What is the best all weather outdoor furniture (size, shape, colour and more...)?

Modular outdoor sofas are an increasingly popular option for anyone looking for functional, comfortable outdoor seating. How do you decide which is the best option for your space?

We put the question to the Design Studio experts at King – an award-winning, Australian furniture company with a passion for design.

How do I choose a patio sofa?

Your sofa forms the centrepiece of your outdoor area, just as it does indoors. It needs to suit the space perfectly. Selecting designs that easily adapt to suit your space and lifestyle is a way to future-proof decision-making, so you can be confident that your sofa will work for your lifestyle in years to come.

If you plan to entertain, look for fully modular designs with arms, backs and platforms that can be arranged into an endless combination of settings to suit your space and lifestyle – from a sunbed for one to an open setting for easy entertaining.

What makes a quality outdoor sofa?

Quality and comfort comes from within. The frame construction is a crucial factor in determining the build quality as this is the foundation that supports your sofa. You will need to consider both the frame material and its construction when buying a quality sofa.

Look for an outdoor sofa with engineered steel frames and targeted spot welding at key stress and weight-bearing areas — to ensure your investment is made to last.

What type of fabric is best for outdoor furniture?

Choosing materials specifically designed for outdoor living will ensure your furniture can withstand the elements and last you for years to come. Durability, resilience and comfort are the key factors when looking to find the best materials for outdoor furniture.

Look for an outdoor sofa that is “designed to remain internally dry during the heaviest downpours, the outdoor cushions are breathable and quick drying”.

What to look for:

Solution-dyed acrylic fabrics have a proven track record, having been in the Australian market for over 30 years.Specialist outdoor yarns with a high UV rating to avoid fading.

Keep an eye out for heavy-duty outdoor fabrics with a high UV rating, so they maintain their colour in the sun. Quality fabrics like Sunbrella® are high-performance fabrics made of 100% solution-dyed acrylic. These fabrics will hold their colour longer and won’t fade as quickly as others.

What is the most durable outdoor material?

When it comes to style, trust your instincts, but there are a few key points to keep top of mind.

Firstly, a timeless design will outlast trends and work well with different interiors if you move or renovate. Secondly, a neutral palette and classic colours tend to stand the test of time. But don’t be afraid to go with a bold choice if it works for your space.

Top tip: Look for brands that offer an extensive range of patterned and plain fabrics and samples to ensure any exterior design scheme can be realised in full.

How do I choose the right size sofa?

Before you decide on an outdoor sofa, consider the questions below to ensure it’s a good fit for you, your space and your lifestyle.

Start with:

  • Where will your furniture be placed?
  • How much room do you have?
  • What is surrounding the area? Are there fences, trees or other furniture?
  • How many people will be using it?
  • How will you use it? Do you like to sit upright or lie down on your sofa?
  • How often are you entertaining?

Remember, choose a sofa that will comfortably fill the space. Nothing makes a space look smaller than filling it with undersized furniture. Make sure to measure your space and around your outdoor sofas to allow easy access for all family members. A good rule of thumb is to allow a one metre clearance around furniture for easy clearance.

If you like to stretch out or want to maximise seating without bulky chairs, you can opt for a modular sofa with a chaise element. Modular sofas can be configured into multiple different arrangements and some options come with an additional chaise for lounging.

Does outdoor furniture last?

If you invest in a quality sofa made of heavy-duty, UV resistant materials, and look after it well it should last for years to come. As with all products, it’s best to do your research and invest in the best option in your price range and always check the warranty.

> “Look for an outdoor sofa with weather-resistant technology so your investment will last longer, providing lasting comfort and longevity”.

With the ‘new normal’ now in play, families are increasingly looking to create outdoor areas that offer a resort-like feel at home, without compromising on style or quality. More than ever outdoor living is seen as an extension of indoor living and is well worth the investment.

What should I look for in a warranty?

Many parts make up the construction of your sofa. It is important to check every item is included in a warranty, from the frame to the fabric and fillings.

A standard warranty should cover:

  • Framing warranty, look for a warranty of 5-10 years for a quality frame
  • Fabric warranty, quality fabric should have at least a 5 year warranty
  • Cushion foam warranty, of at least 2-5 years.

Always make sure you ask if the warranty does not cover any items before you purchase.

Can you leave outdoor cushions outside all year?

If you're leaving cushions outside for any length of time ensure that they are made with waterproof outdoor foam — otherwise they'll develop mould.

If your outdoor living zone is not protected from the elements, like a pergola and gazebo then you’ll need to ensure that you select furniture with waterproof cushions.

Covers are a great option for outdoor furniture and can significantly prolong the life and appearance of your investment.

Top 4 tips for buying outdoor furniture

Our top tips to help you purchase the best outdoor sofa:

Focus on comfort first – comfort is key for any sofa and choosing materials that will stand the test of time will ensure your investment lasts.

Invest in quality materials – quality materials are proven to withstand the elements meaning you will enjoy the look and feel of your sofa today and for years to come.

Choose durable cushions – ensure your cushions are breathable, quick drying, and designed to remain internally dry during the heaviest downpours.

Protect your investment. Place your furniture under a shade structure like an umbrella or pergola or use a protective cover.

Note: King Living is an award-winning, Australian furniture company with a passion for design. We do not sell King Living products directly. You can purchase them on (https://www.kingliving.co.nz)

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