How To Choose The Best Outdoor Decor

Arbor outdoor fire pit with colourful cushions

Plush cushions and pillows in water-resistant fabric make a cozy seating area around the fire pit more inviting.

Getting out in fresh air and shaking off too much indoor, screen time should be important to everyone. We’re designed to endure different temperatures and weather systems, however, our patio and deck decor may not be as resilient. Here are some tips on how to choose the best outdoor decor.

How to choose the best outdoor furniture

patio furniture by the outdoor fireplace

Under the covered patio, the fabric can last longer with less exposure to the elements.

Any bare wood is not able to withstand rain or snow over the long run. It must be maintained. Even teak or exotic woods struggle in different climate conditions. Ipe and mahogany woods do work for porches or decks and front doors but they are very expensive and still require upkeep. Don’t be tricked into thinking “specialty teaks” or “treated woods ” can last without maintenance. It simply isn’t the case.

Buy locally-produced furniture

Good, North American brands understand our diverse weather conditions so choose local rather than exotic or off-shore companies.  If you haven’t spent a winter here you can’t really understand the extremes our furniture and decor have to endure.

Look for furniture locally produced and made with powder-coated aluminum, or eco-friendly, recycled plastic as these are strong and resilient and can remain outside all year long. Aluminum and most man-made plastic products are lightweight and can easily be moved, so this is a bonus.

How to choose the best outdoor fabrics

Arbor view of pool

Partial shade still means exposure to outdoor fabric. Choose wisely.

A popular brand name for outdoor fabric is Sunbrella, Their fabric can withstand a lot of diverse weather conditions because the fabric is acrylic fibre spun into lengths of colourful fabric. Not only is it water-resistant, but it’s also fade-proof. The sun’s UV rays are what damage wood and fabrics outside so new technology has allowed the development of more colour-fast fabrics.

Many brands now carry fabrics made for outdoor wear including Canadian companies like Maxwell and Joann’s. When you are looking specifically for these brands you may have to go through a designer to order for you as they aren’t always available to the general public.

How to test for the best outdoor fabric

When you look at the fabric label on the back, look for acrylic or recyclable material (basically, plastic). Look for the number of double rubs–the durability and abrasion resistance number. This tells you when the fabric will “fluff up” or start to pill. Synthetic fibres are particularly susceptible to this problem. Look for 30,ooo  double rubs or more for a high-wearing fabric.

Remember, no fabric is kryptonite! It will wear and fade over time, if not cared for. Pick patterns rather than solids if you are not good at maintenance, and neutrals in browns, taupes, and charcoal if dirt is an issue.

Inside the best outdoor decor

Custom poolside poufs

If you can’t find complementary poufs for poolside fun, have them custom-made.

Unfortunately, even if the outside fabric is waterproof, your interior foam may not be. The pillow interior technology is getting better so you can leave pillows out in light rain and drizzle, but that’s it. Foam interiors are highly absorbent and would be compromised left out in the rain.

There are foam companies that now make a faster-drying foam that allows better air passage, allowing the foam to dissipate moisture. Generally, investing in water-resistant covers, and a good weather app are great options.

The hottest outdoor decor trends

brightly coloured lounge chairs in Sunbrella fabric by the pool

A bird’s eye view of brightly coloured outdoor fabric reminds you of a tropical vacation scene.

What we love that is hot and trending decor-wise inside, is now hot outdoors. Popular patterns and colours found on indoor furnishings are trending outdoors. Summer decor can be more fun, too. Bright citrus and beachy tones remind us of hot destinations and help transport us mentally away from any dreary day. Look for quality, invest in long-lasting furniture and fabric, and enjoy the best of the outdoors.