Plastic Outdoor Furniture
Maintenance-free plastic outdoor furniture comes in funky and fabulous colors and designs to suit almost any decor. From PVC-constructed tables to dollar store stackable chairs and upscale ultra modern ensembles, polymer is queen of the exterior furnishings industry. Unbeatable for its versatility, water-resistance and portability, plastic reigns supreme when it comes to outdoor porch furniture. From Appalachia to Alaska and Acapulco to Asia, acrylic chairs, chaises, and tables are a household staple and widely used for exterior seating. And they're cheap, too! A typical patio set costs less than $50 at most discount stores. Families, college students, apartment dwellers, and campers are fascinated with this highly adaptable accessory that goes from indoors to out without skipping a beat! Waterproof plastic furniture is virtually indestructible and a perfect choice for quiet gatherings or family reunions. And thermoplastics can take the summer heat without cracking or peeling. Moms don't have to worry about little sticky fingers, spills, or stains with durable pieces that clean up easy with a damp cloth or mild dish detergent.
Because of its durability and inability to break down, plastics have earned a bad reputation for endangering the environment. Landfills are full of discarded products that emit toxic fumes if burned, or chemicals and gases which linger in the environment to harm humans and animals. But man has a moral obligation to protect the earth: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26). Since the late 1990s, manufacturers have attempted to address environmental concerns by recycling, re-melting, and reusing milk jugs; thereby clearing landfills of a portion of toxic waste. Recycling processes produce thermoplastic "lumber," or sheets which can be cut or formed using injection molding to make new plastic outdoor furniture. Once recycled pieces are formed, they are sanded and bathed in a coating of polymer coloring to help fix a protective finish to each piece. The process helps keep outdoor furniture from stains, scratches, and cracks from extreme temperatures.
From outdoor porch furniture to poolside chaises and backyard picnic tables, recycled pieces can mimic almost any kind of furnishings that can be constructed of metal or wood. Thermoplastic sheets are cut according to patterns or injected into molds to form rockers, Adirondack chairs, kiddy table and chair sets, patio ensembles, or versatile stacking chairs. Although totally waterproof, acrylics have a tendency to fade if left in strong sunlight and may absorb stains from certain dyes. For decades, damaged goods could only be covered with cloths or discarded. However, in the last few years, paint manufacturers have developed an acrylic spray paint in several different colors that adheres to thermoplastics much in the same way paint adheres to metal. Manufacturers' instructions claim that acrylic paint can be applied to faded pieces with minimal sanding or prepping. Once the pieces are allowed to air dry, they are good as new again.
Because of its malleability, interior designers love thermoplastics and polymers as creative media. In the 70s and 80s, acrylic furnishings were all the rage. Stacking cube tables, interlocking book shelves, and lawn chairs provided economical furnishings for college dorms, apartments, vacation homes and campgrounds. Today's custom exterior seating designers exploit this amazingly flexible medium to form space age plastic outdoor furniture designs that rival the most expensive upscale selections. Form follows function with minimalist chaise lounges, slings, modular chairs and sofas, tables, and accessories used as outdoor porch furniture. Polymers in a vibrant color palette can be used to furnish outdoor playgrounds and snack areas for kids; or provide extra employee seating at corporations or businesses. Other commercial uses include seating for employee patios and picnic areas, college and middle grades exterior lunch rooms, and rest stops for walking trails in parks and at the beach. Acrylic furnishings are great for health spas and resorts. Owners can place pieces near sand and sea, in saunas, massage rooms, or in dressing areas. Simply spray each piece with disinfectant, wipe down, and the next patron has a clean, smooth, comfortable place to relax and unwind.
Cyberspace shops and local retail and discount stores stock a good deal of acrylics, especially during the spring and summer months. The affordability of plastic outdoor furniture for interior and exterior spaces makes it a best seller. In middle class America, it is not uncommon to see polymer chairs not only in backyards, but on front porches, patios, at the beach, in campgrounds, and at sporting events. Tailgaters love the portability of chairs and tables for quickly setting up alfresco dining for football fans. Campers don't have to worry about easy-clean pieces that can withstand the dirt and grime of the great outdoors. Pieces can be hosed down with water and easily loaded with the rest of the camping gear for the trip home. Hospitals, personal care homes, physical therapy facilities, and recreation centers all use polymer seating for patients and residents, especially outdoors. Durable acrylic chairs can be disinfected between uses to disinfect between each patient or resident's use.
