Take a Load Off With Garden Furniture

Whether permanent or temporary, garden furniture affects the look, feel and use of outdoor space. Of course, beauty isn't everything. Make sure that chairs, tables, benches and chaises are comfortable and practical before you purchase them.

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Outdoor Sitting Area with Plush Furniture and Awning
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DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Outdoor Sitting Room

Some furniture can only withstand limited, dry weather use outdoors. Synthetic rattan furniture and modern plastic or resin pieces vary in their resistance to UV damage, so be sure to check the tags. Cushion pads on many outdoor sets are now waterproof, though it is best to protect them with covers when they are not in regular use - an outdoor storage locker could prove useful. If you want to retain the original patina on wooden furniture, which weathers if left outside year-round, you will have to clean, oil or varnish it regularly and store it, covered, for the winter.

Buy plush, upholstered furniture covered in fade-resistant, water-resistant fabric. Check to make that the frames are sufficiently durable for outdoor use. When you're not using them, protect heavy pieces from the elements with close-fitting, water-proof furniture covers.

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