Outdoor furniture can really take a beating with temperature and humidity changes, as well as exposure to the sun all day long. Here are some classic porch furniture pieces that will stand the test of time – both in their durability and their style!
I had originally intended to buy furniture for our porch as soon as we finished it last fall. I spent hours looking at every website I could think of to try to find something that I liked, that would function well for how we wanted to use the porch, and that wouldn’t be trash in a year or two because of our crazy weather. It was nearly impossible. I finally found a set of four comfy chairs that I liked, ordered them, then received a call the next day saying that they were out of stock. That actually ended up being a stroke of luck because we ended up just leaving our pair of white Adirondack chairs out on the porch over the winter. I found that every time I looked out the dining room window and on to the porch all winter long, I just loved the way the chairs looked out there. It makes sense, because classic white Adirondacks are my favourite.
I started to think that maybe this style of chair that we already had out there was the perfect solution: Low maintenance, comfortable, no cushions to store and bring in and out all summer long. And they just always look great!
My quest for the perfect porch furniture really got me thinking about what types of things I really want to include out there and what types of things aren’t worth the time it takes to pick them out. There are so many trendy, modern patio decor options available these days, but most of them will either break down really quickly when exposed to the elements or will look tired and outdated before next summer rolls around. Replacing all of that stuff every year or two can really take away from your porch sitting time! 🙂
So here are my picks for classic porch furniture that will stand up to both the elements and the passing trends.
While metal furniture may get rusty after a number of seasons outdoors, it’s super easy to give it a coat of spray paint every few years to keep it protected if you stick to basic black. You don’t have to worry about it rotting like you do with wood, and metal furniture is mostly constructed in classic styles that will look good for as long as the furniture will last, which is pretty much forever. Stay away from really chunky modern styles with really straight, harsh lines. This furniture is an investment for the long run so look for something that like looks like you could have purchased it five to ten years ago, but still love today. That will help steer you clear of the trendy stuff that won’t hold up, style-wise. These Bridgehampton Outdoor Club Chairs are a perfect example of that.
Truly timeless and my number one choice. Look for chairs made from all-weather recycled plastic. They require no maintenance at all and can be left out year-round. We recently purchased a coffee table for our porch in this material and we’ll be replacing our wooden Adirondack chairs with some of these soon.
Basic Square Planters
Planter styles come and go, but a pair of basic square planters will always look good and will be the backbone of your container garden plans. I have yet to find any in an all-weather recycled plastic that I really think look like the type of quality that I’m looking for, but wood planters like this in a classic style can be found fairly inexpensively and aren’t too big of a deal to repaint when necessary. I highly recommend Behr Marquee paint for painting outdoor wood. I haven’t found anything that holds up quite as well. I bought my planters from a local garden centre, but these right here are identical to mine: Square Planters With Finials
Blue and White Ceramic Planters
Blue and white is always right! 🙂 I love the look of blue and white planters overflowing with flowers on a porch or patio. These planters are pretty enough to use inside, but they look extra special when you bring them out to the porch. If you find one for a good deal, grab it! These planters can be an investment, but they’re definitely worth it when you consider how many years of enjoyment you’ll get out of them. This one here is really reasonably-priced for such a large planter: Large Blue and White Ceramic Planter.
I love the look of a classic wooden garden bench and I think they really come in handy when you have the space for them. They can provide extra seating or even an extra place to put things down because of their flat seat. A wood finish looks great and you can find wooden garden benches in beautiful classic styles easily and inexpensively, but that’s a lot of surface area to paint or refinish when they start to need some extra protection. The all-weather versions of these get my vote again. I absolute love the chippendale styling of this one: White All-Weather Garden Bench.
These are harder to find in a non-wood material, but I think that this is a purchase that you won’t regret no matter what material it’s made out of. If you’re looking for something fun and a little different for your porch furniture, this will do the trick, without looking tacky in a few years, the way those big metal gliders often do.
Cotton Flat Weave Rugs Instead of a Regular Doormat
This piece of porch furniture is definitely less of an investment, but I still find regular doormats annoying to have to replace every few months. Coir mats always come across as a classic choice, but in reality, they don’t last and they start looking sad really quickly. My preference is to go with a cotton flat weave rug instead of a coir doormat and just wash it frequently to refresh the look of it. These waterhog doormats are absolutely indestructible, but they don’t come in quite as many colors/patterns as I would like to see. Basic flat-weave rugs never let me down, though! Here’s one that I love: Dash and Albert Blue Herringbone Rug.
Cast Iron Urns
These are on my “one day” list. I think we might actually be getting closer to that day now that we have our new front porch. These urns are something you really only want to put in place once because they’re so heavy. Definitely a long-term planter solution, but one you’ll use year-round that will really never go out of style. I’ll need to do a little more research on these because I’ve seen them priced anywhere from about $80 to about $900 for what seems to me to be pretty much the same thing, but there must be a difference between them, right?
Lanterns are so handy to have in your porch decor bag of tricks. If you buy a pair in a good, classic shape, you’ll be able to use them to fill in empty-looking spaces throughout the year and you’ll be able to use them with candles to add a little extra ambiance and magic for parties and get-togethers. You know, when those eventually happen again. They seem to come out with new lantern styles every season, but you really only need one good pair and you’re all set.
Classic Metal Watering Can
If you have to use a watering can, it might as well be beautiful enough to leave right by the door so you can grab it on the way out to the garden. And once you’ve found that watering can that’s both beautiful and perfectly functional, you might as well make sure that it will last you for years and years as well. The Haws metal watering cans are watering can perfection in my opinion. They seem to be currently sold out just about everywhere, but I think they’re worth the wait. I’ve gone through so many inferior plastic watering cans over the years and a good, reliable one is something I wish I would have tracked down when I went to buy my very first watering can back in the day. A good watering can that you can count on in the garden is kind of like having great tools in the kitchen. It just makes life a little bit better. 🙂
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- How to Style an Outdoor Coffee Table
- Adding a New Front Porch Onto Our Old Farmhouse
- Kitchen Organization Essentials That Will Stand the Test of Time
- The Creek Line House Decorating Archives
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.