Patio furniture is a great option for any type of dwelling. A residential home, townhouse or condo can all benefit from a good patio furniture set.
If you only have a small verandah or backyard, a two or three piece bistro set is perfect for that quiet afternoon drink or snack. If you have a larger backyard, then an outdoor patio conversation set is ideal. Especially next to your hot tub or pool!
You can get a Wisteria four piece all-weather conversation set for a very reasonable $450 or so, and a Devoko 7 piece outdoor conversation set for around $500. Patio conversation sets are handy if you want to move the seating and table around.
If you would like to treat your friends to a high-class outdoor dining experience, then you will love a good quality patio dining set. For a more casual style, counter height outdoor table sets are an attractive option.
Patio wicker sectionals
Outdoor furniture has really evolved in the last decade, with a much wider range of styles and materials to suit just about any kind of outdoor living.
There are so many choices of materials, such as timber, resin and plastic, outdoor wicker, steel and aluminium.
You can easily match your outdoor furniture with your indoor decor, so that there is a seamless flow between the two areas. Color is the obvious feature, but the furniture framing and padding material can also be matched, or chosen to be complementary.
Wooden outdoor furniture is the classic way to bring that relaxed ‘country’ style to your deck or patio. Metal outdoor bar height patio sets are great if you like a clean, modern look to your outdoor setting.
The great thing about options such as outdoor wicker sectional sets is that they can be moved around and rearranged to suit your mood, décor or number of guests.
Outdoor Serving Carts
Outdoor serving carts are a welcome addition to any outdoor entertaining space. Functional and appealing, they are a ‘must have’ for any serious entertainer. There are a whole range of styles available, such as outdoor wicker serving carts, cast aluminium serving carts, and serving carts with a stainless steel top that are really useful if you need an easy to clean food prep surface.
Some models, such as the Keter carts, are stationary serving carts that can be carried to any location, as needed. These carts are good on uneven or slightly sloping services where stability is particularly important. Most serving carts come with wheels to make relocation a lot easier.
Others, for example the Cosco Indoor/Outdoor Serving Cart, are also foldable for easy transport and stacking in a cupboard or other storage area. If you like the idea of easily rolling around your drinks and snacks, a wheeled food and drink cart is ideal to place next to your outdoor hot tub.
Most serving carts naturally come with either one or two handles, depending on your needs. What are these carts used for? Well, just about anything that is entertainment-related. Serving drinks, pre-dinner snacks, cutting up roast meat, preparing and serving salad – you name it, a serving cart can do it!
A rolling wicker bar cart looks great if you like a stylish, yet homely look for your outdoor setting. And it also matches well if you have other wicker-style outdoor seating.
For example, the all-weather Giantex rattan bar cart has a couple of handy shelves beneath the tempered glass top level, and has rigid metal framing. Steel, aluminium and other types of metal carts typically have a sleeker, more modern look that may suit a newly-built home.
A good example is the Royal Gourmet Double-Shelf Movable Dining Cart Table, which is very sleek and minimalist in looks. It costs about $90 and has good reviews. However, some metal outdoor serving carts have intricate, rustic patterns that would suit most decors.
If you are thinking of buying a wheeled serving cart, make sure that the wheels will suit your outdoor surface or decking. Small castor wheels work best on a flat, even surface such as concrete, but are not as good on decking with spaces between the boards.
For this type of surface, a large-wheeled serving cart such as the Royal Gourmet Double-Shelf Cart or the Seville Classics UltraDurable Commercial-Grade 3-Tier NSF Utility Cart would be more suitable.
Side rails are a very useful feature on serving carts, providing extra security for food, crockery items and drinks.
Modern patio serving carts are made of materials that can withstand sun and rain. Bear in mind that it is still better to keep some models covered up when not in use, so that they don’t get bleached and dusty.
Outdoor serving cart covers
These are really useful for protecting your beautiful serving cart.
The FLR Black Universal Cooler Cover and the Cooler Cart Cover – Universal Fit are a couple of value-for-money options in the $20 – $30 range. This is a small price to pay to greatly extend the life of your outdoor serving trolley.
Small Patio Table Sets
Having an area where your family and friends can kick back and relax is really important, especially for those wonderful summer parties on your patio, next to your swimming pool. Let’s face it, no one wants to be struggling to find a comfortable place to have their cool drink or snack. This is where a patio table set (or two) really makes all the difference.
