Spring has sprung, and summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to head out to your patio or porch and soak in the sun, relax with family and welcome friends. If you’re purchasing outdoor furniture for the first time or replacing old furniture, it’s helpful to think of the patio and porch as extensions of your home and even your personality. The options, decisions and challenges of selecting the right furniture can be daunting. Stuart Leventhal, founder of Down to Earth Living in Pomona – which offers the area’s widest and most unique selection of outdoor furniture, home décor, plants and gardening supplies – has the following recommendations to help ease your task. Before making your new selection consider the following factors.
COMFORT: I’m a firm believer in the idea that comfort is the most important factor when it comes to selecting outdoor furniture, and nothing can substitute for actually sitting in the chair or on the couch you are considering. Buying from an area retail store provides you with this opportunity which online purchasing does not. For many people, the goal is to create their own oasis in their backyard and so the comfort level of the chair or couch is critical. Depending upon the purpose, chairs come in varying heights, depths and back angles. Chairs for dining should seat you in an upright position, while those designed for lounging should be more relaxed, thus affording you the opportunity to lie back or sit relaxed for an extended period of time. Cushioned chairs tend to feel softer than solid metal ones and are more inviting. You can always add pads to metal chairs, changing the overall look and style and making them more comfortable.
STYLE: Everyone wants to feel as though their backyard has a stylish and inviting look. Trust your gut when it comes to color, texture and design. Select what makes you smile when you see it on the showroom floor. Sit in it to see if it is also comfortable. Be sure to ask what material the frame is made of and the expected lifespan. Ask the same questions about the cushions; will they wear well over two years, five years or longer? Also consider the location of the set, will it be covered most of the time by an overhang or subject to weather changes? Is it under trees or out in the sun? Well made, good looking furniture should provide you with many years and even a decade of comfort. Adding décor pieces can elevate and change the style from season to season so consider what you want to add to the overall look such as vases, lanterns, potted plants and more.
VALUE: The value of your new outdoor furniture lies in your appreciation of the style, but also in the expected lifespan and finally the price. Be sure to ask your sales associate about the ease of maintenance for the specific material the furniture is made of; including the frame and the cushions. How easy is it to keep clean? Choose material that will stand up easily to day to day outdoor living. Will it be necessary to store the furniture during the winter or can it be simply covered? Be sure to also ask about the life expectancy and the manufacturer’s warranty. There is no one more qualified than the manufacturer to predict the lifespan of your furniture. Your sales associate should be able to answer your questions directly. If the sales associate doesn’t take an interest in your questions before the sale, they certainly won’t take an interest later on if you have an issue.
Lastly, but importantly, measure your spaces before you shop. Take pictures of the area you are going to furnish and identify the direction of the sun. This will make your shopping experience easier and more successful.
Stuart Leventhal is the owner of Down to Earth Living in Pomona located at 1040 Route 45. The company is celebrating its 49th year in Rockland County and has a 10,000 square foot showroom with gracious outdoor furniture and beautiful home décor surrounded by 14 acres of trees, shrubs and flowers. Check their website for events throughout the year at www.dteliving.com
At Down to Earth Garden Center in Rockland County, our garden center is filled with perennials, flowers, shrubs and trees, with new arrivals coming in every week. The 10,000 square foot showroom has an incredible selection of contemporary, classic, traditional and transitional teak, aluminum and all-weather dining and deep-seated furniture as well as home décor. We are a garden center near Bergen County and located at 1040 Route 45, open 9 am – 5 pm daily and can be reached at 845-354-8500.