If you take the time and effort to design and create a beautiful outdoor patio or kitchen area, you shouldn’t neglect a key component of any design: the furniture. Despite outdoor furniture being exposed to the elements and Florida being known for rainstorms and blazing Sun, you can still have beautiful furnishings in your outdoor areas if you know the risks and preparations associated with outdoor weather. Today, we will discuss the types of materials that work best for outdoor furniture in Florida and how you can extend any furniture material’s lifespan through diligence and care.

Risks to Outdoor Furniture In Florida

The only type of substantial weather that Florida does not receive is heavy snowstorms. Everything else, from intense sun rays that fade furniture patterns and hurricanes that can blow your beautiful chairs down the street, should be taken into consideration when designing your new outdoor space.

Rain and Humidity: Furniture designed and sold as outdoor furniture will not be as fragile as furniture rated only for indoor use, but that doesn’t mean you can leave them outside and forget about them no matter the weather conditions. Rain can cause structural damage to outdoor furniture by corroding and rusting the metal pieces and warping over time, especially if you live by the coast and salt water permeates the air. Cushions and pillows of outdoor furniture can also harbor nasty mold and bacteria if water is able to penetrate and settle deep within the fibers and fabric.

Wind: Unless you have exceptionally light furniture in your outdoor area, the wind will do little more than shift the position of each piece slightly. However, before hurricanes and tropical storms, it is imperative that you tie down or move your furniture into an enclosed area. Not only can furniture be pushed around and damaged, but it can also break windows and doors, allowing the elements to penetrate the house.

Sun: The Sun can be highly damaging to outdoor furniture. Not only can harsh rays ruin the lovely colors and patterns of cushions and couches, but the high temperatures can cause serious damage if an unsuspecting person tries sitting on a metal chair that has been basking in the Sun all day, similar to a seatbelt in the middle of Summer.

Best Materials for Patio or Deck Furniture

Now that you know the potential dangers that can threaten your furniture purchases, let’s discuss the materials that can best withstand the outdoor environment of Florida.

Metals: Any outdoor furniture constructed from metal will be sturdy, durable, and capable of withstanding a beating. Most metals are also relatively inexpensive, and the best types of metal furniture will naturally resist rusting. Aluminum and stainless are commonly used outdoors if iron furniture does not want to be maintained. Iron furniture is heavy but extremely long-lasting if cared for properly. All metal furniture requires additional cushions to make them comfortable, which means the homeowner needs to maintain the quality of the cushions as well as the metal furniture itself.

Wood: Metal and wood furniture are considered the two mainstays of outdoor design. Wood, specifically hardwoods, is durable, resistant to rain and Sun, and much more aesthetically pleasing to most homeowners. As you go lower and lower on the pricepoint of wood furniture, the amount of care you need to put into them increases, such as applying coatings and sealants to protect from water damage. Most wood furniture also requires cushions to make them a more comfortable experience.

Other types of furniture, such as plastics or synthetic wood, are available but are usually of lesser quality and are more susceptible to damage from the elements. They are also generally lighter, meaning even non-hurricane level winds can threaten to blow them around the yard.

No matter your vision for your new outdoor living space, bathroom, or kitchen, call the experts at West Coast Design Build Florida. We’ve been involved in building some of Sarasota’s most beautiful outdoor spaces – what can we design for you?