How to Choose Deck Furnishings

The way in which a patio or deck is furnished can have a significant impact on the deck's usability, comfort, and ease of maintenance. Learning how to choose deck furnishings will help you design the solution that is best suited to your needs. Before making your purchases, you will need to assess your budget, the way in which you want to use the deck, and the amount of time you are willing to spend maintaining the furnishings.


  1. Image titled Choose Deck Furnishings Step 1
    Decide on an overall layout for your deck furniture. The first step in furnishing your deck is to create an overall plan. Your deck's size and position will influence your decisions in this regard.
    • You may want to draw a sketch of your layout on paper. This will help you better visualize the amount of space needed to accommodate your furnishings.
    • Consider how your deck will be used when designing a layout. If you want to accommodate a lot of guests on the deck, your layout should include many chairs; these chairs may need to be small-scale based on your deck's size. If your deck will be used for grilling, avoid positioning seating adjacent to the grill, as this can make the chair's occupant uncomfortable.
    • At the end of this process, you should be able to enumerate a fairly precise list of furniture needed. For example, you might decide that you want 4 chairs, 1 large table, and 1 storage chest.
  2. Image titled Choose Deck Furnishings Step 2
    Choose a material for your deck furnishings. The material out of which your furniture is constructed will affect its appearance, durability, and ease of maintenance. Common material choices are solid wood, wicker, metal, and plastic.
    • Solid wood furniture can be quite durable if properly cared for. Wood furniture will wear away over time, and will need to be periodically sanded and refinished. If exposed to constant moisture, wood furniture will be more susceptible to rotting and mold damage.
    • Wicker is best suited to relatively dry and mild climates. Like solid wood, it will decay over time, but wicker cannot be refinished as readily. In very dry climates, wicker may need to be sprayed with water regularly to prevent splitting and cracking of the fibers.
    • Metal is more durable than most deck furniture materials. It can withstand wind, moisture, and temperature swings while sustaining little damage. Metal can also be sanded and repainted to revive its appearance. Properly painted metal furniture will develop little to no rust. A disadvantage of metal deck furniture is that it can be hot to the touch in hot weather.
    • Plastic deck furniture is often the least expensive material. It can withstand moisture more readily than wood, and has the added benefit of being able to be quickly wiped dry, whereas moisture tends to penetrate into wood furniture and leave it wet longer.
  3. Image titled Choose Deck Furnishings Step 3
    Decide whether or not to use cushions with your deck furnishings. Fabric cushions can enhance the comfort and appearance of your deck furniture, but they have drawbacks. For example, cushions tend to develop mildew quickly when exposed to moisture. This problem can be avoided by storing the cushions when not in use or replacing them often. This extra effort and expense should be considered when deciding whether to buy cushions.
  4. Image titled Choose Deck Furnishings Step 4
    Choose a style for your deck furniture. When evaluating the aesthetics of your deck furnishings, make sure to coordinate them with your home and landscaping. Sleek, modern deck chairs may look out of place when placed next to a traditionally styled home, for example.
  5. Image titled Choose Deck Furnishings Step 5
    Begin browsing for deck furnishings. Patio furniture can be purchased online, at home improvement stores, at "big box" retailers, or at furniture stores. When browsing, keep all of the above considerations in mind.
    • Choosing the exact pieces you want will be governed by additional constraints. Your available budget may leave some pieces out of reach. Also, the scale of some pieces may be too large or small for your deck.
    • Consider browsing for deck furnishings both online and in person. Online browsing allows you to read customer ratings of each product, while browsing in the store will give you a better feel for the size, appearance, comfort, and construction quality.


  • Wooden deck furniture can be made from many different species of wood, all with different properties. Teak furniture, for example, withstands moisture very well because of its natural oiliness.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Computer
  • Internet access

Article Info

Categories: Walls Fences and Decks