Monday, April 29, 2013

Outdoor Furniture – Five Money Saving Shopping Tips

Springtime, Memorial day, June weddings and July 4th… all are great reasons to start thinking about outdoor furniture. With the kids off from school and the relatives visiting by the busload, oh, and, the weather finally being nice, seating for everyone, or at least your family for a casual al fresco dinner is a lovely idea.

All the stores are well stocked with iron, wood and wicker. Some of it is beautiful, some, not so much, where do you start? What kind, what pieces to buy and what should it be made of? Tania Anderson, the shopping expert at The Washington Post wrote a helpful article called “Tuesday Tips:Buying Outdoor Furniture” that appeared online on April 8, 2008 that is still relevant.

Gloster, a manufacturer of high quality outdoor furniture has a wonderful website that has a useful planner and cleaning tips, as well as beautiful furniture. It’s worth visiting, even if it is expensive.

Here are our five tips if you’re trying to save money on outdoor furniture:

1. Teak and plastic resin that looks like wicker are among the most durable materials, but they’re also the most expensive. If you’re on a budget look for aluminum or another wood. If you’re on a really tight budget, shop garage sales and thrift stores for either regular wood furniture that you don’t care won’t last long or for secondhand outdoor furniture.

2. To save a ton of money, shop later in the summer. This sounds like no fun at all, because you don’t get to enjoy the furniture all season. But since everyone else is thinking along these lines as well, they get to pay full price. Once the big summer holidays are over, the sales start. You may not find as good of a selection, but who cares if it’s cheaper!

3. Protect your investment. Keep your outdoor furniture out of the direct sun and rain during the summer unless you’re using it, and cover it or put it indoors over the winter. The sun will fade bright colors in a few months, cushions will get dirty and the elements will change the color of wood. Ever seen a weathered fence? That happens to furniture too.
If you have a well-protected porch, you may get away with just covers for the winter. This will help keep it clean. Bring cushions inside during rainy seasons to prevent mildew and rot. Who wants to sit on that, even if it’s nice out!

4. If you want sturdy furniture that will stay outside, consider concrete benches, wood you don’t mind aging, or recycled plastic. You still may need to clean it come spring, and buying or making your own cushions will keep things comfy.

5. Mix and match! But make sure whatever you buy is sturdy. You will be able to assemble a fun collection if you don’t care if it’s a matched set. But saving money is pointless if your chairs tip easily, tables break and cushions stain easily or crack. Inspect the furniture often and tighten bolts if they’re loose, replace the piece if it’s damaged.

Send in your favorite ideas! We would love to see what you picked out.

Until next time!
Elaine Bothe

Photos courtesy of Gloster Furniture,  DWR and Restoration Hardware.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 5:47 PM 


Anonymous Paula said...

Wonderfully crisp and always interesting!

May 13, 2013 at 5:56 AM  

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