Outdoor living spaces have been a massive trend for years now. As technology becomes smaller and outdoor furniture more durable, it's common to have or want a whole living room outside on the patio. A keyway to obtain that space is by getting a patio conversation set.
As the name suggests, these are sets that have multiple furniture pieces so that people can sit around and converse outside. But they have many different styles to choose from, so below we'll help you decide what to look for.
How to select the materials in patio conversation sets?
Patio sets tend to come in a limited amount of materials. This is because certain materials do best in permanent outdoor settings. Some of the main types you'll find include:
Most wicker patio conversation sets have a sturdy inner frame made of a metal like steel. The outside is most often a wicker/rattan weave. Sets like this are typically made of synthetic resin wicker that looks like real but is much more water-resistant and made with all-weather conditions in mind. Choose this type for dense texture and durability.
You'll often see outdoor furniture made of durable and weather-resistant woods like Killarney Ash hardwood. However, because it is wood, it won't last the way a quality synthetic might. However, you can't beat the rich and classic texture wood imparts.
Metal outdoor furniture sets are less common. These are typically made of metals like iron, and a good product will be coated with weatherproofing or a compound that prevents rust, if needed. People choose metal because it tends to be more lightweight for moving around and imparts a modern feel.
Another important consideration is the cushion type, which can mean different features for care and comfort. Again, patio sets don't have too much diversity in the material types, since the idea is to go for maximum durability. Patio conversation set cushions typically come in:
Polyester: The fact is, the vast majority of cushions are made of some type of polyester or polyester blend. It'seasy to clean and water-resistant, making it the perfect outdoor seating option. However, many manufacturers still recommend you bring your cushions inside when not in use to preserve the quality.
Foam padding: Most cushions on patio conversation sets have some type of dense foam padding, often a cotton or polyurethane foam. Foam is a popular and almost standard option in outdoor seats to protect people from the hard materials that make up durable outdoor furniture.
If you don't want the hassle of bringing in patio cushions when not in use, some sleek and minimalistic styles don't make use of cushions. The seating area might simply be a textile fabric that is pulled over an open frame, so it gives as you sit on it, which adds comfort.
What are the best style choices in patio conversation sets?
When it comes to the style of the patio set, you have a little more selection here. The most common styles include:
Dense wicker: This is the most common style in patio conversation sets. The cushions sit on densely woven wicker that gives the set a solid appearance. These styles are typically boxy and mimic the look of indoor furniture. Choose dense wicker styles if you're going for an outdoor living room look. These also work in any backyard, as they offer a woven texture for rustic or classic spaces and a neutral design for more timeless spaces.
Textured wicker: These look similar to dense wicker designs but will often have some sort of weaving where you can see through the chair. These offer a more rustic texture and look like classic outdoor seating.
Minimalistic wood: When you see an outdoor set made out of wood, usually the wood is in sleek cuts and the furniture itself is on the minimalistic side. Choose minimal woodcuts if you want an understated casual piece. The wood textures also work with rustic backyards.
Modern: These are minimal pieces that make the most of sleek geometry and a sparse use of metal chair legs. Choose them for a contemporary, well-manicured backyard.
How do you choose a color scheme for a patio conversation set?
Another important consideration is the color. Patio conversation sets are large pieces that often define a backyard space, so it's important to get the color right:
Mixed neutrals: The most common color design in patio conversation sets is mixed neutral shades. Usually, the base of the furniture will be one color and the cushions another. It's common to see black and white combinations, which look great in modern spaces. You might also see brown wood tones with gray cushions or black bases with gray cushions. Mixed neutrals are made to work in any space because of how timeless they look.
Bold colored cushions: A fun take is a neutral base, like a black or brown, with bright cushions, like azure or cherry red. These really bring the space to life and are great for casual or artsy backyard spaces.
Understated cushion colors: You can also find a neutral base with understated cushion colors, like a muted blue or sage green. This is the best of both worlds: you get some color to the space, but it's not a statement look. These look great in any backyard style, since they are made to be timeless.
Monochrome: Another interesting look is a monochrome, where the base of the furniture is one shade of a certain color and the cushions are a slightly different shade. For instance, a piece might have a muted blue-gray base and royal blue cushions. Monochrome is good for artsy and colorful backyard spaces.
What is the best seating type in patio conversation sets?
You also have a wide variety of seating types to choose from, each with its own function.
Sectional sofa seating: These sets are one sofa that connects in an L-shape and usually come with a larger, padded ottoman. Choose this style if you're trying to create an outdoor living room look and/or you often have large groups over.
Sofa and single chair: Another common look is the straight sofa with a single chair off to the side. There is often a coffee table component. If you want more separated seating but are still going for an outdoor living room look, try this seating style.
Loveseat and two chairs: For guests and families who prefer the physical distance, some patio conversation sets have a couple of chairs and one small loveseat "sofa." These sets often have coffee tables as well.
Modular sofa: These bring the best of the modular sofa outdoors. The sofa itself comes in sections that you can put together or pull apart. Choose a modular design for flexible seating options and an outdoor living room look.
Chairs: Then there are sets that offer casual chairs, usually with a small end table to place between them. Choose chairs if you want a casual outdoor space, want an outdoor space that looks more like a traditional patio or have a smaller space to fill.