Magazine article USA TODAY

Outdoor Furniture Offers Great Variety. (Your Life)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Outdoor Furniture Offers Great Variety. (Your Life)

Article excerpt

If you're shopping for new outdoor furniture, but are perplexed by the multitude of options available today, the American Furniture Manufacturers Association offers the following quick overview of what's available in your local stores:

Outdoor wicker. Designed for covered porches and patios, outdoor wicker exudes sophisticated charm and creates a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. It is a perennial favorite because of its classic good looks and the variety of styles available. Outdoor wicker is usually virgin vinyl woven around a tubular aluminum frame coated in weather-resistant epoxy paint. Although it is water- and fade-resistant, most is not suitable for full exposure to sun and the elements. To maintain its good looks, outdoor wicker should be vacuumed or brushed regularly and hosed down occasionally. Traditional wicker, generally constructed of woven rattan, can be used in enclosed spaces, but won't hold up as well outside.

Teak, one of the most-popular woods for outdoor furniture, is hard, stable, durable, and requires little care. As it ages, teak changes color from light reddish brown to a soft silver gray, unless it is treated with a special oil or stain. Because of its natural oil content, teak has built-in protection against rotting and can withstand all the elements, including freezing temperatures as well as sweltering heat and high humidity.

Wrought iron is heavy and provides excellent stability that is ideal for windy areas. It offers long-lasting, timeless beauty and is elegant, yet sturdy. It is available in a variety of styles, including traditional models with graceful curves and ornate latticework. Although iron can rust, today's finishing processes protect against chipping, scratching, and corrosion. …

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