By Candice Schaffer
As the long days of summer kick into high gear, so, too, do visions of relaxing outdoors with a good book or dinner with friends and family on a well-manicured lawn. But furnishing your outdoor space can seem more like a burden than a boon to your overall aesthetic. Fortunately, with gorgeous new lines of outdoor furniture popping up from some of the world’s best designers, there’s never been a better time to accessorize your backyard.
Invest in quality
The right furniture — or a lack thereof — can make or break a get-together. While it might be tempting to buy an inexpensive set of outdoor furniture at your local home improvement store as a placeholder until you find the perfect pieces, this kind of decision-making will end up wasting both time and money. If you think of your outdoor space as just as much a part of your home as your living room, it seems less wise to go for a fast fix. If budget is your main concern, get the look you love for less money by shopping flash sale sites, like Gilt Groupe and Rue La La, which sell high-quality products at reduced prices. If indecision over design is your main issue, try recruiting a professional at your local department store — you can discuss your preferred aesthetic and price point and have the right items shipped directly to your door.
A look to last
When it comes to picking a perfect outdoor set, the look is important, but durability is essential. Whether your outdoor space is subjected to the eastern seaboard’s four seasons or the strong southern heat, outdoor furniture serves a much more important function than simply looking good. Just ask the designers at Miami’s Brickell Flatiron, who have designed beautifully furnished outdoor spaces, from the rooftop deck to the condos’ curved balconies, all of which are designed to withstand the fierce Florida sun. If your furniture will be in direct sunlight for any period of time, kick the idea of metal furniture and dark fabrics to the curb and opt for a lighter look, which will help you keep your cool, even on the hottest days. If your outdoor set is likely to withstand everything from sun to snow, make sure you pick a sturdy material with a weather-resistant finish — inexpensive plastic pieces are likely to warp or crack after temperature fluctuations.
While your home may be the perfect fit for your current lifestyle, as families expand and jobs change, moving may become part of your reality. Paint touch-ups and some light organizing can make a home look move-in ready to potential buyers, but a bare or unkempt backyard can be a deal breaker right off the bat. By investing in well-designed outdoor furniture, you’ll not only have incentive to keep your green spaces neatly landscaped, but you’ll add value to your home by showing possible buyers the potential for your outdoor areas. If you’re looking to sell, your home and possessions should demonstrate an aspirational lifestyle — you want buyers to imagine a future full of summertime soirees, not phone calls to gardeners and landscapers.
Your home is a reflection of your ideas, your tastes and, above all, your personality, so it’s important to extend the same courtesy you give to your indoor space to the area that extends beyond it. By investing in a great set of outdoor furniture, you’re not only opening the door to countless entertaining opportunities, you’re banking on a brighter financial future.
About Candice Schaffer
Candice Schaffer is vice president of Knightsbridge Park Real Estate Marketing, which manages the digital footprint for luxury brands and real estate development projects worldwide, including Halcyon and Brickell Flatiron.
Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.