The living is easy when you purchase the right furniture for your patio, deck, or any other outdoor living space. To maximize style and comfort and minimize maintenance, consider the following tips.

Evaluate your outdoor space.

Break out the measuring tape so you can see how much room you have to work with. For larger spaces consider investing in several small seating groups. For example, your wish list could include a bar table with stools for lively poolside entertainment, and a dining table and chairs for al fresco dining. If your space is more compact, choose appropriately scaled groupings to avoid overcrowding.

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Comfort counts when buying patio furniture.

The goal here is rest and relaxation – and comfort is key. Cushioned lounge chairs that swivel and rock are ideal for conversation, while sectional seating with deep cushions are perfect for napping, reading, or relaxing. If your dining area is out in the open, an umbrella will create a welcome shady oasis, while outdoor rugs will protect bare feet from hot surfaces.

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How do you spend time outdoors?

Invest in furniture that will support the activities you envision. Not a fan of eating outside? Skip the table and opt for a comfortable seating group. Love fireside chats? Think about a chat set with a fire pit. Even better, choose furniture with dual purposes. For example, an ottoman can be used as a place to rest your feet or as additional seating, while many fire pits are designed inside cocktail tables so guests have space to place drinks and nibbles.

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Durable, carefree patio furniture.

Look for products that keep maintenance at a minimum. Furniture crafted from resin wicker offers the same good looks as natural fiber wicker without the upkeep. Cast aluminum pieces are sturdy, rust proof, long lasting, and available in numerous textured finishes to look like iron or wood, without the heavy maintenance demands of either.

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Consider furniture for your weather.

You want furniture with staying power, so it’s vital to consider not just the climate, but also the location of your outdoor living area. Cool, shady spaces around your home could promote mold growth, so choose furniture that is naturally mold resistant like resin wicker. On the other hand, areas with abundant sunshine can be tough on upholstered furniture, so purchase cushions that are made of weather resistant, solution-dyed polyester for long lasting good looks.

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