin – Lightweight and durable, these materials are available in a variety of color and style options. Some can be made to resemble other materials like wicker or wood. Higher quality plastics and resins are very durable and resistant to stains and mildew.


  • Steel & Wrought Iron – Both heavy and durable but may rust if not painted or weatherproofed.dockside_2


  • Wood – Natural wood makes beautiful outdoor furnishings and can be very comfortable and sturdy. Wood does require regular care.  Woods like teak, redwood, cypress, and cedar are good options because they are weather-resistant.


  • Wicker/ Rattan – Wicker furniture is both beautiful and comfortable. However, most real wicker is intended for indoor use only. You need to make sure you are purchasing wicker that has been treated for limited weather exposure. Even with treatment, wicker should only be used in places such as covered porches or other places with little exposure to the elements.


  • Resin Wicker – Today, the wicker look is available in a resin which is woven to look like the rattan but is weather resistant and durable. A variety of styles and options are available.


  • Fabric – Outdoor fabrics are becoming available in more and more colors and patterns. Make sure the fabric on any cushions or pillows is approved for outdoor use. These fabrics are designed to withstand the weather and fading.


It is easy to think the quality of outdoor furniture may be less important than the quality of your indoor furniture. In fact, the opposite may be true.  Outdoor furniture has to withstand the elements from sun exposure, wind, rain and maybe even snow too! You get what you pay for when it comes to outdoor furniture.  It may be a great deal now, but it probably will not hold up and you will be purchasing new in a few years. Carefully consider the quality of the furniture you are buying.  A good set with proper care can be enjoyed for many years and provide many hours of comfort and entertainment.


If you do purchase a quality set, it is important to take care of it. Moving furniture to a shed or garage during the winter months helps to protect it from the elements. If that is not possible, invest in covers for the more valuable pieces.


Look at your outdoor space as an extension of your home and bring coordinating styles and colors to the space.  Let the architecture of your home inspire you. The style and finishes on the exterior of your home should help influence what style and colors you use outside. More and more fabrics and options are becoming available, making it easy to expand your indoor style outside.


To truly get the best use and value out of your outdoor furniture, it needs to be comfortable.  If you are planning on spending much  time outside, you will want the furniture you and any guests use to be inviting.  Try out any set you are thinking about buying.  Just like the pieces in your living room, it needs to be comfortable if you are going to enjoy using it.  Also, you many want to think about any frequent guests you may have.  Some pieces can be too low or deep to be the right fit for everyone. Think comfort and buy accordingly.


Don’t be afraid to accessorize.  From pillows to rugs, outdoor accessories are becoming easier to find.  Accessories are a simple way to add pops of color and are easily changed when you want a new look. Vases, lanterns and pillows are small details that can add to the comfort and ambiance of the space. Or let your flowers and plants be your accessories. Use the colors from the flowers you already have to inspire your colors or add more to accent with the colors you like.outdoorprimary-styleshot_101


An outdoor rug is another great way to add color and pattern to your outdoor space. A rug should be large enough for a table and chairs to have enough room to be pulled out, but still stay on the rug. For a seating area, all major pieces of furniture should have at least the front two legs on the rug. Outdoor rugs are typically made from natural materials, like sisal or bamboo, or synthetic fibers like acrylic.  Rugs made from natural materials have a great texture and are durable. Too much moisture and mildew can damage your natural rug though. Synthetic rugs are lightweight, come in vibrant colors and dry quickly when they get wet. A rug can also help protect your patio or deck along with adding great color and style.


At Hatch Furniture, we offer everything you need to furnish and accessorize inside and outside your home.  Our 40,000 sq ft showroom features top quality brands such as Homecrest, Braxton Culler, Surya, and many more. We have served Yankton and surrounding communities for over a 100 years. Our experienced design consultants can assist you in transforming your ideas into the home of your dreams.

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