People sitting on patio furniture gathered around a gas fireplace feature next to a barbecue grill.

Outdoor Patio Furniture Buying Guide

The warmer months beckon us outside to gather around the fire for a barbecue or a picnic while enjoying the beautiful weather. Outdoor furniture can significantly enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your outdoor space, whether it’s a patio, deck, or garden. Here is what you should consider when shopping for outdoor furniture.

Last Updated: October 25, 2023


The primary consideration when you shop for a patio set is how much outdoor space you have to work with. If you have a small 8′ by 8′ patio or a huge 30′ by 30′ deck, the options for outdoor furniture are vastly different. If you’re not 100% sure exactly how much space you have to work with, the first thing you should do is head outside with a tape measure to find out!

Fortunately, no matter how big or little your outdoor area is, there are many patio furniture options available to fit your available space! Keep in mind though, you need to allow for space around the furniture so that you and your guests can move around freely. The last thing you want to do is get so much furniture that it requires everyone to climb over everything to get around!


Comfort is a critical consideration when trying to choose new furniture for your outdoor space. The whole idea is for you and your guests to enjoy the nice weather outside while enjoying each other’s company. As such, the furniture that you choose needs to provide adequate comfort.

Different types of seating offer different types of comfort. For instance, there are chaise lounges that allow for a more relaxed seating position. Most outdoor seating has some kind of cushion for comfort as well.

Another consideration is if you plan to have outdoor furniture in the area of a pool. In that case, you may need to consider some pieces designed for a wet area that is also comfortable. Lounging next to the pool on a sunny day is a very relaxing activity, so comfort is crucial!

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash


Will your outdoor space be used for weekly neighborhood barbecues with more than 20 guests? Or, do you prefer an intimate setting for just two people? Outdoor patio furniture options allow you to accomplish any entertaining scenario and everything in between. With options like fire pits, conversation sets, umbrellas, and endless seating options, you should know what purpose you want your outdoor furniture to serve.

One possible scenario is that you’re trying to stylize your outdoor space to entice buyers further. This article from the New York Times details upgrades to your outdoor living space if you intend to increase your profit from a home sale. A nice patio furniture set with proper decoration can help add value to your home in the eyes of potential buyers.

Beachcroft 7-Piece Outdoor Dining Set in light brown color with an outdoor rug and an umbrella.


Having enough seating for your intended purposes is one of the core considerations when you’re shopping for a new patio furniture set. The entire point of the furniture is to be able to sit outside during the nice weather. Whether you have a family of six that would need to be able to sit for a barbecue dinner, or two chairs and a table for an al fresco lunch with a colleague, there are many outdoor seating options available.

Be sure that you know how many seats you want to provide for your patio, deck, or garden. In addition to the seating, you’ll have to consider things like fire pits, dining tables, and accent tables. Seating is the primary consideration here; if you entertain, you want everyone to be comfortable. You can never have too many seats outside when friends and family are visiting!

Emmaline Loveseat + Chair + Cocktail Table Patio Set


Your outdoor space is an extension of your inside home, and each will naturally have its own style of decor. There are nearly endless opportunities to decorate your outdoor space with accessories, decorations, and various styles of furniture to make your space uniquely yours. Options like place settings for dining, hanging lights, umbrellas, centerpieces, and much more add style and fashion to your patio set.

You’ll also want to protect your stylish outdoor furniture with furniture covers. Mother Nature is unforgiving, and excessive sun and wet weather can have detrimental effects on your outdoor furniture. Keep this in mind when you choose your decor, and your patio set to ensure that you protect your investment.

An outdoor dining table with place settings and several chairs with outdoor cushions in orange and green colors.
Image by mrsiraphol on Freepik

Need More Help?

The furniture experts at Gardner White are here to help! If you need further assistance selecting outdoor furniture for your home, or if you have any other questions, you can call them at (586) 774-8853, chat with them online using this link, or visit one of our local Michigan furniture stores.

About the Author, Dave Higgins

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