Most of us are concerned about the impression we give to those invited into our homes. You want your decor to reflect your personal style and also present a well-thought look. That impression extends to our outdoor spaces as well. This has likely led you to ask yourself the question, "Should outdoor furniture match?" We've done some research and have some information for you.
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Outdoor furniture doesn't necessarily have to match. However, the furniture chosen should create a cohesive look with corresponding colors and styles. There should be a common theme to tie all the furniture together. Your area should be streamlined and lively, without being overcrowded or too sparse.
Now that we've established every piece of outdoor furniture needn't necessarily match let's discuss the options available to you and how to achieve the look. We'll go over some additional questions you might have as well.
Working With Outdoor Furniture
Use similar or contrasting colors
When arranging outdoor furniture, color can be key. Keep color in mind while planning your space. Too much bland coloring can make the space look washed out and boring, while too many bright colors are overwhelming. Try obtaining furniture in similar, neutral tones and adding a splash of color with throw pillows or a vibrant centerpiece on an outdoor table.
Carefully choose splashes of color that pair well with the base furniture and other colors and patterns.
Don't over or underfill the space
An important part of managing an outdoor space is leaving enough room for movement while also keeping the area cozy. Decorating a patio or front porch can undoubtedly be exciting, and it's easy to get so into accessorizing that we overdo it. Keep in mind less can often be more. Too much mismatched furniture could make the area look haphazard, and that's exactly what we're trying to avoid.
On the flip side, if you wish to have a place to entertain outdoors, too little decoration and furniture can be a problem! If all you have is a single lawn chair and side table, the problem could just be considered an eyesore. Try to have a nicely sized loveseat and at least two accent chairs for outdoor seating, as well as an outdoor table for entertaining. How you decorate from there is up to you.
Have a central focal point
If you're looking to draw attention away from the mismatched furniture, try putting some eye-catching decoration in a central area. By making a central focal point, your guests will pay attention to the area you want instead of the area you don't. This can be achieved by adding a conversation-starting vase or bowl to an outdoor table. Hang some outdoor ornamentation (such as wind chimes or macrame plant hangers), or place some outdoor wall art. These focal points can also tie the whole space together into one cohesive spot.
Pair wooden and woven furniture
Wicker is a timeless classic for outdoor furniture, although there have been a lot of modernizations. Don't feel bound to keep all your outdoor furniture as one singular woven, wicker pattern. Many outdoor benches are now made from teak and are incredibly durable in an outdoor environment. Feel free to pair your traditional woven furniture with teak or another form of solid wood; keep in mind the colors should be cohesive. Paired well, these two can create a very beachy vibe!
Read our post about mixing wicker and wood furniture to learn more.
Keep proportions in mind
When mixing and matching outdoor furniture, it's easy to accidentally get pieces that are grossly out of proportion. This is especially easy to do with chairs. If you happen to become a victim of this folly, ensure the two furniture pieces are not positioned directly beside each other. Evenly space all of the furniture, as crowding can shed a huge spotlight on mismatched furniture.
Know your design style
When designing your patio, keep in mind the overall look you're trying to achieve. Are you rustic, contemporary, or modern? Is your space going to have a bohemian feel, or does it need to scream posh sophistication? By answering these questions, you can ascertain what to include on your patio.
For example, you wouldn't pair a minimalist, sleek sectional with a worn wicker table. If you're going for a beachy look, you will pair that wicker table with a teak outdoor sofa to create a cohesive look.
What is the best color for outdoor furniture?
There is no right or wrong color to use for your outdoor furniture. If you're looking for low-maintenance, darker colors will show less wear and tear. Wicker furniture generally comes in various colors in the brown spectrum, unless it has been color-treated, in which case, prepare to have a regular maintenance schedule to refurbish the furniture when left to the elements.
In terms of popularity, black, white, and brown tend to sell the most. These color staples match well with the most outdoor decor and any other furniture that might be thrown into the mix.
Whatever color you choose for your outdoor furniture, keep your family and the intended use in mind. If you have kids or slovenly friends, plan for mishaps.
Can you mix and match wicker?
With the mixing and matching trend in full swing, it is acceptable to have an assortment of wicker furniture. Since the weave is the most dominant feature in wicker furniture, try to match that part as closely as possible or pick patterns that compliment each other. If needed, wicker furniture can always be stripped and painted to match the look you're going for more closely.
How much patio furniture do you need?
To decide how much patio furniture you need, there are a handful of factors to consider. First, know how much space you have to dedicate to your patio furniture. When measuring, ensure you leave adequate space for movement.
Second, decide on what will be the primary function of the space. Will you be entertaining a lot, or is the space primarily for your immediate family? Will you be hosting meals in your outdoor space or just using it to relax? These questions must be answered when decided how much patio furniture is needed.
If space will just be used casually and not for full meals, a few chairs and an end table would likely be sufficient. If you plan on using the space for meals, a dining table and chairs are a must.
How can you arrange patio furniture?
The traditional way to arrange a patio is with a sofa and two chairs. The sofa is generally on the long side of a coffee table with the two chairs on either end of the table's short sides. This arrangement works well for most standard-sized patios or decks. Feel free to use your imagination and personal sense of style when arranging the furniture, as there are no hard and fast rules.
If you're limited on space, try pushing two chairs into the corner of the patio with a small end table in between them or a small circular table in between or slightly in front of the chairs.
The focal point of most outdoor spaces will be a central table with seating around that table. If you have a firepit, that would be the central point and should have the seating arranged close enough so those sitting can feel the warmth and have enough space for safety.
Outdoor furniture does not need to match. It's quite trendy to have a mix of outdoor furniture. Focus on keeping the decor and furnishings cohesive and easy to look at, in proportion, and well-spaced, and you'll have an outdoor area enjoyable to yourself and others. Happy decorating!
Are you looking to add some curtains to your patio? Check out our article about that: 11 Outdoor Patio Curtain Ideas