- The key feature of patio chairs is that they can withstand being outside, in strong sun as well as cool night temperatures. Some furniture can weather years of snow and rain, while other pieces need to hibernate in storage for the winter. Patio chairs are functional as well as decorative. They may be long benches or porch swings suitable for seating multiple people, or they may be diminutive cafe chairs or hammock swings appropriate for one child. Some patio chairs require cushions to be comfortable enough for extended lounging. Some chairs fold away for easy storage. Some patio seating is sling style, with canvas that can be washed or replaced. Lounge style patio chairs are popular and great for sunning yourself. There are also patio chairs that are more flexible and durable for camping or commercial use.
- The old days of lawn chairs made of plastic straps have given way to patio furniture made in all manner of materials. Metal cafe chairs are a staple in bistro cafe sets. Chairs also come in aluminum, bamboo, wood, wicker, wrought iron, teak and various polymer resins. The low-lying Adirondack chair is a classic. Patio chairs may be rockers, swivel, director style, butterfly style, vintage or modern.
- Decorating with patio chairs is quick, easy and affordable. Styles can be altered with the change of a seat cushion. Because they usually reside outdoors, patio chairs can be more eclectic than indoor chairs, adding a festive feature to the lawn or garden. Comfort usually trumps style, because patio chairs are meant to be used for lounging.
- The summertime fun of patio chairs can quickly fade if they are not maintained. Storage is typically the best solution for ensuring a patio chair's longevity. Some materials survive longer than others. Painted wood patio chairs gradually fade in harsh sunlight, so they may require a yearly coat of paint. You can also find high quality exterior-grade paint that contains a UV light filter. Another option is to purchase chairs that age beautifully and have a shabby chic style. Some patio chair materials that have proven longevity are wrought iron, polymer resin and cypress wood.
- A simple patio chair is lovely on its own, but far more useful with accessories. Many patio chairs come in sets that have coordinating ottomans or side tables perfect for supporting an umbrella drink. Cushions are another common accessory. For open areas, improvising a bit of shade with an umbrella, gazebo, trellis or canopy can make a big difference. A new trend is circling patio chairs around a fire pit, which is fun for summer night parties. Patio chair covers are also a useful accessory. Many are adjustable, with Velcro fasteners, to cover most types of patio chairs. The highest quality covers are waterproof and treated with a UV filter.