Relax, Recline …Unwind
By: Susan Lee
Coastal Georgia is a great place to live and enjoy the many outdoor areas in and around your home. Mild winters and coastal breezes make patio, porch, or pool areas great places to swim, sunbathe, cook out, dine, entertain, or just relax. Outdoor furniture comes in a variety of styles and types. There are oval, round and square tables with chairs for dining. There are “chat groups” with four chairs and a low table for cocktails and snacks. Bar stools and bar stool sets come in bar and balcony heights. There are lounge chairs with ottomans and chaise lounges for sun bathing by the pool. There are wicker outdoor lamps, planters, and cushion storage boxes. There are Adirondack chairs, single and double gliders, and porch swings. There are umbrellas in all sizes and colors.
Unfortunately for some kinds of outdoor and patio furniture, Georgia’s heat and humidity can be enemy number one. Paint will peel or flake off untreated metal furniture or it will rust. Wood furniture will also flake and rot. Some wicker styles will fade and crack. But it’s not a hopeless cause; there are some great furniture products that will work very well in Georgia’s climate.
When considering aluminum furniture, there are several excellent options. Tropitone has a line of extruded and cast aluminum furniture that has a 15-year warranty against structural defects and 5 years on the powder coated paint finish. It comes with several cushion features including water-resistant slings and cushions and padded slings made of Sunbrella fabric that resists fading or staining. Windward Design Group based in Sarasota, Florida offers a line of aluminum furniture with a 15-year warranty on structure and finish. Windward has an extensive line of marine grade polymer products. Marine Grade Polymer (MGP) is impervious to the salt water environment with color all the way through the product. Windward prides itself on its aluminum and MGP products being 100% American made. The line of solid cast aluminum furniture from Windham Casting, made in Plains, Georgia, is really a modern-day version of wrought iron, with its intricate and delicate patterns and heavy weight. It carries a 10-year structural warranty and a 5-year warranty on the finish. There are deep seating styles and a variety of dining options. Castelle, manufactured by Pride Family Group offers an extensive collection of cast and extruded aluminum furniture. Styles include contemporary and traditional with many frame colors and fabric choices. The warranty is 10 years structurally and 5 years on the powder coated finish.
There’s a relatively new product on the market called Breezesta which is made from recycled plastic and looks and feels just like wood. The furniture is heavy so it works well outdoors around pools or on decks and it’s not likely to blow away in a storm. It comes in a variety of styles and 22 colors which can be combined for dramatic effects. Breezesta is a unique company in that it owns the recycling facility and controls the entire manufacturing process. Their furniture has a lifetime warranty.
Making a comeback, PVC furniture has become increasingly popular for outdoor areas. The pipe comes in either white or tan. Casualine, based in Winter Garden, Florida, has a line of PVC furniture that comes with Sunbrella and Textilene cushions and sling styles.
For many years, the most popular product for porch and sunroom furniture was wicker. Lloyd Flanders has been making woven wicker for more than a hundred years. Now in addition to their traditional woven line, they are making a new product – resin wicker – that works well outside because it resists humidity and heat damage. It is easier to keep clean as it can be sprayed with a hose and scrubbed with soapy water. Most of The Patio Store’s manufacturers make resin furniture including Tropitone, Windward Design, North Cape International and Erwin and Sons. The wicker comes in several colors, not just white like the old-fashioned product. Cushions are Sunbrella fabric for easy care and long life.
Of course, we can’t rule out natural wood. The Royal Teak line is a time-honored option for outdoor furniture. For the traditionalist, teak offers the natural wood choice for tables, chairs, lounges and deep seating groups.
Gas fire tables are steadily gaining popularity for enjoying the outdoors in the colder months. These tables can be used on porches and lanais without the smoke and soot. They have adjustable flame heights and are available with many variations in size, color and top surfaces.
If you use sun umbrellas, you may want to consider the Oasis Rolling Base, a new product recently introduced by a German manufacturer. This base is designed to give homeowners flexibility with umbrella placement while still providing a stable base. The base is easy to move to allow for the position of the sun. It comes in several sizes to fit different umbrellas.
All of these furniture products are made to the highest standards and are designed to stand up to tough weather conditions with relatively low maintenance. Sunbrella fabrics are fade and mildew resistant. Mildew thrives on dirt and humidity. Regular vacuuming and cleaning with warm soapy water will keep cushions looking fresh and retard mildew. 303 Fabric Protectant, a product endorsed by Sunbrella, will provide extra protection for mildew prone areas. It’s also important to take special care with furniture around pools. Saltwater pools that use salt to generate chlorine can be corrosive to outdoor furniture frames. Furniture may get sprayed with pool water by some pools that use robotic cleaners. It’s important for homeowners to regularly rinse furniture around the pool with fresh water.
To see all of these outdoor furniture options for yourself, visit The Patio Store in Kingsland, Georgia. There are floor models of each line for you to see and try. But don’t sit too long or you might not want to get back up, because the furniture is super comfortable! You may purchase the floor models or special order your own set from a huge selection of styles and fabric choices. For more information, visit the web site at thepatiostorega.com, call owner Otis Lee at 912.729.1173, or just drop by the store.