Nicely decorated outdoor spaces are a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax for a bit. But not any piece of furniture would do when it comes to looking good as well as being comfortable.
Here are our 4 expert tips to choose the best chaise and lounge chairs for your carefully crafted outdoor spaces.
Do You Have Enough Space for a Chaise Lounge Chair?
By its very design, the chaise lounge is an expansive piece of furniture. Made to allow one person to comfortably recline while fully laid back, it is hard to fit in tight spaces.
Ideally, you have a poolside area or a small garden that can comfortably hold at least two to three lounges without looking crowded. While some folding lounge chairs are available in the market, they tend to be of poor quality and ugly design.
- For a spacious outdoors, you can use larger-scale pieces and entire lounge sets to create ‘islands’ of living space.
- Choose the purpose of your outdoor area. Do you want to create an open-air dining space or a living area to entertain your guests? For a dining space, you are going to need plenty of long tables to the chairs, so you need to set aside sufficient space for that. If you are going for a living area instead, you can go with a more informal spread of lounges with a side table or two for snacks.
- If it is a poolside you are shopping for, you need to leave plenty of clearance around the chairs as well. A minimum of 30 inches from the edge of the pool to any patio furniture is recommended, along with at least a 3 feet wide pathway for unobstructed movement.
- Similarly, in a smaller patio, you are best off creating a bubble of relaxation instead of a full-blown lounging area with multiple sectional pieces of furniture.
What is the Right Material for Outdoor Chaise and Lounge Chairs?
When choosing the materials for any outdoor furniture, keep in mind that your pieces will be constantly exposed to the elements. Thus you need to consider not just the current form and price, but also the durability of the chair that decides the amount of maintenance it would require.
Softwood chairs are quite popular for furniture of all kinds because they are inexpensive and look good. But softwoods like pine aren’t that durable and will get scratched and dented over time, requiring revarnishing regularly. Thus softwood is a poor choice for outdoor chaise lounges.
Hardwoods are slightly better in this regard, as the material is quite resilient and long-lasting. That said, if you are keeping your hardwood chairs outside, you will need to periodically restain and revarnish them to keep up their shine. Still, hardwood makes for good material for outdoor furniture.
Teak is the best material if you are going for a ‘woody’ look. Not only is it far more durable than other kinds of wood, but due to its natural oil content, it remains well protected from pests and the weather too. Maintaining it is just a matter of occasionally applying teak oil, or letting it age into a silver patina. Thus if you are willing to shell the cost, teak is a great material for outdoor chaise lounge chairs.
Among metals, aluminum is the preferred choice for outdoor furniture. It is lightweight, rust-proof, and requires next to no maintenance. An aluminum chaise lounge chair with a powder-coated finish is the perfect option for a modern ensemble.
But by far the best material for outdoor chaise and lounge chairs is High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) lumber. Made from a synthetic resin, HDPE lumber is well known for being used to build solid and high-quality furniture that oozes luxury and comfort.
It just needs to be wiped with a solution of water and mild dish soap to retain its luster, and can easily last a lifetime. The only drawback is that HDPE furniture tends to be rather expensive. But if you can afford to invest the amount, HDPE chaise and lounge chairs can give a strong and stylish look to your outdoor spaces.
What Kind of Complementary Furniture is Needed With Outdoor Chaise and Lounge Chairs?
Chaise lounge chairs are all about relaxation. To make you more comfortable, there are plenty of side furniture and accessories you can utilize alongside your outdoor chaise and lounge chairs.
You need cushions. Lots of cushions. Don’t go with standard upholstery though; the fabric would get stained and degraded pretty quickly outdoors. Instead, go for synthetic fabrics likey vinyl or polypropylene that are water and fade resistant for making your cushions.
If you have the space for it, consider buying a full lounge set. Lounge sets include various combinations of chairs, sofas, chaise lounges, coffee tables, and end tables, giving you everything you might need for a complete outdoor seating arrangement. While slightly pricey, it ensures that all your furniture pieces are on the same page regarding style and form.
How Can You Preserve Your Chaise Lounge Chairs?
While we all like to enjoy the warm weather outdoors, sunbathing while reclined on your chaise lounge chairs, winters are likely to find you inside your house. But what about all that expensive furniture? Are you going to let it rot outside, pelted by rain and hailstorms?
Of course not. While smaller pieces of outdoor furniture are usually moved into a shed or garage in inclement weather, that is hardly possible for your large chaise and lounge chairs, unless you go for a foldable option.
A better bet for most people would be to use chaise lounge covers. These covers are made of high quality, durable fabrics to protect your patio furniture. Choose water-repelling covers that can be fastened to stay put in windy conditions.
Polyester canvas is a good material for a lounge cover if you don’t mind synthetic, as it is strong, lightweight and waterproof. Otherwise, you can go with a dense cotton cover (to weather gusty winds) with a vinyl coating to protect your lounge chairs.