How to Pick an Outdoor Bed That Rises and Shines
For snoozing or schmoozing in the wonderful open air of summer, outdoor beds offer pure pleasure, comfort and style
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design is collected, not decorated, and that homes should always be as comfortable and functional as they are chic. In addition to writing for Houzz, I work as the Head Copywriter for Layla Grayce and Zinc Door.
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design... More »
Vacations to warm escapes often include long, lazy days relaxing in lush, oversize outdoor beds. Bring that same faraway feel of tranquility to your home and provide plenty of guest seating to boot with an outdoor bed. Whether they're over the top or casual, meant for the pool or the rooftop, daybeds to swinging loungers can provide versatility, function and luxury to your deck or patio.
Choose a style and an arrangement that fit your scheme. Finish off a contemporary aesthetic with an eye-catching outdoor bed design. Assess your home’s architecture and interior style, says interior designer Sylva R. Beez of m.a.p. interiors. “There should be a flow from inside to the outside patio or pool area,” she advises.
Research styles to find out what’s right for you before making a purchase. You may realize a daybed is a better fit versus a typical outdoor bed design. “Daybeds tend to be more casual, which tends to be more in line with the feel of outdoor spaces,” says designer Amanda Rillo of Busybee Homestore & Design Center. “They can also act as a sofa with cushions along the back, while adding more color and interest to the space.”
Working an outdoor bed into your seating arrangement creates an interesting juxtaposition. Striped fabric gives the look loads of bright color and is also better at hiding stains and weathering. Designers name Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Terra Patio and Seasonal Living as go-to spots, while Sunbrella continues to be the top source for outdoor fabrics.
Size matters. To determine the correct size and style, Rillo recommends closely assessing the space as well as considering how you plan to use it. “Size can be determined based on whether it will be used for relaxing and reading or seating for multiple people, while style might be dictated by a waterfront view,” she says.
Outdoor beds are made in every mattress size from twin to king, so there are plenty of options.
Determine scale and function. Furniture should be in scale with the available space, says Beez, who designed this outdoor lounge area. “Secondly, determine how many people need to fit on the bed," she says. "In this case, it was at least two.” Durable mats made in Thailand outfit this bed with practicality and style.
Use a roof to add style. If you have strong roof supports overhead, consider the unique look of a swinging outdoor bed. “What makes daybeds so inviting is their oversize and relaxed nature,” says Martha Carvalho of Urrutia Designs. “Style them with pillows. The size, colors and arrangement of the pillows will define the character of the daybed and ultimately of your outdoor space.”
A roof overhead will help protect not only you from sun, but your outdoor bed’s fabric as well. However, you should still choose a weather-resistant fabric for your cushions. Rillo also recommends having outdoor covers on hand in case of weather extremities.
Pay attention to materials. When selecting outdoor beds for residences in hot and humid southern Florida, designer Jacki Mallick of Jacki Mallick Designs seeks out any material but metal, which can become scorching under the sun’s rays.
Don’t be afraid to retrofit your outdoor bed to make it right for you. Mallick customized this Pottery Barn piece with rods for curtains and casters for easy movement.
It can be tough to choose the right wood for your outdoor bed, but most designers agree that teak is the best option. “It’s a dense wood that has many natural oils to help avoid rotting, and it’s also a wood that insects will not be prone to infest,” says Rillo. “If taken care of properly, teakwood can last up to 50 years, making it worth the extra pennies.”
A series of outdoor beds and recliners in this photo provides a perfect setup for lounging poolside. Hardware on outdoor furnishings can prove to be the biggest maintenance challenge; Carvalho suggests buying pieces with either brass or stainless steel hardware and applying WD-40 on the metal at least once a year to clean it and protect it from the elements.
Do you have the ultimate backyard lounge? Share a photo below!
Ideabook updated on Aug. 1, 2012.
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