How to Choose and Care for Boho Outdoor Furniture

Bohemian-style outdoor furniture can give your patio a warm and welcoming atmosphere that will make guests feel right at home. Make the most of your outdoor space by choosing quality pieces and learning how to care for them.

Tips for choosing outdoor boho furniture

Make a list of wants and needs. How do you want your outdoor space to function? Do you plant to use it for al fresco dining or evening cocktails? Before shopping for boho outdoor furniture, make a list of the activities you’d like to enjoy in your outdoor space. This will help you determine what type of furniture might be necessary.

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Determine where to place outdoor furniture. Take a look at your patio or garden to determine how much space you have and where you can place certain pieces of furniture. In terms of furniture placement, keep an eye out for fruit-bearing trees or overhanging branches. Avoid placing outdoor furniture directly beneath trees and structures if there’s a high risk of objects falling onto your furniture and hurting guests.

Further if you’re shopping for boho-style outdoor furniture for a wood deck, make sure that table or chair legs aren’t so small that they won’t get trapped in the gaps between wooden planks.

Find storage space for outdoor furniture. Do you have enough storage space for patio furniture for the off-season? Storing outdoor furniture in the shed, garage, or basement can help shield them from the elements to prevent damage and minimise wear and tear. Even the sturdiest outdoor furniture, like wrought-iron benches or teak chairs, will last longer when stored properly during the hottest or wettest months.

You’ll need more storage space for bigger pieces or for a higher quantity of furniture. If your have limited storage space, look for foldable or stackable pieces to save space. You can also opt for outdoor furniture that can be easily disassembled for compact storage. 

Try it before you buy it. Before buying an outdoor chair or sofa, take a seat and see how you like it. If you expect to get regular use out of your outdoor furniture, or if you plan to host regular dinners and parties, you’ll need comfortable outdoor seating.

For maximum comfort, choose outdoor chairs with plush cushions on the seats and backs. When it comes to upholstery, choose smooth and breathable fabrics. Make wood and metal furniture more comfortable with soft throw pillows or cushions. 

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Choose the right materials. Outdoor furniture should be able to retain their structural despite changes or extremes in weather. If you live in a part of Australia where there are heavy rains or high humidity, you’ll want to be sure that your boho-style outdoor furniture is resistant to damage.

  • Metals containing steel or iron are often vulnerable to corrosion when constantly exposed to oxygen and water. The material can weaken over time, resulting in rust and discolouration. Salt in air and water in the coastal regions further accelerates the chemical process.
  • Organic materials like wood or cotton that absorb water are highly susceptible to mold and mildew, which can trigger allergies and respiratory issues, though they don’t cause damage the material and can be easily removed. Rot can also cause these materials to decompose with time. If the material dries unevenly, it can cause furniture to warp and lose its original shape. 
  • If your outdoor space gets a lot of sun, choose materials that can withstand prolonged sun exposure. Harsh UV rays can cause materials to fade over time. This can be aesthetically appealing (i.e patina effects). Otherwise, you might notice uneven fading or decreased vibrancy.

If you prefer using natural and delicate materials for your outdoor space, you can make them last longer by keeping them in storage when not in use. 

Choose low maintenance pieces. Think of the time and effort it takes to clean and maintain bohemian-style outdoor furniture throughout the year. Most teak, cedar, wicker, and metal furniture are more forgiving and will show little wear with regular cleaning using mild soap and water. You can extend the lifespan of your outdoor furniture by applying a layer of timber oil, autowax, or vinyl protectant. You can also opt for removable cushions and covers that can be thrown in the wash and kept in storage during the off-season.

Choose quality pieces. It’s worth spending a bit more on durable and high quality items that will be used regularly, such as patio chairs or dining tables. You can always save on smaller outdoor accessories like throw pillows and stools. No matter what you decide, shop with care, read reviews, and ask questions before making a major furniture purchase.

Franklin Hobart offers a wide range of bohemian-style outdoor furniture. Browse our shop today for rare and exciting finds.  

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