Outdoor furnishings are different than indoor.
Furniture for the exterior environment has to be durable. Outdoor pieces need to be strong enough to handle being dragged around by the gardener and chewed on (or worse) by dogs. Heavy duty structural components made of teak or metal, and brass or stainless steel hardware and fasteners are necessary. Outdoor fabrics must be comfortable yet tough and sun/water/salt/chlorine resistant like those made here. Because of this, high quality outdoor furniture that is made for a long life out in the wild is a big investment.
Just how big an investment are we talking? High quality teak chaise lounges can run anywhere from $1500-$3500 each. Dining table sets $5000-$10000 or more. I like the quality of the teak furnishings sold here. Such investments should be made carefully and with a reasonable amount of research. You can find inexpensive furniture certainly, and you will also need to replace it more often.
Don’t make any investment in good outdoor furniture unless you are also prepared to spend whatever it takes to maintain it properly. If you don’t intend to maintain your outdoor furniture, then save your money and just go on vacation. Treating good teak poorly is a waste of money and worse, it is a waste of environmentally sensitive resources. You need to take care of it.
Proper maintenance of fine outdoor furniture includes maintaining the finishes (teak wood or metal), cleaning and storing the cushions and fabric elements, then installing covers over the wood, metal or fabric framework of any furnishings left outside during the off seasons.
Nice covers breathe, shed rain, shield the sun, protect from hail and ice damage, and the finest covers like these even look marvelous. They provide the functional and visual confirmation of “being buttoned up.” Protecting the furniture with covers reduces the frequency of having to clean and reapply finishes, thus cutting costs and extending the useful life of the furniture. Once on, blow leaves and dust off the covers once a week. Run them through the washer when you’re ready to place them back into storage
- Teak: 1x every 2 years wash and clean the wood surfaces and refinish with an oil treatment
- Metal: 1x per year, wash and wipe down the metal with soft cloth and water
- Fabric: 1x per year, Remove and wash cushion covers
- Covers: 1x per year, Machine wash, dry and store during the off season