The future for polymers as a material for indoor use as well as outdoor porch furniture, patio furnishings, and recreational use is bright. The popularity of thermoplastics continues to soar as individuals and companies explore more ways to put inexpensive accessories to use. The durability, malleability, affordability, and portability of plastic outdoor furniture make it a prime choice for almost any exterior application in nearly every industry and sector of the population. As technology perfects production and recycling processes to lessen the chance of dangerous toxins and gases leaching into the environment, thermoplastics will also continue to gain popularity as a creative media for designers and manufacturers.
Outdoor Restaurant FurnitureFrom cozy bistros to backless benches, outdoor cafe furniture sets the stage for casual, impromptu dining. There's something special about dining alfresco at a sidewalk cafe: the sights and sounds of beautiful people, the aroma of great food, and the carefree ambiance of a city full of excitement. Compared to the bistros and cafes of Paris, eating at sidewalk venues in America is a relatively new trend, but one that has increasingly gained popularity, especially among big city dwellers. Whether seated at a tiny wrought iron bistro table and chairs for two or around a cast aluminum booth for six, outdoor restaurant furniture adds to the charm of a favorite spot to eat. The food inside the restaurant is the same menu served on the sidewalk, but it's the ambiance that creates this amazing dining experience that most patrons love. Anyone who has ever eaten at a quaint corner cafe, can testify to the fact that there is nothing quite like enjoying delicious food in the company of friends and total strangers. Outdoor dining is unpretentious and spontaneous; and exterior furnishings play a major role in making an eatery's environment not only conducive to dining, but also a comfortable place to sit, relax, and enjoy the view.
Whether casual and contemporary, sleek and modern, or ornate and traditional, outdoor cafe furniture can be purchased to complement any restaurant's decor. Exterior furnishings can make a definitive statement about a business and help peak the interest of diners who might not otherwise consider stopping by. Just driving by a sidewalk cafe full of smiling patrons speaks reams about an establishment's personality and popularity. The sights and sound of open air dining reach out and embrace individuals seeking not just a satisfying meal, but above average social interaction. "I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13). Restaurant owners know that in order to keep customers coming, they must offer delicious food at a reasonable price, served up in generous portions, in an environment that provides comfortable, well designed seating.
Well placed outdoor restaurant furniture helps define the restaurant's brand image and entice diners to linger long enough to enjoy the meal and want to return again and again. Restaurants that cater to college students, working professionals, or commuters frequently use the services of interior designers and space planners to select the most appropriate outdoor cafe furniture for a specific target market. As the saying goes, "Birds of a feather flock together." An open air eatery literally puts its patrons on display and sends a subtle message to individuals who fit a similar customer profile to come and dine. Take a look at popular burger chains and the way they plan and furnish outdoor spaces. Low-cost fast food chains targeting busy Moms with children usually feature exterior playgrounds with outdoor accessories consisting of sturdy bench seating or picnic tables. College campus diners frequently use bistro style seating in wrought iron or waterproof plastic with large colorful umbrellas. College students like to hang out in groups in a carefree environment which offers ample room for eating pizza or studying. Similarly, beachfront diners feature waterproof plastic tables and chairs that can take the sand, sea salt and soft drink spills that are part and parcel of eating at the ocean.
But outdoor restaurant furniture can also be found at elegant and sophisticated hotels, resorts, spas, and vacation condominiums. Seaside resorts provide upscale outdoor cafe furniture for dining under a tropical sunset on rattan and woven wicker deep seating for six, or under a cozy cabana for two. Cruise liners often use inexpensive and designer outdoor restaurant furnishings for informal and formal dining. Mammoth patio umbrellas shield the rich and famous from the sun and offer an intimate backdrop for exquisite shipboard cuisine. Some five star hotels feature poolside patios furnished with private dining cabanas complete with queen sized banquettes, perfect for lounging and enjoying a casual seaside dinner.
From traditional and European tables and chairs, chaises, barstools, banquettes, and bistro sets in wrought iron, cast aluminum, or resin titanium-alloy; to teak wood, rattan, wicker, and bent willow, today's outdoor restaurant furniture designers have a myriad of options and finishes to choose from. Burnished bronze, ebony black, aged pewter, sleek silver, or antiqued copper are a few of the designer frame options. Weather-resistant cushions complement finishes and add comfort. Most commercial quality fabrics, such as sunbrella, are resistant to fading and can take the rain, sun and humidity of ever changing exterior conditions. Professional grade furniture is superior to residential exterior ensembles, higher in price, and well worth it. Restaurants serve hundreds of customers each day and the wear and tear on furnishings indoors and out requires more durable, long lasting construction. Frames for tables, chairs, chaises, barstools, and benches must be constructed to the highest industry standards to withstand the elements and constant usage.
