Interior Designers Share Their Favorite Places To Buy Affordable Outdoor Furniture

Spiffing up your patio or backyard? The pros told us where to shop on a budget.
Living Accents natural wood chair from Ace Hardware

After years of apartment living, I’ve finally moved into a place with a small yard area, which means I get to drink my coffee outside in the sunshine each morning. I just need to buy some patio furniture first.

A quick look for umbrella tables and good-looking outdoor rugs reminded me that outdoor furniture can be pretty expensive. To help myself and others refresh an outdoor space without spending every cent, I asked some interior designers for tips on where to buy all-weather gear without breaking the bank — and what to look for when shopping for outdoor settings.

Unlike the fancy living room that no one sits in or the dining room you use once a year, you’re likely going to be using your yard or patio space for cookouts, dinners, sunny days or just hanging out with family. With this in mind, Michelle Gage, founder and creative director of Michelle Gage Interiors, suggests finding pieces that fit your needs and that are durable and relaxing.

“Look at the quality and care of the wood, as well as the comfort of any cushions,” Gage told HuffPost. “Make sure you’re selecting a performance fabric so that the cushions stay looking new for as long as possible.”

When buying larger pieces of outdoor furniture that will last a while, Larina Kase, founder of Larina Kase Interior Design, recommends investing in more mellow tones. “I recommend neutrals for your larger pieces and colorful accents if you enjoy color on items like pillows, side tables, planters or just in your flowers,” Kase told HuffPost via email. “You can keep the style consistent with your interior or try something different since your exterior will have its own environment.”

When mapping out where your outdoor sets will go, Kase recommends using sidewalk chalk or painter’s tape to get a general sense of space and scale. “Generally outside furniture is a smaller scale than interior furniture, so you might be surprised with what you can fit,” she said. “Make sure you have 24 inches for pathways. Also, consider the sunlight. You might want/need a strategically placed umbrella or two.”

To help you set up your backyard oasis, Kase and some design-expert colleagues shared their favorite stores to shop. We threw in a few places that our own editors are shopping, too.

HuffPost receives a share from retailers on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Though you may be skeptical of its quality, HuffPost shopping writer Lourdes Avila Uribe recommends Walmart for outdoor furniture — specifically, her three-piece wicker bistro set, which she's had for over a year. Calling it "a fantastic investment," she also suggested checking out the big box store for affordable, durable but stylish outdoor pieces, grills and garden needs.
For Larina Kase, founder of Larina Kase Interior Design, the best place to get good-looking outdoor furniture on a budget is the one and only red-dot boutique. Target has a lot of eye-catching single pieces, but also has a selection of affordable sets, like this three-piece dining selection with a table and two chairs.

"My favorite outdoor items are dining table and chairs because I love outside dining," she said. "You can mix up the chairs by doing different chairs on the ends to include a bit of color or pattern."
Ace Hardware
Ace Hardware
Perhaps surprisingly, Kase recommended checking out hardware stores. She said you can often find some great items like Adirondack chairs, garden stools and benches and other planting decor to spruce up your space. "I really love planters and enjoy mixing a set of two or three planters of different sizes, textures and colors," Kase said.
EastPDXIndustries on Etsy
Etsy or other secondhand sources
If you're looking for something handmade, costume or vintage, Kase recommended checking out the huge selection on Etsy. You can find unique pieces from makers and woodworkers — like the wooden outdoor table pictured here — as well as secondhand outdoor pieces. "You can also find great items on local Facebook groups [and] Buy Nothing groups, consignment shops and local thrift stores," she said.

Grace Baena, director of branded content at the pre-owned furniture marketplace Kaiyo, said that buying second-hand is a great way to save money, find totally unique pieces and help the planet. Yet, you want to make sure you're really checking out what you're getting.

"Because outdoor furniture withstands the elements — rain, snow, heat etc. — the condition can deteriorate more rapidly than indoor furniture," Baena told HuffPost. "While a little weathering can look charming and lived-in, inspecting secondhand outdoor furniture is of the utmost importance from a safety perspective. Make sure the piece is structurally sound before bringing it to your own home."
As a result of my own personal shopping, my heart has been stolen by this fringe outdoor umbrella from the big A. It's a fraction of the price of other fancy umbrellas I've been lusting after, and is eligible for free shipping for Prime members. While it may not be your first thought for furniture, Amazon has some super cute outdoor pieces that won't break the bank.
World Market
World Market
Another one of my personal favorites is World Market. They have a fun selection of boho and eclectic pieces, giving your outdoor space a world traveler feel.
West Elm
West Elm
Though West Elm may not register as an "affordable" shop, Kase said to be open-minded, noting the retailer can have great outdoor centerpieces and eye-catching items. "Don't rule out [expensive] places because there can be sales," she said.
Again urging you to keep your eyes out for sales, Kase recommends the luxury garden and outdoor store Terrain. "I found some great sale[s] at Terrain," she said.

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