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Contemporary Patio Furniture

If you have not been paying particularly close attention to the latest trends in outdoor contemporary patio furniture, you might be surprised to see that most of the stylistic changes have occurred in recent years. Americans that grew up in the 1950s or 1960s might remember their patio furniture. The average suburban home had a poured cement patio. The patio may not have been very large, but was big enough to put a couple of beach chairs and maybe an inexpensive circular table.

Chairs were made with lightweight tubular aluminum and vinyl straps were stretched around the aluminum frame to create the seat and back of the chair. Those were the "good" patio chairs. Most of the homeowners had to settle for those green and white interlaced mesh strips for their outdoor seating. There was very little attention paid to style or design. Manufacturers focused more on functionality and economy. The patio chairs of our past could be folded up, thrown into the trunk of the car and carted off to the beach or some other outdoor venue. They were even brought inside the house and used in a pinch at Thanksgiving when there were more people invited to dinner than there were seats.

Not too much changed over the next several decades. There was the introduction of molded plastic chairs and outdoor patio table made out of PVC pipe and a vinyl composite top. Americans still did not have a great interest in patio furniture. They were content to maybe have a concrete table with 2 small concrete benches. The big, wooden Adirondack chairs enjoyed a measure of popularity. As the last decade of the twentieth century approached, things started to turn around. The economy started getting better and by the end of the decade, millions of ordinary working people were getting rich in the stock market. With their newfound wealth, people wanted to upgrade their living conditions. One of the areas that got their attention was replacing their outdated patio furniture with some more attractive contemporary patio furniture.

Today's builders are paying careful attention to the latest trends in useable living space. While the costs per square foot of enclosed space can be very expensive, outdoor living space is much more reasonably priced. The interior of today's houses may not have as much square footage as many older houses, but homeowners are incorporating outdoor patios and decks as additional living space.

The most effective way to use outdoor space as an extension of a home's indoor living space is through a subtle transition process. This means paying careful attention to the colors, materials and indoor room decor that leads directly to the outdoor patio or deck space that is to become very practical and functional outdoor space.

For instance, a family room may have a set of French doors that open up onto a patio or wood deck. There may be a lanai or a screened enclosure, or the outdoor space can be completely uncovered. The family room may have a sectional sofa with tan upholstery. Purchasing some substantial outdoor wicker chairs with matching seat cushions would be a way to continue the basic decorating theme that started inside the house. People walking out of the house and on to the patio should feel that they are in an outdoor section of the indoor room. Blurring the difference from indoors to outdoors is an important way to make the use of outdoor space appear natural.

There are several popular materials that have gained widespread acceptance in the contemporary patio furniture market. Wicker is perhaps the most versatile of materials and makes an excellent upscale appearance. Wood is another widely used material that also has certain advantages over wicker. Aluminum, resin, glass and several other basic materials round out the selection.


Wicker and natural rattan furniture have been used for many years to create stylish outdoor seating. The problem in the past with using wicker and rattan outdoors was that the material looked great when it was new, but not so good after being exposed to the elements for a few months. Wicker that is quite suitable for using in your den, does not do quite so well when placed on your patio. Such was the drawback of placing wicker couches and chairs on your patio. Weather makes natural rattan and wicker fade, peel and eventually warp. Today, new technology has created synthetic wicker patio furniture that looks just as nice as natural wicker, but holds up much better under all types of weather conditions. A polyethylene material or a polyurethane coating is weather resistant and will not fade or peel. This new process gives wicker furniture will last and remain in good condition for many years.

All weather wicker sofas and chairs come in a wide variety of designs. Some people prefer the traditional rounded edges of a wicker couch or chair while others prefer a contemporary look with sharper edges and geometric shapes. Wicker is now available in a rainbow of designer colors. No longer does one have to settle for a few different shades of brown. Adding a little color is a popular design concept for contemporary patio furniture.

Modular wicker couches increase decorating options for the patio. One might string all of the sections together or divide the couch into 2 separate seating areas. Wicker chairs range from traditional to very contemporary. There are many designer chairs that swivel, have unusual shapes and come in eye-catching colors. Table bases made of wicker get a contemporary glass top and can be matched to the chairs and sofas.

Contemporary wicker furniture would not be complete without adding some plush seat cushions. This is where the consumer has the most options. Fashionable patterns, prints and designs, combined with a wide spectrum of colors, allows for individual personalization of one's outdoor patio furniture.

Keeping your wicker looking good requires very little maintenance. To clean wicker, remove the cushions and wipe down with a general household cleaner. If a pressure washer is available, the job will go faster. Just be sure not to use too much pressure or you could damage the wicker finish.


Cedar and pine and teak wood patio furniture all hold up very well under all types of weather. In fact, the longer cedar is exposed to the elements, the better it actually starts to look. As cedar ages, it develops a silver-gray hue that most people find quite attractive.

Cedar, pine and teak are also chosen for outdoor patio furniture because they are rot-resistant and insect resistant. They do not warp and can be used to make contemporary picnic tables, benches and even plant holders.


Aluminum is still a very popular choice for contemporary patio furniture. The metal's is lightweight and is easily able to be bent and shaped into any shape. It also has great strength and can easily support a large amount of weight. Designers can get very creative and add their own flair to aluminum patio furniture. Aluminum is weather resistant and does not rust like some other types of metal.


Patio furniture is not restricted to basic sofas and chairs. Contemporary bistro tables, dining tables, craft tables and even Ping-Pong tables are all options for one's patio. There are folding metal chairs, stackable chairs, bar stools and armchairs. Outdoor carpets and rugs can enhance the appearance of any outdoor living space. An outdoor fireplace, decorative posts and sunshades can all be part of a patio's furnishings. Accessorize the larger outdoor furniture with some modern plant racks. Put some flowers or your other favorite greenery into some unique planters.


In general, expect to pay more for this type of outdoor furniture. After all, you will be buying quality furniture and not a cheap folding beach chair. There is a wide range in this category of furniture due to a number of different factors. The materials that are used to construct the furniture are at different price points. For example, teak wood is quite a bit more expensive than pine. The thickness and quality of the cushion also affects the price. Designer furniture always adds a premium to the amount one must pay.

When shopping for contemporary furniture, know your budget. There are good patio sets starting as low as $500 and there are also some exquisite designer creations that can set one back $5,000 or more.

Adding some nice contemporary patio furniture to your backyard is a great way to enhance your living space. There are many choices including wicker, wood and aluminum furniture. One can buy individual pieces or buy a complete set. Generally, it costs a little more to buy individual pieces. You can usually get a deal if you buy a table, 4 chairs and maybe a chaise lounge as a single package. Viesso can help you stay within your budget and have fun designing your outdoor space.


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