Consider the weather conditions of your outdoor area. Is your balcony hot and sheltered from the rain, or do you have a windy patio near the coast? Does it rain often? These are important questions to answer before selecting furniture for your terrace or balcony. Keep in mind that hot, dry conditions can make some wood splinter and crack. Natural wood is sturdy and comfortable, but it will require regular maintenance and preservative treatments for weather and UV protection. Choose weather-resistant woods like redwood, teak, cedar and cypress that require less maintenance. Aluminium, PVC and plastic are rustproof, lightweight, inexpensive and easy to maintain with a little soap and water. However, strong winds will send them flying. Rattan and wicker look great on your deck but will not withstand constant exposure to moisture for long and are best for sheltered outdoor spaces.
Once you've determined the best material for your furniture, you can measure your space and decide on a basic layout. Make sure to leave enough space to navigate around your furniture comfortably. For a small balcony you might want get a bar table set with a narrow table and stools that will take up less space than chairs. If you have a big terrace or rooftop, you can go for that wooden dining room set or the big lounge chairs.
The next thing to consider is the comfort level you want for your little oasis. Will you be using your outdoor furniture to relax? Make it comfortable! Buy extra cushions and throws and make it cozy. Just make sure to choose good quality outdoor fabrics that are fade and mildew resistant. Or are you looking to host BBQ and dinner parties? Then you're likely to need a table and chair set. Chaise lounges, rockers, and recliners are also great for relaxing outdoors. Whatever you choose, make sure to try out your furniture before you buy it.
Last, but certainly not least, you probably want to consider your budget. While we recommend buying the best outdoor furniture you can afford, in the end, it's your budget that determines what you can buy. If you are economising, there are some great options for getting the best value for your investment: Wait to buy your furniture until the end of summer for great discounts. Consider less expensive materials like aluminium or resin if the conditions on your outdoor space permit. Keep an eye out at local garage sales or thrift stores for furniture that you can refurbish and clean up to make it look good as new.