The whole point of this furniture is to make your life more convenient and comfortable. Patio table sets, sometimes called outdoor patio bistro sets, provide a perfect setting for meals, drinks or playing table games while relaxing.
They come in a whole range of shapes, such as rectangular, round or square. Table sizes vary too, and are typically up to 36″ x 36″. Anything beyond that and you are starting to head towards the territory of outdoor dining sets, which are also very handy if you have the space.
There are also a wide variety of seating styles, ranging from plain metal at the cheaper end, through to cushioned seats, arm rests and back rests. Most cushion styles these days are all-weather, meaning you don’t have to worry about soggy cushions anymore!
What types of outdoor patio table sets are there? For a warm, natural look you can get wooden models, or wood and wicker combos.
When it comes to making your final selection, it is best to go for the highest quality so that your table set lasts for many years. The last thing you want to do is get a cheap model and be replacing it in a couple of years’ time.
Good quality furniture will save you money and time in the long run. High quality means that it is made out of durable and sturdy material, such as aluminium, steel, quality resin or solid wood.
Here are four well-regarded patio conversation sets that are worth a look:
This is quite a good low cost option that is simple, functional and stylish. The set consists of a table and 4 stackable gray chairs. It can be used either indoors or outdoors, and would be suitable for both residential and commercial settings.
The table is square with a metal frame and glass top, and is 28” x 28”. In a windy location you would probably need to stack the chairs to make sure they don’t blow around.
The Hornall furniture set includes a double sofa and 2 single chairs, plus a 28” x 18” tempered glass table. All the items have a robust steel frame with an all-weather rattan wicker covering
All the seats have soft washable cushions, and have closed sides and back for extra comfort.
An added benefit is the lifetime exchange warranty.
This set has a more solid and comfortable look than the Flash Furniture model, yet is still very well priced for a stylish outdoor setting.
The Best Choice Patio Conversation Set has a similar style to the Hornall Set. It also has seating for 4 people, but the table is slightly longer at 35.5” or about 3 feet. The overall look is slightly more modern, but they both look very good. And it is also an all-weather model with handy washable cushions which would look great next to your pool.
You can get this set in either gray or the brown option.
3 Piece Outdoor Bar Height Bistro Sets
An outdoor 3 piece bar height bistro set consists of 2 chairs and a table set at a slightly higher level than normal – perfect for relaxing poolside with a close friend or your loved one!
There are many options available. Four good quality options are described below to help you make the right choice. Each of them have good reviews.
Option 1 – HL Patio Bistro Bar Set (~$200)
This model is a rattan wicker furniture set built around a sturdy steel frame. It comes in at around $200 which is quite affordable. Best of all, it comes with a handy ice bucket to keep your favorite drink icy cold on those hot summer days!
The set consists of 2 non-swivelling chairs and a tea table with a height of 35”. The table has a tempered glass top to resist breakage and has a rectangular shape with a curve on the long side. The table dimensions are 32” x 18”. The 2 steel-framed seats have closed in PE rattan sides and back. They are also quite strong and can carry up to 330 pounds.
The seating is UV resistant and can be left outside. To keep it looking fresh for many years to come you would want to consider adding a cover when not in use.
A handy feature with this patio set is that the seats have soft polyester cushions with a gray polyester cover that can be easily washed.
This style of outdoor bistro set is great for a couple of drinks and some light snacks on a warm sunny morning or in the cool of evening.
If you decide to buy this model it comes with the necessary tools and instructions so that you can quickly enjoy your new purchase.
Option 2 – PHI VILLA Patio Swivel Bar Set (~$280)
The PHI VILLA model is a slight step up from the HL Patio Bistro Bar Set in that the 2 metal-framed seats can be swivelled in a full circle, providing a more fun and relaxed feel than a fixed chair.
The table also has a tempered glass surface. It is square and nearly twice the size of the previous HL model, with dimensions of 31.5” x 31.5”. This means that you also have room for a couple of large plates or bowls, as well as your drinks.
The seat legs are also adjustable, so that you can easily deal with uneven surfaces. The seat surfaces are made of brown textilene, providing ventilation on those hot days.
The chair arms are also slightly curved, which some people will find more comfortable than a straight arm model. In fact the table and chairs all have a curved appearance, which looks really smooth and classy.
There is also a 1 year guarantee on this model.