June 28, 2010

Outdoor Furniture: History and Evolution

Patio Furniture Summer is officially in full swing (not that it feels any different to us South Floridians), and that means spending more time outside soaking up the sun! But what’s the fun in getting your tan on without the right outdoor furniture? After all, sunbathing on that dilapidated blue/tangerine plastic beach chair you got in 1984 isn’t going to get you any kudos for style.

Outdoor furniture has come a long way since its 18th-century roots. It all started with the rocking chair. Since air conditioning hadn’t been invented yet, many people would sit out on their porches for some fresh air. And since nobody had thought to make furniture specifically designed for outdoor use, most people would simply drag their inside furniture outside. Unfortunately, the popular wrought iron furniture of those days wasn’t exactly comfortable, let alone suitable for the outdoors. The wooden rocking chair, on the other hand, was a much better alternative: It was comfortable, could be easily moved around, and was (relatively) more durable than other furniture pieces at the time.

TorgesonGirlsPorchSwingThe rocking chair eventually evolved into the porch swing, which could seat several people at once. By the 1930s, furniture makers were making chairs geared for outdoor use. Lawn chairs in particular became the craze among consumers. There was obviously a huge market for outdoor furniture, and thus a new industry was born.

The first waves of outdoor furniture after the initial boom served their purpose, but were also cheesy-looking, overly complicated, and flimsy. (Ever tried folding up one of those old three-part beach chairs? You could lose a finger!) Thankfully, technology and common sense intervened, and today we’re blessed with stylish, durable outdoor furniture that’s both useful and easy to use!

Seriously, some of these designs are comparable to some of the chicest furniture you’ll find indoors.

Black Chaise Lounge


A more comfortable take on the traditional lounge chair. This lightweight chaise features an aluminum frame for sturdiness. The included cushions make it comfortable enough to lounge, sleep, read, or whatever else you like! The woven wicker makes this piece extremely durable, so don’t be afraid to relax on it after a quick dip in the pool.

Palm Chaise


For those with more modern taste. This is yet another twist on the traditional lounge chair; the Palm Chaise features a detachable canopy to help shade you from the sun, allowing you to relax even more comfortably. The attached casters also make this piece easily transportable.

Wilson 4-Piece Patio Set


Part of the fun of the outdoors is that they’re different from the indoors; it’s a change from the norm. That’s the whole point, really. But if you still need a little bit of indoor convenience while lounging outside, this is your best bet. This set can seat up to three people. And it even comes with a table! You can’t really ask for much more from an outdoor furniture set.

Selinet Brown 7-Piece Patio Set


Feel like having some friends over? This one’s for you. Durable frame. Lightweight. Seats up to six people. Stackable chairs for easy storage. Wicker for durability. Oh, and that table top? Tempered glass. Need I say more?

Roland 3-Piece Patio Set w/Round Table


For more intimate moments, there’s the Roland set. It’s perfect for sharing a drink, having a snack, or just catching up with a friend. The chairs are stackable and the table can be folded for easy storage.

Splash Shower


Sun a little too hot for you? Ready to head back inside? Use the outdoor Splash Shower to cool or rinse yourself off and avoid tracking sand into the house. The copper showerhead and soap dish can withstand outdoor conditions, and the attached teak polywood platform is perfect for getting out all the excess sand on your feet.

And it doesn’t end there! Check out these pieces and more at www.ElDoradoFurniture.com and make sure you’re ready for some summer fun! Don’t forget the lotion!

Narratives are for entertainment purposes only and frequently employ literary point of view; the narratives do not necessarily reflect the opinions of El Dorado Furniture, its officers, or employees.

Have a comment or topic suggestion for the author? Shoot him an e-mail at vcapo@eldoradofurniture.com.


Houser, Tom. “The History of Patio Furniture,” Ezine @rticles Website, http://ezinearticles.com/?The-History-of-Patio-Furniture&id=596200 (accessed June 21, 2010).