Best porch furniture?

Sueb20January 25, 2013

Yes, it's January in New England, but we just had a meeting with our contractor last night regarding our new screen porch, which he hopes to start building by March 1. Of course I will want it furnished within 24 hours of its completion, so I'm browsing and thinking now...

We have a screen porch at our beach cottage, but I purchased that furniture from CL so this is our first "real" experience buying porch furniture. I want something that will look good for a long time and we are willing to invest the money in something that will last. And we want really comfy furniture! It's not going to be a big space, but I think we may get two loveseats, or a loveseat and 2 chairs. The furniture will be somewhat protected in the off season because we'll replace the screens with glass, but it's not a year-round space. The furniture will have to stay on the porch year-round, though, because we have no storage space. (I could bring the cushions in, though.)

Any recommendations? I like the look of the PB all-weather wicker sofas, but they may be too big. I don't want big bulky stuff, because the porch won't be large, but I do want comfortable seating for curling up and reading or having a margarita!

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We purchased 4 Lane Venture rockers for our new patio last summer. Our primary goal was comfort, and it's hard to find in lower end outdoor furniture. We traveled to NC to try out as many as possible, as well as a couple of local places--whose in store selections were sparse. These chairs are hands down the most comfortable. We purchased the PB covers for them at the end of the season prices, and they fit great.

We found our best price at Lexington Furniture in KY. They were nearly $300 cheaper PER CHAIR than Furnitureland in NC.

You're smart to start early. Our order took 6 weeks.


Here is a link that might be useful: Our chairs

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Take a look at Frontgates outdoor furniture.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 11:56AM
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I almost did this topic last week! We're getting ready to buy porch furniture also. One loveseat, two chairs, coffee table, end table.

I'm confused about different types of metals. There's wrought iron, and various types of aluminum. I know iron is very durable, but what about the other typs of aluminum?

Ours will only be exposed to an open north exposure, while the rest of the area will be closed in.

I thought about wicker, but I can just see spiders and dirt blowing in them. :)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 11:58AM
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For quality patio furniture I'd say to head to your local patio/outdoor furniture store, if you have one.

I purchased Homecrest 12 years ago and it still looks like new. Everyone that sits in the cushioned chairs always comment on how comfy they are.
I don't have a screened porch but it is covered and I probably wouldn't bring in my cushions if it weren't for the birds that sometimes perch on them in the winter and the early spring pollen. During our worst storms I will pull the chairs closer to the house to keep the rain off them.

Check out the link below for some of the brands available.

Here is a link that might be useful: Patio furniture

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:07PM
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I have a medium sized semi-covered (lattice roof) porch with just enough privacy that I always wanted an outdoor sectional. For curling up and reading or an intimate convo with margarita, I like the corsica lounge chair from Ballard. I haven't seen it but the reviews give it excellent marks.

I have had the same very inexpensive wrought iron set for over 10 years. This is the first that it's showing signs of rust (and I don't bring it in for the winter). It was a martha stewart for Kmart set that I picked up to use until I found something better-- but the chairs were so comfortable that I never found something I liked more (even at much higher prices). I don't think the MS lines are made as well now-- or if so, I've never found one that comes close to my set in price or comfort. It is time to replace it and I loathe beginning the search. I'd love to get three or four of the corsica chairs to make a little seating area but I am not ready to spend that much right now.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:11PM
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No help here, Sue, as my front portal chairs were all bought at a garage sale in Michigan over 30 years ago. I'm going to need new ones someday and just wanted to say that I LOVE the one's that Dee has! Not only are they good looking and comfortable but I think the swivel base is so practical (turning away from the sun or towards a visitor or a great view, etc).
Regarding loveseats and chairs, we have four chairs and like the versatility of them versus two love seats. I like being able to really relax on my portal and don't want to have to deal with DH's elbows or spread out newspaper while he reads. Our company isn't always couples, and think they appreciate having their own space as they sit and visit with us. Plus, when our kids were younger, they definitely needed their own chairs . . . away from each other (LOL)!
Anyhoo, just a few thought. Great chairs, Dee!!!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:14PM
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I don't think you can go wrong with the all weather wicker. Especially since your porch is all enclosed. For over 10 years we had dark green all weather wicker on our screened porch. Then we had our sunroom built and I wanted it more like a "real" room (meaning like a room within the house) and we got rid of the all weather wicker. BUT, my sister and BIL took that furniture for their condo near Charleston. It's on a screened in (enclosed) porch there, but honestly, it still looks new. Even the dark green color did not fade. On our patio, which is fully exposed to the elements we used some wrought iron pieces (lounger, two spring chairs, table and chairs) with our vintage glider and chairs. The all weather wicker we had came from Home Depot but I don't know the brand. You can also buy covers for alot of outdoor funiture so if you are worried, you could always do that.

Can't wait to see your porch. We use our outdoor areas extensively and there is not a day that goes by that we do not use the sunroom. Best decision we made in this house!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:31PM
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We had company coming this summer and were in a real hurry to get some patio furniture in our newly remodeled atrium before they arrived. We went with this all-weather resin wicker Ty Pennington Mayfield 4-piece set from Sears. It was on sale for $599. It's now on sale for $720. My only complaint is that the fabric is a little scratchy.

