Outdoor furniture that would hold up well on Dagobah?
April 29, 2016 11:12 AM   Subscribe

I'm buying a new house, and it will have a deck, and I want to buy ALL THE FURNITURE! Mr. Rachael and I are in disagreement about what kind of outdoor furniture would hold up best in our climate (Eastern Shore of Maryland, perpetual 200% humidity).

He thinks something like this would be best - chairs with synthetic material built in - while I wonder if it would be a better idea to assume that anything non-metal is going to get moldy and grodilated, and get something more like this with removable, replaceable cushions.

Additionally, I'm not sure what kind of tabletop (metal, glass, tile) will be easiest to clean, and will stay un-gross longest.

We will have a shed to put cushions in, but probably nowhere big enough to store the entire set during the winter.

What say you?
posted by missrachael to Shopping (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We have something like the first link and I HATE IT. It gets so gross every year and we have to power wash it because we don't bring it inside off-season.

My neighbors have removable cushions and a Rubbermaid cushion container on their deck. I guess the only downside would be feeling like you have to put everything away either when it looks like rain or maybe every time you're done using the furniture? That's what they do, I think. I think they just remove the cushions after parties/deck nights/whatever.

I vote for cushions and the Rubbermaid storage container.
posted by cooker girl at 11:20 AM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

I vote for removable cushions. When we bought our patio set we bought covers for the winter, but left the cushions on all summer. Over time the stain and water resistance wears off and they got nasty, started holding water, and then got moldy. The furniture itself is just fine, so we bought replacement cushions (not cheap) and one of those rubbermaid deck boxes. We are so, so much happier with this arrangement. It only takes a few minutes to grab the cushions and put them on, we put them away when we're not using them, and they continue to look brand new.

I know the first set you linked to doesn't really have cushions, but I know people with sets like that and they get dirty instantly and always feel gross to me.

Any tabletop is going to get gross and need a nice wipe-down before you use it, so I would look for something easy to clean.
posted by thejanna at 11:28 AM on April 29, 2016

I'd recommend looking at teak wood patio furniture. Teak handles the elements beautifully and with little maintenance needed. Add some colorful cushions, and you're done.
posted by hydra77 at 11:40 AM on April 29, 2016

Yes, if you can afford it teak or similar wooden furniture is really a lot better than metal, cushions, or anything that you might call fabric.
posted by ssg at 11:43 AM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Glass always looks gross to me even after I spend 20 minutes cleaning it. YMMV. I'm a big fan of owning a couple outdoor tablecloths to just throw over the table when you plan on sitting outside, and then folding up or throwing in the wash after you're done.
posted by gatorae at 11:46 AM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Glass, dirty and grungy it will be, and difficult to clean, even with the Force by your side, hmmm.

(However, we do have some metal chairs similar to your first link. We got them used several (10?) years ago, and they still look decent with little maintenance. I just checked and the paint is pealing along the bases, though).
posted by lharmon at 12:08 PM on April 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

Synthetics all eventually break down with exposure to sun, so I would avoid anything that's synthetic and not replaceable.

thirding teak. It's hard to beat teak for looking good forever.
posted by gregr at 12:37 PM on April 29, 2016

Teak is the best for outdoor weathering situations. All of the wood on every boat my parents owned was teak. It never split or splintered.

However, you either need to learn to love the look of weathered teak or commit yourself to reconditioning it on a regular basis. My parents hated silver teak, so it was up to me and my brother to clean and refinish all the teak three or four times every summer.

Personally, I always found outdoor cushions to be a hassle. I'd look for furniture that was plenty comfortable without cushions.
posted by xyzzy at 12:52 PM on April 29, 2016

Teak sounds great.... it's so expensive though! Follow-up question: best places to buy teak?
posted by missrachael at 1:04 PM on April 29, 2016

I am fortunate enough to have been gifted a teak table set which was originally from Pottery Barn. Here's one set that's semi-reasonably priced. Ours has folding chairs and a bench, which is nice. Everything could theoriteically fit under the table, and then it can all be covered in the winter. Definitely more expensive than your original choices, but a long-term investment.

Ours had a nice chocolate finish on it, but it's wearing off, and we'll probably just let it weather to a gray color.
posted by hydra77 at 2:28 PM on April 29, 2016

I grew up in Wilmington NC, not too far from E. MD and also with high humidity. We had lots of rattan, a less expensive alternative to teak. Here's a nice seating set for not too much money. The cushions are "weatherproof" they say.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:31 PM on April 29, 2016

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