Before Coronavirus changed everything, many people didn’t spend a whole lot of time at home…at least, not weeks and weeks at a time. But during times of quarantine, even the nicest home can start to feel like a prison. You may have felt the walls closing in on you. Outdoor living spaces give you all of nature to enjoy and make it easy for you to get out of the house whenever you need to escape those walls.
But in order to have beautiful outdoor living spaces, you need to have great patio furniture. We spoke to top designers in cities all over the U.S. to get their recommendations for the best luxury, mid-level, and budget brands out there, so you can get more bang for your buck and more beauty for your dollar. Use the brands that designers use to design your own outdoor area that will truly feel like a getaway. Because sometimes, you just can’t sit inside the house anymore!
Asking the Experts
We asked designers to recommend patio furniture in three different price ranges to suit any budget. Designers know how to create an excellent living space that is both beautiful and functional. Which furniture collections do they use and what tricks do they have to create amazing outdoor decor? We got the answers so you can learn how to design beautiful spaces using outdoor patio furniture, dining sets and accessories.
Luxury patio furniture brands: $5,000 and above
Mid-grade patio furniture brands: $1,000 to $5,000
Budget patio furniture: Less than $1,000
Luxury Outdoor Furniture
If you’re able to splurge and really invest in patio furniture, you may want to choose a luxury brand to get a really high-end look. And as long as you’re spending money on a more high-end brand, why not take advice from top designers and use the same brands they use for their incredible looks? Whether you have a wood deck, a concrete patio, a balcony, or a backyard grassy area, you can find the perfect furniture to make your space gorgeous.
1. Wendy Langston is the owner and principal designer of Everything Home, based out of Indianapolis. She recommends Watermark Living, which is a perfect choice for anyone who likes luxury designs with clean lines. Watermark Living uses a lot of neutral color tones and wicker to create an outdoor look that pays homage to nature.
2. Melissia Schulz, the owner of Schulz Design, has been making Portland, Oregon more beautiful for 25 years. She recommends the Avondale line of patio furniture from Summer Classics. This outdoor furniture is made with aluminum and it’s styled in classic mid-century modern designs.
The powder-coated aluminum finish is practical and beautiful, a combination of strength and beauty that will stand out in any outdoor space. Pair it with natural materials, like wood, to create a multi-textured design.
3. Barbara Gilbert Interiors is an award-winning design firm based in Dallas. According to them, Palecek and Skyling furniture are perfect for “outdoor seating areas that require a gorgeous curated look.” To create balanced designs, they recommend mixing and matching styles to create a more custom, tailored look “instead of a matchy store-bought feel.” Outdoor dining sets look great in some situations, but you don’t always want a space that looks too perfectly matched.
4. “When it comes to quality patio furniture my favorite luxury brand is Dedon. They are unique within the outdoor industry as they own and operate both furniture and fiber production, which allows them to bring fiber specialists and world-class designers together to develop innovative color, profiles, and textures.”
“Not only does Dedon offer a unique and quality project, but it is extremely comfortable as well. My personal favorite is the ‘Loon’ rocker by Sebastian Herkner. It comes in a plethora of color ways and is one of the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat in,” says Jessica Love of Urbane Design.
Jessia Love is a principal interior designer at Urbane Design, a firm that has been voted Best of Houzz every year since 2014. This award-winning firm takes a sustainable approach to home design.
5. Marsha Faulkner of Studio M Interior Design also loves Dedon patio furniture. Based in Jacksonville, Studio M Interior Design has been voted best of Houzz multiple times and was featured in Florida Design Magazine.
6. According to Susan Semmelmann, a professional designer of 23 years working in Fort Worth, Century is a comfortable high-end brand. She also likes the style of Berhnardt and the beautiful fishing of Brown Jordan. Susan’s trick is to re-cover chairs with performance fabrics that match the tone of the designs she creates. She relies on furniture for the lines and dresses it up as needed for individual spaces.
