Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Patio Furniture Style

While decorative styles in home furnishings are virtually unlimited, for outdoor use, furniture must be constructed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, and throughout history, that has influenced patio furniture design styles. Although furniture has been used in outdoor living spaces for millennia, it wasn’t until after World War II that furniture manufacturers began to produce furniture that was specifically designed for home patios.

During the post-war housing boom of the 1950s, the demand for outdoor furniture grew, but materials were limited. Manufacturers flooded the market with affordable but impractical products. Painted steel flaked, wicker unraveled and untreated wood faded. By the 1980s, modern, durable materials, such as plastic, resin and aluminum, were being used to craft outdoor furnishings. Modern finishes gave natural materials like wood increased durability as well.

Once outdoor furnishings were freed from the limitations that weather and wear imposed upon them, style flourished. Today, patio furniture is available is just about any style imaginable, and people can enjoy furnishing their outdoor areas much as they do their interiors. When it comes to decorating, however, design rules still apply. When choosing patio furniture, it’s important to consider the size and location of the space and how the space will be used as well as the furniture style.

When a patio is situated before a line of picture windows, for example, the outdoor furnishings shouldn’t block the view from indoors. Patio furniture with a low profile adds a sleek, modern style to an outdoor patio without impeding vistas of the great outdoors. Long and lean sectionals are ideal. Materials like teak or wicker-look-alike resin add warmth to the lean-and-low modern look.

For outdoor entertaining, furniture needs to provide comfortable seating for enjoying foods fresh off the grill. Patio dinette sets with comfy cushions made with functional fabrics enhance outdoor eating. The right patio furniture can extend the festivities as well. Patio umbrellas protect family and friends from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Patio heaters help keep the party going into the evening.

While function and decorative styles are important, it’s just as important to think about creating a distinctive atmosphere when it comes to purchasing patio furniture. A small cast-iron table and chair set can give a corner of the garden the ambiance of a French cafĂ©. Lounge chairs lined up at the side of a swimming pool give the garden the air of a luxury resort. A hammock slung between two shady trees instantly establishes an atmosphere of ease and relaxation.

Whether it's aluminum crafted to look like bamboo or sleek and stylish stainless steel used to create a mid-century modern look, the materials used for patio furniture today offer people broad choices for functional style. Throughout the Great White North, people now have the freedom to choose outdoor furnishings that complement their personal taste and that suit their individual lifestyle.

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