5 stylish ways to protect outdoor furniture from the elements | Architectural Summary
“There are few greater pleasures than eating outdoors, especially in the warmer months,” says Kristina Phillips, founder of Kristina Phillips Interior Design in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Clean the furniture that makes the magic of the outdoors happen? Not so much fun.
“Just as we keep our cars in a garage to protect them, outdoor furniture also needs to be protected to maintain its value and longevity,” says Lindsay Schleis, vice president of business development at Polywoodan outdoor furniture company that recently launched the minimalist raise collection. “The maintenance needed to protect your furniture should be considered along with its aesthetic appeal to ensure you’ll be delighted for years to come.” Since outdoor furniture can cost as much as indoor furniture, “it’s important to consider the materials and maintenance required to maximize your investment,” adds Schleis.
Like Sarah Jameson, Marketing Director of Green Building Elements based in Manchester, Conn., says outdoor furniture has long been known to be a good investment because of its longevity, especially high-quality ones. “Most outdoor furniture is able to withstand the elements, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take a beating,” she says. “To be durable and long lasting, proper care and maintenance is always the best way to get the most out of your investment.”
Note that not all outdoor furniture is created equal since each material – wood, plastic, metal and nylon – has different needs and maintenance. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for specific care instructions and best practices for the outdoor furniture you’ve purchased. Here, the pros share five tips for protecting outdoor furniture from the elements.
How to protect outdoor furniture from the weather
Spring for high quality outdoor fabric
Don’t be too stingy when choosing an outdoor furniture fabric. “Investing in high-quality fabric is crucial for outdoor use,” says Adriene Ged, lead interior designer for Edge in Naples, Florida. She likes Sunbrella, Perennialsand Revolution fabrics. This will ensure that your furniture won’t be completely bleached or deteriorated by the sun in a season or two.
Buy an awning or a pergola
To prevent fading and warping of materials, consider a cover, such as an awning or pergola, as a way to protect outdoor furniture from the elements. “Even though outdoor furniture is treated and designed to best withstand this, there’s not much it can do when the sun hits directly for long periods of time,” says Alex Varela, architect, cleaning expert and managing director. of Dallas Maids, a maid service in Dallas. “There is nothing more damaging than direct contact with the sun.” If investing in a shade structure is out of your budget, think creatively about your home’s landscaping and architecture. Varela suggests placing outdoor furniture under a tall tree or other location protected from direct sunlight.
Protect furniture from rain
Even the most expensive outdoor furniture can start to rot from the rain. When a storm is approaching, stack your chairs in a corner and place a sturdy blanket over them, Varela says. For a really big storm, Ged suggests moving outdoor furniture indoors or at least to a covered area, like a screened porch.