7. Marina Hanisch of Marina Hanish Interiors recommends Exteta’s Montecarlo collection. Designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, this collection has a versatile design with multiple pieces that can fit together or be separated to create looks for spaces of all sizes and dimensions.
8. Chelsea Thowe of Bright Interiors recommends Kettle for those looking for luxury patio furniture. “I love the Roll club chairs and Molo sofas…they have so many custom color options and unique designs,” she says. Thowe says that Kettle is “luxurious but still casual and a little bit playful,” a perfect look for patio furniture.
9. Century Furniture Outdoor Collection is recommended by Ami Austin Interior Design. “There is such a wide variety to choose from. You can use Century outdoor fabrics or specify other wonderful outdoor fabrics from manufacturers such as Kravet, Thibaut, and Sunbrella. Your outdoor space can look as glamourous as your indoor space.”
“Our favorites include: The Andalusia Collection and the Augustine Collection by Thomas O’Brian. My top pick for a sofa is the Delmar Outdoor Sofa and it pairs nicely with the Willem outdoor Swivel chair.”
Ami Austin Interior Design was started by Ami in 2004 in Memphis. She is an award-winning designer with a long history of elegant designs and eye-catching spaces.
10. “I love their Plateau Collection,” says Deana Lenz of the Sutherland brand. “Each piece looks like a sculpture and brilliantly mixes outdoor elements with the comfort of indoor furniture “ Deana Lenz has been designing for 20 years.
Mid-Grade Patio Furniture
To streamline your budget, think about what you want from your outdoor furniture. Do you need an area for patio dining? Do you want to add a romantic porch swing? Where in the backyard do you want to create new areas? Do you have a deck that needs outdoor furniture, too?
How about materials? Do you love or hate wicker? What are your feelings about rattan? Are you looking for a set made of wood? You may want a sustainable option, such as recycled plastic.
Don’t forget the little extras! Are you going to need outdoor cushions to go with your seating? What sort of fabric do you want for your cushions? There are a ton of options when it comes to outdoor furniture material for cushions and for frames. Will a patio umbrella be needed to provide shade? Will an outdoor rug help pull the space together?
What kind of pieces do you need? You may have an idea that you want at Adirondack chair, or maybe a chaise lounge. Do you need space for outdoor dining?
What other elements are important? Do you have a fire pit in the backyard you need seating for? Is there another feature outside you want to highlight? Once you know more about the areas you want to create, you’ll know how much you can afford to spend on your outdoor spaces.
11. “Ratana is a great go-to line,” says Barbara Gilbert Interiors. “Another great line is Sunpan for a more modern design.”
12. “When shopping mid-grade patio furniture, I typically check out everything from Crate and Barrel to West Elm. Depending on the style, you can find great items to mix and match. Crate and Barrel offer most of their outdoor furniture in Sunbrella fabrics so most everything is the mid-high end with the quality aspect as well,” says Jessica Love of Urbane Design.
13. If you like “whimsical design with a bohemian flair,” Marina Hanisch Interiors recommends The Fibonacci Collection from Janus et Cie. The Anda lounge chair designed by Gabellini Sheppard has a high-end look at a more affordable price.
Lori Dennis is a Los Angeles-based designer with a show on HGTV and a long list of incredible designs to her credit. When she’s looking for a luxury patio furniture brand, she also loves Janus Et Cie. “From the minute you enter the showroom, you know you’re in a special place. The design is exquisite, like a world-class resort, and the team knows the product and does an exceptional job meeting your needs. My favorite collection right now is Senja. The sofa is so gorgeous, well made and comfortable it transcends borders and could be used in any setting.”
14. Chelsea Thowe of Bright Interiors recommends the Sommer Outdoor Collection from Design Within Reach, DWR, for any modern outdoor space. The sleek, clean lines of this furniture collection are perfect for poolside, patio, and garden spaces. This is an excellent option when you’re looking for full patio furniture sets.
Chelsea Thowe is the owner and designer of Bright Interiors, a Colorado-based firm that uses cutting-edge technology and design techniques to create unique looks.
