How to Choose the Right Style and Material for Your Patio Chairs

When designing an outdoor space be it a large or small patio, good seating is an absolute must. This is true whether you have a small patio or a large one, one that’s focused on lounging and conversation or used as an outdoor dining space. No matter the size or purpose, you’ll always need good seating.

But with so many options out there, how do you know where to begin when shopping for new patio chairs? When designing a patio, you want to consider the style of the space the same way you would with rooms inside your home. This can help you narrow in on specific patio chair styles and materials. You can then focus on finding patio chairs that reflect your design style while suiting the needs of your specific patio and finding chairs that can withstand the weather where you live.

Want to see what your options are when shopping for patio chairs? We’ve rounded up the most popular patio chair styles and materials to help you find the perfect furniture for your outdoor space!


Patio Chair Materials

Will your patio furniture be exposed to a lot of direct sunlight or heavy rain? Are you looking for chairs that will last a decade or just suit your space for a year or two? And what comfort level are you looking for? Considering these questions will help you land on which patio chair material is right for your style and needs.

Wooden Patio Chairs

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A classic outdoor chair choice, wooden patio chairs are highly durable.  With the variety of wood types, stains, and shapes, wooden patio chairs can suit a variety of styles, from rustic and traditional to contemporary and modern. Teak is one of the most popular wood choices for outdoor furniture since it has all-weather capabilities and can withstand harsh weather while continuing to look beautiful. Acacia, eucalyptus, cedar, and cypress are other popular wood choices. Some wooden patio chairs are designed to be comfortable on their own, but many come with back and seat cushions for optimal comfort.

Metal Patio Chairs

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Metal patio chairs are a durable and sturdy choice. They’re typically made of aluminum and are powder-coated for durability. Aluminum is rust-resistant, which makes it a great choice if you live near saltwater, since that can corrode and oxidize other metals. This type of metal is also a fairly lightweight material, making metal patio chairs easy to move around. Steel is heavier and more resilient to high winds, but it does rust easily, so it’s important to choose stainless or galvanized steel for outdoor furniture. Overall, metal patio chairs are cost-effective, an ideal choice for someone looking for a modern or industrial vibe on a budget.

Rattan Patio Chairs

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Rattan furniture is made of durable natural rattan fiber strips that are woven together, often in a wicker style. This material can fade in the sunlight and isn’t highly moisture-resistant, so this material works best on a covered patio. Otherwise, you can simply cover them or bring them inside when not in use outside. Rattan patio chairs are classic in appearance and versatile so can suit a wide range of styles—from classic and contemporary to boho and modern. However, some people find it uncomfortable to sit on woven materials, especially if it’s a looser weave. Because of that, rattan patio chairs are often accompanied by a cushion for comfort.

Wicker Patio Chairs vs Rattan Patio Chairs: What’s the difference?

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Confused by the difference between wicker patio chairs and rattan patio chairs? We don’t blame you. Some people erroneously believe that these are different materials, while others think of them as two names for the same thing. But the truth is actually a bit more nuanced. While rattan is a natural material, wicker is actually a weaving method. Because of this, wicker furniture can be made out of rattan but it could also be made of synthetic materials. (Like plastic resin, which we mention below.) Plus, not all rattan furniture is woven in the wicker method. However, when rattan furniture is woven in a wicker method, pieces are often referred to as wicker rattan.

Plastic Patio Chairs

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Plastic chairs (which include recycled plastic, resin, and polymer) are durable and affordable, and they come in just about every shape and color. This makes plastic patio chairs a popular choice for many households—especially those with kids. Plastic resin is often made to resemble natural materials like wicker rattan and wood. While plastic sourcing and quality differ, many plastic patio chairs on the market today are made of recycled materials and are highly durable, resisting fading in the sun. Recycled plastics and resins are resistant to moisture, stains, mildew, and insects—plus, they won’t peel, crack, or fade. Talk about a low-maintenance material!

Patio Chair Styles

Having a design style in mind when designing your outdoor patio can help you figure out which chair shape and style you want to use on your patio. Below are four trendy patio chair styles.

Patio Egg Chair

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Egg chairs are an iconic piece of mid-century design. And in recent years, patio egg chairs, made of woven materials, have gained popularity. They’re comfortable and great for relaxing and reading. Plus, with the curved shape, you get both some privacy and sun protection! Some patio egg chairs are on legs, like the one above, while others are hanging designs.

Lounge Chairs

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One of the most popular types of outdoor chairs, lounge chairs are very comfortable and are a great choice for sitting back and conversing, lounging and reading, napping, or sunbathing. Most lounge chair styles have an adjustable back to allow for both sitting upright, lounging back, or laying down flat. This makes them popular chairs for pool decks! This is one of the patio chairs with the widest price range, going from affordable to high-end and luxurious.

Rocking Chairs

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Indoors or outdoors, rocking chairs are a true classic. A rocking chair is a great choice for comfortable and casual seating on a patio or porch. It’s a great chair choice if you enjoy sitting outside while you read!

Adirondack Chairs

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Adirondack chairs have been a popular choice for outdoor spaces for decades. Whether they’re made of wood, plastic, or metal, the style of this chair is incredibly sturdy and long-lasting. This is a popular patio chair style due to its comfort and stylistic versatility. It’s an excellent choice for sitting around a fire, enjoying drinks on the deck, or relaxing poolside.

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Brand Spotlight: Meet Serena & Lily

From major retailers to up-and-coming designers and even unique, hard-to-find brands, we’re always adding new Modsy brands to our digital catalog to bring you pieces in your style and budget. