1. Know your space and your lifestyle. The right furniture for you depends on your space and your lifestyle. If you’re lucky enough to have a rooftop terrace, be sure to consider the wind’s ability to blow things away. Got kids? Maybe don’t get white cushions or pieces with sharp metal corners.
  2. Don’t overspend. For most of us, outdoor seating is a seasonal retreat, so it should be a low-cost investment. A good benchmark? Budget less than you would on your indoor living room, which is used year-round. You can find sofa sets from places like AmazonWayfairThe Home Depot, and Lowe’s, for around $1,000-$2,000. Stores like West Elm and CB2 might offer the sofa alone for the same price, and high-end vendors, like RHDesign Within ReachPottery Barn, or Crate & Barrel, will be at least double that amount for just a sofa.
  3. Read the online reviews. If you are going to buy from lower cost or mid-range sellers, I recommend going with items that already have a high volume of reviews. If there are any defects or other problems, those will be reflected in people’s comments.
  4. Consider artificial or composite wood. Real wood, while nice in theory, won’t last as long as artificial wood—and it will weather to gray unless you sand and oil it on a regular basis. There are very nice looking composite wood materials that give the look of wood, but are a lot more durable. If you do choose wood, steer clear of “solid woods that expand and contract due to natural elements.” Instead, opt for something more weather-resistant like teak or acacia.
  5. Choose something comfortable. Last but not least, prioritize seating you’ll actually want to sit in, whether that’s a sofa set, a standalone sofa, or a cozy lounge chair. People will use their outdoor space more if they feel comfortable being there for an extended period of time.


If you’re starting from scratch and like to entertain: Get an outdoor seating set.

If you already have chairs and a coffee table: Splurge on a quality sofa.

If your outdoor area is on the small side: Buy a lounge chair (or two