15. “I love the luxury and the modern but yet transition feel of Seasonal Living. We absolutely love the Perpetual Collection. We use it all the time, indoor and out. Also, the outdoor lighting is wonderful. What we like most about this line is the ability to transition your outdoor space for a really great vibe inside and out,” says Ami Austin Interior Design.
16. Deana Lenz finds the Capri Teak Collection from RH perfect for designing outdoor looks. “I love the motion that is created by mixing materials. This is very interesting because it allows for different shades of light to come through.” Teak is a popular wood for outdoor areas.
17. Studio M designer and owner Marsha Faulkner recommends Summer Classics, Inc. for mid-grade patio furniture. “We love their classic wicker line, as well as the Coast line. The Coast line brings in beautiful teak with a woven resin sling style seat, which is so easy to maintain here at the beach.” Wood like teak and resin wicker materials can be very beautiful and add a great natural look to outdoor spaces that really stands out.
Budget Patio Furniture
Sadly, most people don’t have an unlimited budget for home design. Extras like outdoor furniture are not a necessity. You may not even have a deck, or you might not have the space for a whole dining area. You can still add some great stuff to your outdoor areas.
But you don’t have to go without and even on a budget, you can create an amazing look. Learn how to cut corners and save a little extra money by purchasing cushions separately, or making your own. You also don’t need a complete matching patio set. There are lots of ways to mix and match pieces to put something together that looks like a complete patio dining set without paying that bundled price.
18. When looking for low-cost patio furniture, it helps to get a little bit creative. “We source from consolidators like Houzz and Wayfair for a range of styles, price, and availability. We rely heavily on consumer reviews rather than a specific brand,” says Wendy Langston of Everything Home. You should also be willing to work. “Consumers must be ready for drop shipping and all that is involved: assembly, unboxing, heavy lifting, trash removal, etc.”
19. Barbara Gilbert recommends Sunpan, Four Hands, and Jaipur for anyone looking for reasonably-priced outdoor furniture. Based in Dallas, Barbara Gilbert Interiors has won multiple awards from Houzz, HGTV, the Interior Design Society, and several other organizations.
20. Jessica Love of Urbane Design says that her go-to for low-cost patio furniture is the Project 62 line from Target. “I personally love the ‘Standish’ seating collection. Paired with higher-end furnishings you would never know that it is the low-cost item on the patio.” It’s always a good idea to start with a good patio chair when it comes to designing outdoor space and then go from there.
21. For something “contemporary, comfortable, and affordable,” Marina Hanisch Interiors recommends Restoration Hardware’s Avenida Lounge Chair. Marina Hanisch’s designs have been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal, Elle Decor, and many other national magazines and newspapers. Her design firm is based in New York City.
22. Deana Lenz uses the Comerford Collection when she needs a budget design option. “I like the Alex Stool…a great versatile piece that can be used for extra seating or a side table. I also like them because they can be grouped together in both finishes, gunmetal, and white, for a seating arrangement or a table arrangement which would allow for a wonderful way to serve snacks.”
23. “We currently love the Augusta Line,” says Marsha Faulkner of Studio M. She recommends Ebel, Inc. patio furniture. “We love how comfortable it is as well as stylish. There is a lovely woven pattern on the backside, which makes floating chairs a lovely thing to do. The natural lean to the back makes it a nice place to sit for a while and enjoy the views.” This furniture is a beautiful addition to any deck area.
24. To complete any outdoor space, Ami Austin Interior Design says “you can spruce up almost any space with wonderful pillows, lighting, planters, and umbrellas to complement your space…Sometimes, just refreshing your space with these wonderful accessories do the trick.”
You may also want to cons accessories that make any outdoor living space more comfortable. Patio heaters, outdoor refrigerators, and other extras will take your patio area to the next level. Consider bistro sets with a coffee table if you need to save space, rather than full dining sets, or go with a picnic table option to add some easy outdoor seating and dining options. Add a hammock to create a relaxation area. And put up some string lights to create a whimsical, fun feeling.