Patio chairs are the foundation in populating or decorating your patio, deck, backyard, or outdoor area.
Generally, patio chairs come in the following styles: deck chairs, folding chairs, rocking chairs, and Adirondacks. Hammocks and chaise lounges may be included here as well, though they're not only used for sitting.
Patio Chairs can be made of wood (some types being FSC certified), grasses (bamboo, rattan, wicker, etc), metal (tubular aluminum, cast aluminum, wrought iron), or plastic (including resin). Some chairs can come with fabric parts or covers, which can sometimes be harder or easier to maintain, depending on your circumstances.
Clearly, patio chair needs for lounging and dining will differ, though, if you choose chairs wisely, you might be able to double-up without making any aesthetic faux pas.
Making choices about patio chairs should definitely include thinking about what to do during the off-months, when the weather isn't so nice. Are the chairs you want durable for a both a beating sun and a snowstorm? Are they relatively easy to clean during these times? If not, are the chairs easy to store away somewhere?
Perhaps one of the most important issues in selecting chairs for your patio is whether or not the chairs are actually comfortable for you and your guests. After all, discomfort can completely negate the point of relaxing outside in the first place.
The FSC, or Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit NGO dedicated to the sustainable management of forests in the United States have established an internationally recognized certification system for wood furniture. Essentially, if an item is FSC Certified, it can be considered environment-friendly in accordance with the FSC's standards on economic viability and environmental responsibility.
Casting refers to a process by which some types of metals (usually aluminum, steel or iron) are melted down and cast into a mold to make furniture or other items. Generally, wrought metals are more durable and can be more ornate in design than other types of patio chair materials.
This is a dry-finishing process for metal in which it is sprayed with an electrostatically charged coating, then heat-cured in an oven. The powder coating itself is made of ground pigment and resin, which better sticks to the metal than paint, for example, as the aim is to finish the metal so that it's even more durable and lasts for a longer time.
PVC is an abbreviation for polyvinyl chloride, which is just a cheap, easy to maintain, durable type of plastic; a common material for patio chairs.
The size of your space is definitely a large factor in selecting what type of chairs you'd like, in thinking of what your needs are overall. For smaller patios or yards, maybe 1 or 2 comfortable chairs will do it; and maybe it's worth spending more on these, since that may be all you'll have room for. If you have a space large enough to dine, maybe you'll want at least 4 chairs for dining, and a few more in groups of 2 or 3 just for lounging outside. Regardless, thinking this over is a great place to start.
Generally, most people want to create a sense of calm and relaxation in their outdoor spaces. The question more often is what type of calm outdoor environment would you like to invoke? Something tropical, woodsy, English garden-eqsue, an early 1960s Palm Springs resort, etc.? Since the most repeated item in your space will most likely be the chairs, it's important that these serve as an anchor for whatever mood you're aiming for.
The material of a patio chair is not only important in terms of durability and storage, but it's also going to greatly affect and even dictate the d��cor. What types of materials are best for the look you're trying to create for your outdoor space?
Metal is the most durable, and because there is often a bit more craftsmanship involved, this may be best for creating a more elegant atmosphere and can be an especially nice contrast within an abundance of plants and flowers. Country French, or English might be the best themes here, though, because metals can be fairly versatile, you can even create something more on the modernistic, minimal side.
Wood might be the most malleable in terms of the styles it can invoke- anywhere from woodsy to beachy, for example, but can almost be thought of as a neutral base for building anything you want out of your space. Not only are most types of wood neutral colors by definition, but, most wooden styles blend very easily with anything else you might add for decoration. You may, however, have to expend more energy to maintain the quality of the wood, especially if kept outside through the year. Wood may also not be the most comfortable choice, especially if you're just buying 2 chairs.
Grasses can be nice for tropical or woodsy atmospheres, but may be a bit limited and may not blend in well with anything outside of these motifs. However, grasses are more durable, comfortable, and lightweight than wood.
Plastic is the easiest to maintain and can come in virtually any style, even to mock the look of wood without all the maintenance fuss. Plastics are low maintenance, significantly less expensive, and generally easier to store. If you're on a budget but don't necessarily want to skimp on the style or invoke your college years, an early 1960s motif can work really well with plastic chairs as a base.
The instructions that come with any chair you purchase will fill you in on the best way to clean and maintain, though, on off-seasons or bad weather, you may just want to store your chair/s away entirely so as not to have to constantly be cleaning. Your chair/s will definitely last longer if you're able to store away for a few months at a time. Another alternative, if you're limited in storage spaces, and if it makes sense with the material, is if you get plastic, waterproof coverings to drape over, though this can sometimes make your space a bit unpleasant aesthetically.
Keep in mind that chairs with any fabric upholstery pieces, though creating extra comfort for the people sitting in them and perhaps a nice aesthetic touch to a chair that may otherwise be plain, are generally harder to maintain, especially when it comes to mildew. Though, cushions with polyester fibers allow water to run off of and water to circulate through more easily.