Its that time of year when the days get longer and the outdoor furniture comes out of storage or you head to purchase a new set.  Whether you choose to lounge around in a handcrafted teak Adirondack set, a metal frame set, a vintage glass top table or a wicker sofa bed stocked with cushions for comfort the choice is yours. To create a unique space all your own and bring comfort and function to quickly make the outdoor space an extension of your home that the
whole family will love during the warm months!
1. Envision what you would like the space to be.  Will you want to serve family dinners and parties on summer nights or do you see yourself reading a peaceful book in a relaxed space.  Will the kids be splashing in the pool while you sip  fresh lemonade in the sun.
      -Make a list of the many things you would like to do with the space and use it as a guide to determine what type of furniture is necessary.  Measure your space to know how much room you really have, for a table, or sofa, rug and all the accessories you may need.
2. Try it before you buy it.  Visit the store and really take a seat.  Try out the furniture to see if it is comfortable. The more comfortable it is the more often you will use the space.   
3. Easy Maintenance, you don't want to spend your days cleaning the furniture and your space, opt for furnishings that have low maintenance so you can spend your long summer days relaxing with friends and family.  Enjoy the fresh air of your outdoor space.  Most all weather furniture pieces, such as metal, teak and cedar, are unfazed by what the weather throws at them. 
4. Don't forget storage, both for your furniture and for outdoor toys, pool floats and other necessities.   You can add years to your furniture and accessories such as rugs and cushions by storing them away during the winter months in your garage, basement or cover them with outdoor covers.  If your space is limited look for furniture that can fold or easily be taken apart for compact storage.  Finding piece that can serve double duty is a great way to get more use out of each piece.  Tables that have storage in them, 
or a bench that lifts up to house pool floats keeps things organized and in a convenient spot to find them when needed.
5. Picking the correct color for your space.  Most people feel they are limited to the neutrals of the wood, teak, cedar and wicker.  But its easy to bring in your own personal style with bold beautiful colors from around the world.  We do recommend using those colors for a stylish longevity in cushions and accent pieces like art, rugs, dinnerware and plants.
6. Invest in Quality, its true, you get what you pay for.  plastic resin chairs look great on the shelves and in catalogs but will lose their looks in a year or two out in the sun and become brittle and lose their color. The same is true for some wood products and wicker pieces, shop with care, asks lots of question and do your research before making a big purchase.
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7. Just like in your home, your furniture looks grounded when anchored by a rug.  Placing an all weather rug under the furniture not only adds beauty but create a full outdoor living space with comfort right under your feet.  Textile advancements in the recent years have brought many quick-drying outdoor rugs to the market. Soft underfoot and rich in texture, and outdoor rug will lend to the comforts of indoor space.  With beautiful colors and styles available the choices are limitless.

Look for hardworking furniture that will with stand the elements outside.  An ottoman that can double as a seat for your next BBQ.  Don't overlook opportunities on the balconies and in pocket gardens.  These petite garden getaways will beckon you outside time and again.