Patio Living – A Room With a View

Updated 6/28/24

Bonavista Curved Patio Furniture With Firetable

No patio is too small for your dreams. And you have permission to dream as large as you like to create a year-round living space outside the walls of your home. Call it an oasis, even. If you do it right, that’s exactly what it will become.

Designing Without Walls

Envisioning a style plan for your patio is very much like designing for your interior living spaces – it should follow along the same aesthetic thread. You have some freedom to go a little further afield (admittedly bad pun) for your outdoor space by exaggerating the attributes of outdoor living you most enjoy (Cultivated garden aficionado? Committed xeriscaper? Cornhole-is-lifer?) while also suiting your intentions to your geographic location.

But still, your patio design should start with the same basics, namely function and space planning.


Who’s using the space, how are they using the space, and what are the demands of the environment your space occupies? If you’re in a salty environment, all-weather wicker pieces, like those in our Ashford collection, will cut your maintenance time. Those same all-weather wicker pieces, as well as powder-coated aluminum pieces like our bestselling Bonavista collection work best in wet weather climates as well. Do you need seating to hold up to bathing suits and wet dogs? Or are your patio gatherings more likely to serve up food, drink, and cushioned, cozy escape time? The answers to these questions will help you decide whether to start a search in Outdoor Living or Outdoor Dining for your anchor pieces.

Space Planning

Measure the shape and size of your space. If you don’t have a predetermined footprint for your outdoor space, be sure to consider placement of primary and possibly secondary use spaces, along with walking paths for best possible access. The scale of the furniture should correlate to both the area and function of your space. When possible, it’s best to err on the side of generously sized seating for both comfort and gracious accommodations. On a porch, balcony or small patio with limited space, you might look for pieces with a smaller footprint and flexible use to get the most out of your al fresco room.

Time to Shop Your Outdoor Room

Now that you have a plan for your outdoor space, it’s time to start choosing furniture. We know you’re looking for great style, but do you know that an investment like this requires the same consideration for durability and quality of construction as your indoor living and dining room furniture?

If you already own an indoor version of the Beckham Modular collection (and you may, because it’s a Bassett bestseller!), your choice can simply be an outdoor version of this do-it-all modular seating in an outdoor fabric and cushion of your choice.

So Many Choices…How to Decide?

Choose your outdoor furniture frame based on weather, wear, and style. By choosing a material appropriate to your environment, you save maintenance time and effort. So, as you keep in mind your climate and exposure to the elements, here are some figurative nuts and bolts to consider about your options:

Wicker Patio Furniture

A traditional choice for outdoor furniture, wicker now comes in all-weather resin, a material that can stand up to wet weather while lasting much longer than traditional wicker. Look for a tight weave and realistic texture, both signs of a durable quality product. Bassett’s Huntington collection shows a transitional style that pays homage to classic wicker silhouettes, while the new Ashford collection features a flatter, half-oval profile for a more tailored, modern look.

Metal Patio Furniture 

Metal frames like wrought iron have long been a garden patio staple, able to cross design genres and convey a traditional, classic, or modern look. But iron and steel tend to rust even if they are powder coated. That’s why Bassett’s own facility in Alabama builds metal-framed outdoor furniture from commercial-grade aluminum, which is then powder-coated to endure years of exposure and use. Our wide-ranging (and bestselling!) Bonavista collection lets you dine and recline in the same style as you do inside, and our new Morris line introduces more sleekly linear seating options.

Cushion Your Landing 

Seat cushions add resort-quality luxury to your outdoor living space. Once again, your choice of materials is crucial in your effort to maximize relaxation while minimizing maintenance demands. After all, don’t we all want our patio to act as laid back as it looks?!

Easy-care fabrics and long-lasting materials that can withstand nature’s quirks are key when it comes to outdoor upholstery. The lifespan of an outdoor cushion depends on how well it holds up to water, dirt, and UV rays. To that end, Bassett Furniture’s outdoor seating offers a unique and crucial aspect of cushion construction – seat cushions wrapped in moisture-resistant ticking. This design allows the cushion core to breathe, while sonically welded seams keep the elements at bay. All our outdoor cushion foam is pre-treated for moisture and mildew resistance.

Many outdoor fabrics are made from spun polyester with a UV-protective coating so they dry quickly. But they’re subject to fading, which is as dispiriting as the fading light of a summer passing on by. The premium fabric Bassett uses for outdoor cushions and couches (such as Sunbrella) is solution-dyed acrylic. Designed for extended outdoor use, these acrylic fabrics are known for longevity, color retention, and resistance to UV rays, moisture, mildew, and staining. That means the changing season can bring a renewed approach to your outdoor gatherings in a still-glowing setting, perhaps now lit by the Harvest Moon.

Dive Into the Details

Collect and curate your outdoor living space as you have done inside your home. Choose from Bassett’s hundreds of outdoor pieces to create unique-to-you spaces for gathering and dining, in large groups or small. A quiet corner for your morning coffee should feel as special as the great big, wide welcome of your main seating area. Two of our favorites for cozy, keep-to-yourself comfort are the Leighton and Emma accent chairs.

So, go ahead -- assemble a coordinated blend of textures, colors, patterns, and materials. Have you chosen a sleek metal frame for your sectional? Perhaps you’ll want the cast stone texture of a Carmen accent table as a counterpoint. Or marry the Huntington wicker dining chairs with a Bonavista dining table in one of its 6 finishes. Then there’s the Bassett collection of outdoor fabrics, over 100 strong. Choose the fabric you like, as well as custom details like topstitching and self or contrast welting.

Layers of Leisurely Living

We’ve reached the point where you’ll want to layer in rugs and add accent tables, poufs, and pillows. Remember that, even on the patio, outdoor rugs help define the spaces and how you want to use them. The smaller furnishings add ease and comfort – places to set your drink, put up your feet, even cushion your napping head. Plants, candles, and outdoor lighting add more homey touches.

Summer living is often at its best outdoors on the patio. But the al fresco lifestyle that was once the sole province of June, July, and August has transformed into nearly year-round outdoor living if done well. With Bassett Outdoor products and our designers here to help you in that effort, resort-quality living can be yours day in and day out. Nights, too!

Design Your Patio