There is nothing nicer than warm days, a cool breeze and lunch or dinner outside. Entertaining al fresco can be a great family get together, whether it’s for eating delicious salads and a glass of wine or a family barbecue get together. Children love to eat outside because table manners can be somewhat relaxed, and mom doesn’t have to worry about the mess – the family dog and the local birds get to eat what ends up on the floor! Their patio dining sets get a lot of use!
If you have a screened in patio or an outside area next to the pool you will be looking for a patio set that will accommodate the entire family, be easy to clean, and durable enough to stand up to inclement weather.
The latest patio sets are made from aluminum with durable powder coated finishes and have all weather sling fabrics and are available in a wide range of colors that will look great in the garden or an inside covered porch or patio area. Some of them are so elegant they can even be used in a breakfast nook. Many of the interior design magazines are showing small inside eating areas that include antique wrought or cast iron patio dining sets – a small table and two chairs can look very classy, and with the addition of some colorful cushions or a vintage tablecloth can be a fun focal point for a breakfast nook – very Paris chic.
Wrought iron is a great choice for outside too – especially if you live in an area prone to strong winds – there’s no danger of a heavy iron patio set blowing over, even in the strongest wind.
Teak has long been used for outside furniture. The hard wood is weatherproof and can be left outside all year, all you have to do is bring in the cushions at the end of the season. It’s heavy like wrought iron and will stay put in the strongest winds.
Many patio sets are offered with “add-ons”. This is a great way to build a large set of patio furniture if you can’t afford to buy it all at once. Buy the basic table and four chairs one month, and add on the umbrella and some loungers at a later date. Martha Stewart’s Cardona Collection is a very nice set that can be added to and comes in aluminum and all weather fabric, which does not go moldy in damp weather and once it gets a little grubby, it’s easy to hose down and clean up with a soft brush and some warm soapy water.
Patio sets can range in price from really cheap – some are made from PVC plumbing pipe, to incredibly expensive, costing thousands of dollars. If you have young children and entertain a lot of children at Halloween and birthday parties, make sure that your choice of patio dining sets is durable enough to stand up to a gang of small hyped up children! I often see parts and pieces of broken patio sets discarded on garbage collection day and they are usually the cheap plastic types or the ones made from PVC – it’s always the seats that give in, and the plastic ones become brittle from the weather and break.
Best to start with a basic, good quality set and add to it later, it will save you money in the long run – and look a lot better!