If you enjoy hosting friends for casual get-togethers or spending quality time at home with loved ones, make sure that your outdoor space can accommodate your entertainment and relaxation needs. Whether you want a piece of furniture to seat a crowd or a nice place to relax for some afternoon reading, we’re here to help you choose the right outdoor conversation set.
What Is a Patio Conversation Set?
A conversation set is different than a patio dining set. It’s a little more casual and meant for lounging and relaxing, similar to a living room set or family room furniture for the outdoors. It can consist of two chairs and a table, a loveseat, a sectional sofa, a fire pit, and other options. There are actually dozens of configurations from which you can choose — which is the fun part of shopping for a conversation set.
So how do you choose the conversation patio set that’s right for you? We’ve pulled together a few tips and things to know before you shop. Take a look and make note of the features that work best for your family and your outdoor space.
Planning Your Outdoor Seating Space
Before you shop, consider where you’ll put your patio conversation set. Knowing its location can help you decide on the type of material and the size of the furniture you want. A deck or patio is the usual spot, which provides a flat, level surface to place your furniture. If the lawn is your choice, consider the material and how it will perform over time. For example, furniture made from metal or recycled plastic will resist moisture better than soft woods.
If you have a smaller space, you may be limited to a set with a few smaller pieces such as chairs and stools, or perhaps you can choose a corner set to take advantage of unused space. If you have a larger area to fill, you can opt for some bulkier items like a sectional sofa or chaise. It’s a good idea to measure the square footage of your available area before you make any purchases. It’s also important to account for walking space around your furniture, and to allow several feet of space between the furniture and your grill.
Seating Types and Configuration
When selecting which pieces to include in your patio conversation set, consider how many people you typically want to seat. This helps you prioritize which seating types to purchase and plan out the best furniture configuration to accommodate your number of guests. When shopping, you’ll likely come across these standard pieces:
Conversation Set Materials
There are two major factors to consider when choosing the material of your patio furniture conversation set. First, think about the aesthetic and how it will match the look of your existing outdoor space and your home. Second, consider the weather that your set will have to endure outside and the amount of maintenance it will need.
Before you buy, learn more about picking the perfect patio set material and The Best Outdoor Furniture Materials Based on Where You Live. Here are some common materials used in outdoor sets and the pros and cons of each:
Resin wicker furniture offers a casual and rustic feel. Look for an all-weather rated set with UV-resistance that can handle harsh elements over time.
Aluminum patio sets are a cost-friendly option, but can sometimes blow around in the wind because they are lightweight.
Wood conversation sets can be a less expensive option, depending on the wood type. Wood finishes can crack and splinter more easily in hot, dry climates, so be sure you are purchasing the right wood for your area.
Steel patio sets are heavy and durable but can be costly. If you’re willing to make the investment in a steel set, be prepared to also purchase cushions to soften the chair seats.
Wrought iron outdoor furniture is very durable, weathers the elements well, and creates a traditional look. Like steel, it’s not as easy to move around.
Recycled plastic outdoor furniture is an eco-friendly option that gives you the look of wood without the maintenance and is weather resistant.
Outdoor cushions can really enhance your space based on the type of fabric and color. Sunbrella fabric is extremely durable, water resistant, and fade resistant. Other fabrics may not last as long, but you’ll be able to wash cushion covers more easily.
Finding the conversation patio set that suits your lifestyle and hosting needs should be a fun process. After all, you’re selecting the furniture that will help you create a new space where you can relax and entertain. And once you choose the right pieces for your patio set, you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors with your loved ones while visiting and sharing stories for years to come.