Nothing makes an enjoyable outdoor living space quite like outdoor wicker chairs. Whether you’re creating an outside space on your porch, an attached patio, or a patio area in your yard, wicker chairs say “Welcome! Come sit a spell and visit.” There really is no equal to the warmth, comfort, and versatility of wicker furniture. If you choose your wicker chairs wisely, you can create an outdoor space that you love, and that can last a lifetime.
Let’s begin with revisiting what wicker is; the term refers to the pattern of the weave, rather than the material of which it is made. Wicker is made from a variety of natural materials including rattan, willow, reed, and bamboo. More recently, wicker is also being made from a plastic resin materials that is manipulated into the same weave pattern as wickers made from plant materials—but with the advantage of being more impervious to the elements.
These days, however, even natural wickers can be treated so that they resist the effects of weather. With the organic, natural look derived by its timeless aesthetics and clean lines of the weave pattern, wicker is a strong choice for outdoor use. Outdoor wicker chairs also equate with homey comfort. Just imagine curling up on the cozy cushion in your favorite outdoor wicker chair to read a book or watch birds at play. The versatility in cushion choices provides a strong design element since they are available in just about any style, pattern, and color scheme you can imagine. (Plus they are reasonably priced!) Depending upon your chosen cushions, you could give your wicker chairs a cozy country look or a chic modern motif. In fact, you could reasonably have varying wicker chair cushions for each season—adding to the changing hues and playfulness to your outdoor living spaces.
Of course, you want the outdoor wicker chairs you invest in to last a long time. By keeping just a few points in mind during your shopping, you can help ensure that you purchase the right wicker for your needs.
First and foremost is to consider where your outdoor wicker chairs will spend their time: is the area covered? Screened-in? Completely open? The answer will most likely affect the wicker you choose. Note the different types of wicker—those made of natural materials and those made of plastic resins. The resin wicker will generally last longer, but if you must have a natural wicker, there are wickers treated for resistance to the elements outdoors. Those which are specifically labeled “outdoor use” have usually been treated for the elements and are made to endure in climates with more defined seasons. Wickers labeled as “limited exposure” have been somewhat treated, but are intended more for a covered or screened-in area; they just won’t stand up to the sun and rain as well over time. And be sure to totally avoid “indoor use” wicker for your outdoor spaces—the elements will be harsh on them.
In fact, climate is another big consideration when investing in outdoor wicker chairs. While mild climates will be kinder to your furniture, areas with more defined seasons and more extreme weather will eventually affect your wicker. Of course, keeping climate and types of wicker in mind won’t matter all that much if you ignore quality.
Wicker chairs with an aluminum frame, reinforced joints, and densely woven material are usually of great quality. Whatever your needs and wants, keep in mind that your outdoor wicker chairs are an extension of your home. You can choose to go with a cohesive look that mimics your indoor décor; or you can take the opportunity to go with a different and bold with your outdoor wicker. Either way, the sky is the limit for making your outdoor wicker chairs a beautiful spot to spend quality time.