Also try Costco. While much of their stuff is for larger areas, you might find something suited for a porch.


Here is a link that might be useful: Costco Patio Furniture

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 1:05PM
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We have Lane all weather wicker rockers, Woodard wrought iron chaises, Tropitone 84" table and 6 sling chairs, Brown Jordan sofa, and North Cape rocker/gliders, ranging in age from 15 years to 3 years. The North Cape chairs are by far the most comfortable. We did not buy their cushions, though, had ours custom made locally of Sunbrella that was already in use on the adjacent screened porch. The chairs were about $650 each on sale (bargain!) and the cushions were about another $200 per chair.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Have you tried Summer Classics? I think they have stores in many states. We have had our cast aluminum sets for years. Even the one outdoors has remained nice looking and we don't cover it in winter. We do store the cushions. There are various sizes, styles (some even incorporate all-weather wicker but don't use it entirely) and finishes and many colors of fabric to choose from.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Sorry - duplicated post when I thought there was an error in posting.

This post was edited by outsideplaying on Fri, Jan 25, 13 at 13:45

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 1:43PM
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I am totally a devotee of Brown Jordan. I think we have had it 12+ years, all of them spent outside on a screened verandah. Ours is the faux wicker. Normally I hate faux, and this is plastic over steel but it wears great and looks great. It is now in our greenhouse connected to our pool room. Not inexpensive, but IMHO the best outdoor stuff on the market.

Close up:

This is from when we were trying to pick a fabric.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Love the Brown Jordan! I found some at their website but I don't think DH would approve of a $6,000 sofa. lol

Lynn, I thought about chairs only but our porch is the size of a small living room. The furniture area is square shaped, the other side of the porch is rectangle and that's where I keep my planters. I'm going to shoot for a 3-seat sofa if I can. Whatever we get will get snowed on only if the wind is blowing hard out of the north. The good thing is the furniture won't get any sun.

For heavy duty, is wrought iron the best way to go?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:57PM
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While I can't recommend porch furniture (ours is from Tar-jay) I do recommend a three seat sofa long enough to stretch out comfortably for a nap if you have room. That was my favorite use of the screened porch in our old house on nice afternoons.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:27PM
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I have Lloyd Flanders wicker on my screened porch. The sofa is a regular three cushion size -- perfect for stretching out with a book/ One is a regular chair and the other is a rocker. the porch is not large at all but the furniture fits well. I've had it a very long time and it really could use some new cushions, but the wicker has held up well. I cover it all with a tarp in the winter and it does just fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: lloyd flanders

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:54PM
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I have Lloyd Flanders all-weather wicker - sofa, rocker, chair & ottoman. Have had ours for 11 yrs. Replaced original cushions about 6 yrs. ago w/ some from another online custom cushion vendor. Looked very pretty but they were not comfortable at all - solid foam and a little batting without much give. Bit the bullet & got new LF cushions 2 yrs. later, even though replacement cushions didn't show any wear (so uncomfortable no one wanted to sit on them..) Set looks brand new and is so comfortable and inviting.

My advice would be to try to find a place where you can try sitting on the set - or at least one with the same type frame and cushions - before purchasing. Some of the lower priced sets are fine if they're for occasional seating, or mostly for looks. But if you're planning to spend a lot of time entertaining in the space or relax on weekends with the Sunday paper or a good book, I'd highly recommend a test drive.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Thanks, this is all very helpful, especially the specific brand names. We do have a good store in the next town with good quality patio furniture (definitely prefer to shop in person in this case) but I hoped to learn your experiences with specific brands. Thanks, all!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 6:50PM
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We have a set I love by OW Lee furniture. We have a 3 seat sofa, 2 spring chairs with very high backs...super comfy and a large ottoman that doubles as coctail table. I live out there most of the year since we glassed in our screen porch with sliders. The cushions are sunbrella, and were weather exposed before we glassed it in. We would just hose off the pollen every spring, let them dry in the sun and move it back in. Love that we can now shut out that pollen! We have had lots of other outdoor furniture over the years and this is by far the most comfortable and durable...looks new after 5 years.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:29PM
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I'll second the OW Lee recommendation. We purchased wrought iron love seat, swivel lounge chairs and dining set because we can get some high winds in our area. The lightweight stuff would be blown off the patio! They are very comfortable, but the wrought iron versions are very heavy.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:48PM
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Sorry to hijack the thread, but this is along the same lines. For a 10 foot by 14 foot screened porch in northern Virginia (likely can be used 3 seasons) that opens off the walkway between family room and kitchen, would you choose a table and chairs or comfy seating? We have a dining room and have just built a new kitchen with island seating. I love the idea of eating on the porch when the weather is nice but also want to be able to take a nap on beautiful afternoons. I don't think 10 by 14 allows for both. Would love to hear from others who faced a similar choice and whether you were happy with the way you went, and why. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Our patio furniture is from crate and barrel. I really like it and it has held up great so far.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 10:25PM
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