Frequently Asked Questions
Can cushions be left outside, even in the rain?
Yes, if they are constructed with the right design and materials. Quality outdoor cushions and pads should be made, inside and out, specifically for outdoor use. Even if the material is designed to be outdoors, there are different levels of quality.
Outside in Style’s fade-resistant outdoor cushions and throw pillows are designed to be used outdoors all year long. When our cushions get wet, the outer fabric shell repels some of the water. If any water does permeate the fabric, the flow-through core inside allows water to drain out of the pillow or pad.
After a soaking rain, it will take some time for a cushion to drain completely. With minimal care and cleaning, the average life of our outdoor cushions ranges from four to eight years.
Is there such a thing as “green” outdoor furniture?
Yes. There are different levels of “greenness.”
First, there is furniture made from recycled material. One example is our Seaside Casual Furniture, which makes Adirondack-style furniture from used milk jugs.
Second, furniture of higher quality will have a longer life. When you buy from Outside in Style, our furniture is made to high-standards in both workmanship and materials. So your choices are more durable. You won’t need to replace them for years.
Third, almost all the material in most of the furniture we carry is recyclable. If you purchase cast aluminum or wrought iron furniture, it can be melted and recast into something else at the end of its life. Outside in Style offers a haul off service for your old furniture. We will donate or recycle that product depending on its condition.
How durable is quality outdoor furniture?
Outside in Style’s high-quality furniture is designed to withstand the elements. All aspects of construction are made with exterior use in mind. From the frame and paint finish to the fabric and construction of the cushions, our groups are designed for the great outdoors. With minimal care, quality outdoor furniture can last decades.
Is the fabric on sling furniture replaceable?
Yes. Our manufacturers design sling furniture so that the sling is replaceable. The vast majority of sling furniture found at the mass merchants cannot have new slings installed. Check this fact before you buy, or you will be disappointed when a sling cannot be repaired and then the furniture needs to be discarded. All sling furniture we carry is replaceable. Because sling manufacturers periodically offer new colors and textures, you can give your furniture a fresh, updated look. Just come in and select a new fabric and place your order. We offer installation services or you may install new slings yourself.
Will woven furniture last outdoors?
Yes, depending on the type of wicker. Several different types of outdoor wicker are available.
Vinyl or resin wicker is very durable and long-lasting. If you select vinyl or resin, it is important that they do not contain clay. Many lower-quality wickers will be mixed with clay. This lowers the price, but it shortens the life of the piece, causing it to become brittle and cracked in a few years.
If you prefer natural reed wicker, make sure the finish is made from acrylic-based, outdoor resins similar to what is used in exterior house paints. This type of wicker is best-suited for a protected area such as underneath an overhang or a pergola.
It is very important to note that wicker must be manufactured with outdoor specifications in mind. You cannot “convert” indoor wicker to become outdoor. Some exposure is fine, but not full exposure.
Also excellent for a protected area is loom wicker. This type of artificial wicker is made of metal strands wrapped with a natural pulp product that is protected by resin. It is made into large sheets and then cut down and fitted onto an aluminum frame. This is a very traditional type of wicker and is sometimes called “Front Porch” wicker.
How will wood furniture withstand the elements?
This depends on the type of wood.
Treated pine, cedar and redwood have a relatively short life when compared to some hardwoods like teak and jarrah and ipe. Pine, cedar and redwood are soft woods, and will not hold up well. The joints will become loose, and extensive sealing, painting or staining is essential.
Well made teak, jarrah, and ipe furniture will last many decades—even when fully exposed to the elements. Like all wood, these hardwoods are natural products and will react to the environment. During its natural life, these types of outdoor wood furniture will turn gray. You can maintain the original look of outdoor teak by cleaning, brightening and then sealing the piece. Ipe and jarrah both require cleaning and application of ipe or jarrah oil to maintain their original look.
It is best to use products designed specifically for each type of wood. These steps should be done with some frequency, depending on the exposure it gets, at least twice a year. Most of our customers are happy to let the furniture weather and turn silver.
Are there protective covers for winter storage and for when the set is not being used for a long time?
Yes, there are.
The main purpose of protective covers is to keep the pieces from collecting dust, leaves, and whatever dirt nature may drop on the set. Keeping organic matter off the fabric and frames will keep them looking more beautiful and last longer. These covers should be “breathable.” In other words, they allow moisture to evaporate through the cover, rather than accumulate moisture where mold and mildew problems can arise.
Covers are available to fit most pieces of casual furniture. A few companies make custom covers specifically for their furniture.
How do I care for my outdoor furniture?
Basic care will ensure your furniture will look its best season after season. You can find care instructions here.