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It’s patio furniture season

Isn’t it about time you refurnished your backyard?

Posted: April 11, 2009 12:27 a.m.
Updated: April 11, 2009 4:30 a.m.

First-time patio furniture buyer Erez Levy of Saugus purchased a Coconut Grove set.

 
Yeah, I’ve got patio furniture — somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 years old. I’ve got a glass-topped table, dirty but still usable.

(Its umbrella and folding chairs have long since rotted and been recycled). And I’ve got a number of “white” plastic chairs. I quote-mark the white because these chairs have faded and molded and decomposed into various hues, and if you sit on them, your rear is going to come away looking like an elementary school chalkboard in need of erasing.

Why are they in such bad shape? Well, time takes its toll regardless, but the primary reason is because I’ve left all these items out in the sun and weather since their purchase.

So how is your patio furniture? Have the elements and dog-marking done it in? Is it time to refurnish your backyard?

If so, you only have two things to consider: (1) What you want; and (2) How you will care for it.

If you are cheap and lazy, like me (Did I deny that in last week’s home story?), then you should buy accordingly, as in cheap plastic.

Plastic needs very little care and will last you a long time. And it will last you a lot longer if you keep it in the shade and out of the weather. The problem is that plastic patio furniture isn’t overly comfortable and certainly isn’t going to impress any guests you may have.

The sidebars accompanying this article offer care tips from more enlightened folk than I, and studying them might help you decide on what type of patio furniture you really want. Generally, aside from plastic, you have wood, wicker and metal. And you’ve usually got pads to go with.

While patio furniture is popping up like spring flowers at stores all over the SCV, the folks at Lowe’s on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus have an incredible selection of it. Ruben Soliz, the inside garden department manager, discussed some of the items available. He noted that, while you can purchase sets, every item can also be purchased individually. Special orders (such as a different color) can be picked up in seven days.

Wood
“Our best seller is the Coconut Grove,” Soliz said. These wooden pieces, with green cushions, offer “lower seating and a different style.”

Proving Soliz right, I later met Erez Levy of Saugus at the checkout. He was purchasing a Coconut Grove set. “It looks like real wood and it’s not too big,” he said. He added that this was his first time buying patio furniture and that he intended to make use of it this summer when he had barbecues at his home. (He also said his wife picked it out.)

The Coconut Grove love seat (with pads) and coffee table sells for $400.

Metal
Many of the metal-framed chairs at Lowe’s featured a stretchy, woven sling in the seat and back. Airy and cool, these are perfect for summer comfort. One example is the Devonshire set, with a round, 48 inch diameter metal table ($270). The matching sling chairs are two for $240.

Other metal chairs were designed to be covered by pads. One example is the Cayo Bay set, with two stationary chairs selling for $396, and two rocking chairs selling for $560. The accompanying aluminum table is $636.

One very interesting set offered at Lowe’s is the Retro Collection. This set is a throw-back to the 1950s, and all metal. The small table is only $29 and the low-set chairs are only $35 each.

This set is perfect for a small space.

Wicker
The wicker sets at Lowe’s also employ pads, and offer a very elegant look. One example is the Pensacola set, with a love seat and coffee table for $747. The love seat comes with pads and two toss pillows, and the table has travertine and natural slate in its top.

Umbrellas and more
Lowe’s offers a variety of umbrellas and gazebos. For example, the 10 foot by 12 foot steel gazebo sells for $480. And there is also a variety of benches, some with pads and some without. The classic wooden “park bench” style Salem Bench sells for $98.
One fun item is the Three-person Cushion Traditional Swing, at $169. It has a shade cover and can be folded down flat to make a swinging bed.   

Plastic
There is also a good selection of low-priced plastic chairs, some as low as $9.98 each. Soliz said, “The plastic stuff flies out of the store,” as many people buy a number of these chairs at a time when they are having a large outdoor gathering.

Pads
There is an impressive “wall” of chair and chaise lounge pads at Lowe’s. It would appear that just about anything you could want is there — and what isn’t you can probably order.

Care
Soliz offered two basic recommendations for care of patio furniture: “Cover it and clean it.” And he added that, “Pledge is the best way to clean.” He noted that anything left out in the sun and weather will eventually fade or discolor, from the cushions to the metal frames themselves.

The Saugus Lowe’s is at 26415 Bouquet Canyon Road. The phone number is (661) 297-1400. There is also the new Lowe’s off Golden Valley Road in Canyon Country. You can peruse the selection of patio furniture at www.lowes.com.



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