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4 Expert Tips To Choose A Patio Conversation Set

There's something so convenient and comfortable about having a patio conversation set! Being able to take drinks or dinner outside and lounge in the evening sun can make you happy, and it definitely helps you use every inch of your property to its fullest extent.

What makes a good outdoor set, though? Let's go through five expert tips to help you pick the best patio conversation set for you!

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What are the different seating types for patio conversation sets?

To a certain extent, you'll have very similar outdoor seating choices as you do for indoor seating! Couches, armchairs, loveseats, and chairs are all common options. The specific configuration of chairs and seats you'll need to pick will depend on how much space you have and the number of people you'd like to be able to host at any given time. 

Some popular seating types for patio conversation sets are: 

Two-Person Sets

Minimal patio conversation sets that usually contain two armchairs and one coffee table in between. These usually only take up a few feet of space, so they're a good choice if you only have a little bit of room to work with.

Brown Metal Two Person Set With Cushions
Natural Wicker Rattan Two Person Set With Cushions
White Wicker Rattan Two Person Set
Wicker Rattan Two Person Set With Cushions
Slate Gray Plastic Two Person Set
Solid Wood Two Person Set With Cushions

Three or Four Person Sets

With the addition of a loveseat, you can turn a two-person set into a four-person one! Generally, including two armchairs and a love seat, the three-four person set can also just include two love seats.

The idea is to have the people in your conversation looking at each other, which can be accomplished best in a semi-circular or oval form---thus, two armchairs, a small table, and a love seat are great for up to four people.

Solid Wood Four Person Set With Cushions
Eucalyptus Solid Wood Four Person Set With Cushions
Wicker Rattan Four Person Set With Cushions
Metal Wood Four Person Set With Sunbrella Cushions
White Metal Four Person Set With Cushions
Espresso Resin Wicker Four Person Set With Cushions

Five or Six Person Sets

A 5-6 person patio conversation set will include the same two armchairs, a larger coffee table (an elongated rectangle, instead of a square) and one 3-4 person couch, instead of a loveseat.

This takes up more room than the average smaller conversation set; but it also racks up the comfortability by a large factor. Consider buying a 5-6 person conversation set, even if you don't plan on hosting that many people if you like the idea of lounging on a large couch outdoors!

Wood Wicker Rattan Six Person Set
White Metal Six Person Set With Cushions
Silver Metal Five Person Set With Cushions
Wicker Rattan Five Person Set With Cushions
Metal Six Person Set With Cushions
Black Metal Six Person Set With Cushions

Seven, Eight, Nine, or More Person Sets

This is where things start to get interesting! You can simply decide to purchase a set with another couch, or with more armchairs, to create your own larger conversation set. This has certain advantages; namely, you can always add more, or replace individual pieces easily if you're ever in need of it.

However, you could also take the route of ordering a gigantic multi-seater sectional, with three or even four sides, with seating capacity for as many as 10. These are more expensive and less flexible, but very luxe and very comfortable.

Rattan Nine Person Set With Cushions
Solid Wood Eight Person Set With Cushions
Acacia Solid Wood Seven Person Set With Cushions
Solid Wood Nine Person Set With Cushion
Metal Twelve Person Set With Cushions
Silver Metal Twelve Person Set With Cushions

Of course, you are free to work with the amount of space you have and your personal needs. If you only have a few square feet, you may want to consider one simple loveseat, or one large armchair, just to accommodate one or two people. If you're blessed with a large outdoor entertaining area, on the other hand, you may find it best to create multiple conversation areas, as having one large conversation circle will be cumbersome and less efficient than is likely desired.

When you have a larger yard and wish to engage a large number of people in one conversation, of course, you can move the furniture as needed; but on a more permanent basis, it may be better to have a few different conversational sets for aesthetic purposes. 

The specific makeup of your furniture will depend on the style you end up choosing, as we'll discuss in a moment: for example, your armchairs may be all upholstered, might have legs or just be woven wicker to the floor. Each has its advantages and appeal! You'll want to carefully consider the look and feel you're going for before you purchase.

What are the best materials for patio conversation sets?

With a patio conversation set, you face the challenge of selecting a material that will be appropriately durable and waterproof yet completely comfortable. To achieve these goals, you'll need to select two things: A material for the frame of your patio conversation set, and one for the upholstery or cushions. 

For the frame, you need a strong material that will neither rust nor rot. Good examples of such materials include stainless steel, treated aluminum, or treated wood (including wicker and rattan). Some heavy-duty plastic versions may also work, but they may be too lightweight and likely to blow away in a heavy gale. 

With a rust-proof metal or water-treated wood, you'll be sure to have a durable base that will be able to support you without a second thought. Either can be painted any color of the rainbow and come in numerous styles. Wood may confer a more natural look, whereas metal can give off more industrial vibes.

If your conversation set doesn't have any padding, upholstery, or pillows, then your job is done! However, there's a good chance that you'll have to make a choice for fabric as well. The most common type of fabric used for outdoor furniture is durable duck canvas or treated cotton. Canvas is thicker and will stand up to heavier traffic; cotton comes in more patterns and may be good for decorative pillows. Cotton is also breathable, so it can be an option for those with sensitive skin.

Synthetic materials like polyester or vinyl will do a great job here as they are affordable, easy to clean and durable. Some of them are water-resistant - a great benefit for an outdoor piece of furniture.

Gray Rattan Sectional Seating Group With Cushions
Brown Rattan Sofa Seating Group With Cushions
Red Metal Outdoor Conversation Three Piece Seating Group
Light Brown Wood Sectional Seating Group With Cushions
Acacia Solid Wood Seating Group With Cushions
Plastic Adirondack Chairs Seating Group

How to select the style of a patio conversation set?

Wondering how to make your backyard or patio the most stylish version of itself? You've come to the right place. Fortunately, the differing styles of patio conversation sets can be summed up rather succinctly. Next, we'll talk about how to help you match what's going on in your yard to the best patio conversation set for you! 

Three evergreen, popular styles for patio conversation sets are: 

  • Eclectic, Boho, or Vintage: Mismatched, wicker furniture or vintage hardwood pieces come together with chicly styled textiles. These types of styles can be busier, but they are certainly interesting and artistic.
Wicker Metal Eclectic Seating Group With Cushions
Eclectic Rattan Conversation Set With Cushions
Brown Solid Wood Wicker Eclectic Seating Group
Wood Eclectic Multiple Chairs Seating Group With Cushions
Eclectic Wicker Teak Sofa Seating Group
Gray Wicker Eclectic Sofa Seating Group With Cushions
  • Farmhouse Chic: These pieces will have clean lines from light-toned wood, sturdy bases, and likely light cream upholstery. They are the best choice if you're going for a formal, comfortable look in your yard.
Wood Sofa Seating Group With Navy Cushions
Wood Metal Sectional Seating Group With Gray Cushion
Teak Sofa Seating Group With Cushions
Teak Seating Group With Off White Cushion
Solid Wood Rocker Seating With Cushion
Teak Multiple Chairs Seating Group With Cushions
  • Industrial or Minimalistic: With a metallic sheen, sometimes an absence of upholstery, and dark colors, these styles are best for a subdued statement and ultimate weather durability. 
Metal Industrial Sofa Seating Group With Cushions
Industrial Sectional Seating Group With Cushions
Metal Wood Industrial Sofa Seating Group With Cushions
Outdoor Industrial Teak Metal Seating Group
Gray Industrial Rattan Seating Group With Cushions
Silver Metal Industrial Sofa Seating Group With Cushions

While it can be fun to mix and match your styles, typically there's enough going on in an outdoor venue that you'll want to play it rather conservative when it comes to your furniture.

How can I best match a patio conversation set with my patio and garden decor?

Take a look at your backyard, porch, or patio: what is your current look, and how would you like it to change? Whether you have structured landscaping complete with topiaries or you're currently cultivating a more rugged, natural look, you'll be able to find a patio conversation set that will be everything you need for it to be. 

Think about it this way: Your outdoor living area should be an extension of your indoor living areas. Take a look at the decor you've put together inside, and then think about how that could extend outward. Ultimately, here are some tips for what to purchase if you're going for…

  • A More Boho Look: Wicker frames, stained light, or dark, with gently patterned fabric can give you the bohemian vibe that you desire! Looking for ones that have slight vintage influences, such as bowl chairs, can also help make the decor statement even more pronounced.
  • A More Industrial Look: All metal, all the time! You'll want dark metal frames with lightly patterned upholstery. Glass table-tops and extra accessories such as cup holders and wire-rimmed tables would add to your industrial feel.
  • A More Minimalist Look: Tables, chairs, loveseats---and nothing else. Minimalism can be a treat for your eyes and can help your entire brain relax due to the lack of busyness. To cultivate this look, you'll want to go for natural, unpainted wood or metal---not wicker---with smooth, flat surfaces. Upholstery is optional, but if you do choose it, go for a pastel or neutral canvas.
  • A More Classic, Preppy Look: As opposed to wicker, solid hardwood (perhaps teak to better prepare for the elements) has a lovely traditional look that will never go out of style. Choose a frame---perhaps painted white, or stained dark---and striped, unpatterned or plaid upholstery to ensure that your patio conversation set will look good for years to come.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.