We’re in the heart of winter now. During these long months, despite sitting vacant, our patio furniture takes a beating with the fluctuation in temperatures and moisture from rain & snow. If you haven’t updated your outdoor seating areas in several years, it may be time to think about taking advantage of winter discounts on patio furniture. But where do we turn when we think of durable, weather-resistant options? First, we should consider what they are made of.
With its timeless appeal, wood is what comes to mind when we plan our outdoor spaces up at the cabin, or if we’re going for a rustic, classic look in general. But not all woods are the same, so consider whether or not you want your furniture to take on a little gentle wear and tear… some might even call it charm- or if you want it to look like the day it was delivered to your doorstep for years to come. If the former is true for you, choosing a softwood like pine, cedar, or fir will make for sturdy pieces that age along with you. Remember that time little Johnny thought it would be funny to poke a cribbage board into the tabletop with his smore skewer? If you’ve opted for a pine table, the evidence will remain long after Johnny inherits the cabin. Softwoods are generally durable in all seasons- and even in extreme temperatures, but choosing a hardwood will make for an altogether more robust set of patio furniture. Hardwoods have a higher density and natural strength, making them less prone to rot and wear- but heavier to lift. Teak for example is extremely dense and naturally oily, so it doesn’t need much upkeep to maintain its elegant appearance. If you’re looking to bridge the gap between hard and softwoods, consider either recycled poly lumber or weathered hardwood that is made to look worn-in so you don’t have to be as worried about knicks and dings.
If a more contemporary appearance is your goal then consider patio furniture constructed from aluminum as an option. Incredibly weather resistant (especially if powder coated), strong, yet lightweight, aluminum is extremely popular, and for good reason. It requires little in the way of care, and it’s extremely easy to clean. Rust-resistant and sold in a variety of styles, this inexpensive option might be just the ticket when considering how Minnesota winters wreak havoc on our patio furniture. Given it’s lightweight construction, these pieces can be moved around easily and could simply be stored indoors if you have the space.
Ranking at the top for performance as well as style is recycled plastic. As durable as aluminum and able to mimic wood furniture without the upkeep, this sturdy material comes in a variety of colors and styles making it easy to coordinate with your patio decor. The beauty of recycled plastic is that it is impervious to stains and inclement weather, yet it’s able to withstand the sun’s rays without fading, making it a win-win! If you are into sustainability it should be mentioned that many of these pieces are made from old water bottles and milk jugs, so you are doing Mother Earth a favor by going this route. The aesthetic of most recycled plastic patio furniture is such that it would work in almost any style you were hoping to accomplish from rustic to chic.
So even though your patio furniture might be covered in snow and ice currently, it’s never too late to think about investing in pieces that will serve you well in the future- especially if you can get them at a great price during the off season. Here in Minnesota, we know what to expect out of winter weather, for the most part, so do your best to embrace the cold and endure the extremes- but put some thought into patio furniture that will be well-suited to this climate and all that comes along with it.