• Intro:  The inside scoop on outdoor furniture

    The casual furnishings on the market today are so much more than just poolside loungers. With leisure in mind, it’s imperative to have the outdoor room for gathering. Alfresco dining at the patio and fire pits and umbrellas help display a comfortable outdoor lifestyle. The outdoor living market has seen steady growth in retail. With retailers touting a 2% growth, it is now reaching 40% of the retail sales pie with full-time retailers carrying a median of five brands of the lounge groups, four brands of the dining table and chairs and a tight variety of fire pits and outdoor kitchen ensembles.

    Thea difference in wear and tear durability of steel to lightweight aluminum framing options is the all-weather poly-wicker woven to hardwood with high oil content for water resistance. The market data show 90% of outdoor furniture choice is aluminum, and 74% carry plastic / woven all-weather, poly-wicker as reported in Casual Living Today’s market research of the top 100 furniture stores. The results had a 17% response rate which is a small sampling and should be considered descriptive rather than explanatory.

    I can say, here at The Furniture Den; we get calls for the replacement of weathered fabric for the cushions. The cushion content can be poly-fill fiber that’s soft, yet it’s not the comfort and durability of foam, we’ve been asked to replace that with 4″ foam for added comfort.  If the cushions are over 5″ thick and foam instead of poly, which is a higher end item. If your concern is maintaining longevity, then protect your furniture with a covering or sheltered area. If not, expect to have to have the cushions done custom.

    I haven’t found any sold on the market offering replacement cushions, and the best outdoor fabric fails to UV rays after some time. Should the after-market maintenance not be something you want, then my suggestion is to get outdoor furniture that will work with the standard size cushions sold in big box stores for after-market replacement. We can and know how to sew them; we just can’t do it for the price of what is sold after-market. We have repaired the sling chair style. The mesh fabric we have available would be complementary, but an exact pattern match is not possible.

    Outdoor Furnishings @ Furniture Den in Petersburg, IL!

    The Furniture Den choices we sell for outdoor enjoyment are simple seating selections. We take orders for folding Kentucky Stick chairs handmade, finished hardwood with high style and appeal (below, top right). These are sturdy, well-made and comfortable. We also have a wrought-iron hanging porch chain-link swing that seats two people (below, top left). The woven metal construction brings strength and support and a sweet comfort only a swing can add – we’ve got this one in-stock!   Last our market pick is the patio sofa groups (below, bottom) in a light gray or brown all-weather, poly-woven rattan with boxed cushions. The sofa groups must be ordered.

    outdoor furniture petersburg il

     Feature Item: Pontoon Boat Seats Custom

    The Furniture Den featured upholstery item is of pontoon boat seats. Our customer chose black and tan – nice neutral tones, yet we did question the practicality of black seats in the hot summer sun. He was replacing the carpet, and he picked out a tan match that we ordered in for him; the carpet was his DIY project on the pontoon. He had removed the seats and dropped them in the parking lot, so we could get an idea of the layout.  He asked us to make a custom sofa extending the full back end, with storage under the cushion to replace a shorter one. Gary had a vision and asked about the design, explained he could show some designer detail, replacing stipe and color blocking with curves and eye-catching lines. It was a go, and the boat seats turned out beautifully. It worked with the neutrals, without being over stimulating. The family was super happy to see how eye-catching it turned out!


    boat seats upholstery petersburg il

    Next month, I’ll be discussing youth furniture including the use of telescopic legs that allow the furniture to grow with your child. Our feature product will include a new take on some vintage chairs!


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