Restaurateurs can order outdoor cafe furniture from online suppliers via convenient cyberspace catalogs and shopping carts, or visit warehouses and wholesale metropolitan trade centers. Owners can browse vendor websites to check out the latest lines of high quality outdoor restaurant furniture or have pieces custom designed and manufactured to specification. Contract companies work tirelessly with owners to ensure that commercial grade outdoor pieces meet the demands of dining facilities, while presenting an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Entire showrooms house the latest styles in commercial furnishings to meet discriminating clients needs and suit any budget.
The use of outdoor lawn furniture is as American as apple pie. From college students to campers and restaurateurs to homeowners, affordably priced furniture for porch, patio, or pool enables budget-conscious consumers to furnish exterior spaces without breaking the bank. And discount furniture doesn't have to look cheap. Retail stores, warehouses, and shops that specialize in factory seconds or shop-worn merchandise carry a large selection of name brand, quality units at surprisingly low prices. Discount shops buy lawn furniture in big lots and pass the savings onto the consumer. One of a kind designer pieces, mismatched or incomplete ensembles, scratch-and-dent units, or unclaimed custom orders are all examples of the kinds of great buys savvy shoppers can expect to find.
The best time to shop for discount outdoor furniture is during the off seasons or at the end of the summer. Retailers must move shop worn merchandise in order to make room for the next season's stock. At the end of the summer, anything that has not sold is marked down for exceptional savings. Merchants don't want to have to store leftover goods or lose money on inventory. Consumers can save as much as 50% to 70% on off-season merchandise or inventory reduction sales. Understanding the right time to buy requires insight and judgment. "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: ... A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away" (Ecclesiastes 3:1,6). How do you find the bargains? The best way is to watch the newspaper circulars for end-of-the-year clearances. Retailers will usually advertise summer specials just before school starts. Shoppers can pick up some hefty bargains by watching and waiting. Sales reps will be happy to give good customers tips about upcoming specials and bargain basement buys.
Most outdoor lawn furniture left at the end of the season may be a little shop weary. Cushions may be missing, glass tops may be chipped or missing, or ensembles may not include all of the original chairs. Display units and patio sets can get torn or look worn simply from customers handling or sitting on them in the store. A small tear, a stain, or a chip takes hundreds of dollars off of the original asking price, and the smart shopper can go home with a bargain. When it comes to shopping for discount items, pride has to take a back seat to prudence. That gorgeous designer patio set priced at half the original cost may look a little seedy; but a brand new set will soon look worn simply from everyday usage. Prudent shoppers won't think twice about snatching up a bargain.
If discount outdoor furniture has a missing chair, shoppers can ask about special ordering a replacement. If the cost of the replacement is still less than the cost of a new ensemble, the savings are still worth the money. Outdoor accessories can also be purchased at a savings from home improvement stores or online discount shopping websites. The advantage of shopping a home improvement store is that merchandise can be inspected prior to purchasing and there are no shipping and handling charges. Online discount sites that post used outdoor furnishings and allow browsers to competitively bid on merchandise are great if you can afford shipping and handling and if the vendors are reliable and truthful about the condition of items for sale. Buying heavy articles online may save money, but the shipping and handling might make the purchase equal the same price as a new or discount unit bought locally.
Other great places to find discount outdoor furniture are flea markets, discount warehouses which sells donated merchandise to benefit the poor, or garage and yard sales. Flea markets and stores run by charitable organizations may carry a wide variety of outdoor lawn furniture that is still serviceable, or that might require a little paint or stain. Here is where a discriminating eye comes in handy. Shoppers who can look beyond the scraped paint or a little rust to see a diamond in the rough can get a real bargain. If furnishings look a little dilapidated, consider restoring them. Add new cushions to a patio table and chair ensemble, purchase a new piece of glass for a table, or sand and paint rusted wrought iron or cast aluminum frames to freshen furniture that still has good bones.
Garage and yard sales are a bargain shopper's paradise! Homeowners who are relocating or just cleaning out the garage may be willing to part with lawn furniture that is just as good as new, at low prices. Individuals sometimes purchase new pieces and want to get rid of older sets for little or nothing. The best things in life are free and the best discount outdoor furniture will cost absolutely zilch! Garage sale junkies and dumpster divers can scope out the neighborhoods for discarded curbside pieces that are still serviceable, but require a little sprucing up. Plastic outdoor furniture may require spray painting with new acrylic paint. New webbing material can give an aluminum folding chair new life. Scratched cast aluminum frames can be sanded and spray painted, while missing or soiled cushions can be recovered or replaced. Rattan outdoor furniture may need a little TLC: reweaving loose fibers, painting or staining faded seating, or replacing cushions is all that's needed to cash in on great bargains on outdoor lawn furniture.