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What Options Exist for my Outdoor Patio Furniture?


Your outdoor patio furniture may come with options or it may not. You’ll need to decide if this matters to you. At the very basic level, you may be able to choose frame color and cushion color. We carry collections that are available in over a dozen frame colors. This allows you to customize your look to complement your house color or the color of the surface the furniture will sit on. Some choose to match the patio furniture to its surroundings, and some prefer to contrast it.


Beyond color of frame, you may be able to choose frame “finish.” The frame finish is the extent you see two-two colors, dotted paint, brush strokes, multiple layers, or a contrast color along the edges of the piece. Frame finishes can make your pieces look very sophisticated, but they often are a reflection of the durability and color fastness of the frame color. Inexpensive aluminum patio furniture will have simple factory-applied finishes that may go dull, crack, or peel in a relatively short amount of time.


Further, some collections allow you to choose table tops and bases separately. There may be several types of table top sizes, shapes, and textures. You may find smooth, slatted, dimpled, ornate, woven, glass, acrylic, resin, concrete, stone, faux, composite, recycled plastic, marine grade polymer, or any number of custom types of table tops. These tops will be available with possibly multiple options for the base, or the legs. You’ll have simple, contemporary legs, curvy legs, ornate, woven, and any number of stylish types of legs. Make sure the legs you like will support the weight and size of the top that you like. If given options, the manufacturer needs to dictate what options will work together.


Perhaps the most impactful custom option for outdoor patio furniture is the fabric on the cushions or the sling. Your collection might be manufactured with one cushion color. There will be batch created for a season, or even for your particular patio store, and when it’s gone it’s gone. There is no way to request an alternate cushion color because it was made many months ago by the thousands at the factory.


Many furniture companies and collections have prebuilt frames and then the cushions are made to order. With these companies, you’ll have a set of fabrics to choose from. The selection may be a dozen or so, or it could include swatches from a very thick fabric book. These color selections will be outlined online or in the store. You’ll be able to touch and feel and see the true brilliance of the color when looking at fabric swatches in a store. You can even take them outside to see how they will look in natural daylight. Online, you should be given the name or even a code for the specific fabric. The website should have an image of the fabric swatch, and with a quick Google search you’ll be able to find many more representations of the same fabric.


Not all fabrics are created equal. Sunbrella is the gold standard when it comes to outdoor patio furniture cushions. You will also find fabrics by the names Phifer, Phifertex, Olefin, or it may not be specified. If it’s not specified, then you can be confident it will not be Sunbrella.


Collections that allow you to choose your fabric color offer another distinct advantage. They sew the cushions made to order and will be able to make them again for you one day if needed. Your outdoor patio furniture frames will likely outlast your cushions. It is very beneficial and reassuring to know that you can reorder new cushions in the future that will fit your furniture frames exactly as they were designed to.


Some furniture collections allow you to select between poly foam and reticulated foam cushions. Reticulated foam is a far superior product and will cost more. Please read our blog posts on cushions and determine if the type of fill inside your cushion is important to you.


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  • Christopher Amos
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