A patio is more than just a place to occasionally eat. It is a place to relax and unwind, strengthen bonds with family members and even hold small get-togethers with friends and colleagues from the office. Central to the experience though is the choice of patio furniture.

However, choosing the perfect garden or patio furniture can sometimes be a stressful guessing game. If you’re not careful, it can even lead years of heartache. So how do you choose the right furniture for your patio?

1. PURPOSE

Do you have a plan on how you will use the patio? Will it be just a place to lounge and drink with your wife and adult children? Are you going to hold weekly barbeques with your young children and their friends? Will it be for socialising with co-workers over glasses of cocktails? Or will it involve all of the above? Once you have determined the purpose of your patio, you can then make an informed decision on whether you need a dining table, a cocktail bar, loungers, the number of chairs, etc. Suddenly, everything will fall into place.

2. MAINTENANCE

Next, spend some time researching on the amount of work required to maintain your patio furniture. How frequently do you need to repaint or retouch them? Cushioned seats are all fine and dandy, but are you going to drag the chairs into the house every time the sky turns cloudy? Speaking of rain and the weather, teak patio furniture is in a class of its own. You can leave it out in the garden in the freezing winter or scorching summer, year after year, without the need to coat it with new layers of varnish or worry about furniture rot or wood decay. Teak has a natural resistance to the elements, wood-boring insects and bacterial decay. You can literally bequeath teak furniture to your children one day – they last that long.

3. TEST DRIVE

Now comes the important part: test drive your furniture. Go to the furniture shop and sit on the chairs, loungers and benches there. Recline and put your feet up. Get a feel at how comfortable they are. Test out the dining table. Is the distance and height comfortable over long stretches of time (because good furniture remains comfortable even after several hours of chatting)?

You can’t go wrong with our three tips above. Have fun shopping for your new furniture!