How to Select Outdoor Furniture

My backyard has seen more of me than ever this summer. As a result, I have seen more of it than ever before. I tend to do a lot of writing looking out a window over the yard, or in a nice chair in the shade out back. Since we’re all feeling cooped up, it’s high time to venture outdoors (safely). So, I’ve decided to give some tips on sprucing up the outside of your home. I know, I know, Lars tends to talk about interiors. We have written multiple posts about bringing the outdoors in- here and here. However, recently I’m inclined to wander… within the perimeter of my backyard. Now it is time to bring your inside design style outdoors! Selecting the right outdoor furniture pieces will actually convince you to go outside. It’s shocking how the look and feel of a space can influence the way you feel! 

Below you will find out favorite current outdoor furniture picks for any kind of space you have, as well as our top tips for choosing the right look and materials for your needs.

Tips for planning your outdoor furniture

First things first – be realistic about the climate and maintenance

If you live in a dry, hot climate, metal pieces might not be the best bet for you. If you live in a humid area that gets a lot of rain, be careful about any textiles you select for the outdoors. Before selecting a piece, think about what kind of work it will require and if you’re willing to deal with upkeep. If you want something that will work anywhere, consider resin or poly-wood furniture. Outdoor furniture made of these materials comes in lots of different price points, colors, and styles. Remember this post from a few weeks back? The svelti chair would be perfect! 

Decorate by material

Wood outdoor furniture

Metal outdoor furniture

Metal chairs like this one come in tons of fun colors and are all the rage right now. They make for the perfect Palm Springs inspired throwback for your backyard.

Rattan outdoor furniture

Rattan furniture is the perfect way to bring some southern charm to your back patio. Click here to find our full list of rattan pieces we love!

2nd – think about location! 

Will the furniture be under a covered patio or out on the lawn? Is your space large or a small apartment balcony? Regardless of the size, you can transform any space to feel magical! If you have a smaller space, choose short outdoor furniture pieces with slats that let light through. This way your furniture won’t be too visually obtrusive. If the space you’re designing is covered, go crazy with cushioned fabric, pillows, and outdoor rugs! In a large space, there is nothing more inviting than a long, low table or bench flanked by mismatched chairs. Add cafe lights and some potted plants and you’ve created your own secret garden!

3rd – what is your goal? 

Comfortable seating for chatting with friends and watching the kids? Or, are you hoping to dine al fresco? Achieve both with this two-birds-one-stone tip: get comfortable seating that works around an outdoor dining table. Move it around to suit your space and circumstance, which will likely change. Remember to have fun and play with the design; that flexibility is what makes outdoor furniture fun! It should be useful, comfortable, and flexible. Goodness knows summer can catch anyone off guard! 

Outdoor dining and bistro


4th – unify your outdoor living space with your interior design

Exterior design should go hand in hand with your interior style. If that seems like a difficult task, consider a few things. What colors do you have featured in your home? Are there any patterns you have showcased throughout it? What textures could you replicate outside? A shag carpet might not work, but rattan is foolproof (and weatherproof.) Pillows atop your outdoor furniture that match your interior will help create this luxe indoor-outdoor living experience. Rehome a few accessories (or find coordinating ones) and voila! You’ll have a livable and lovable outdoor space in no time flat. 

Outdoor decor

Once you have turned your backyard into a summery dreamland, check out our long list of outdoor family activities and games so you can put your hard work to good use!


  1. It made sense when you explained that outdoor furniture should be unified with our interior design with elements like color and texture. My husband and I really like the idea of having a brick patio installed in our backyard so we can have a place to relax with friends before summer’s over. Thanks for teaching me these tips to keep in mind when I go shopping for furniture for the patio!

  2. Now that my home’s interior design is done, I’m thinking of focusing on the outdoor style. Wow, it’s nice that you provided useful tips on selecting the right outdoor furniture. Since I want to incorporate a rustic vibe, I guess I shall then opt for rattan furniture because you mentioned that this is a great way to bring some southern charm to my patio. Hopefully, I can find furniture showroom here in town.


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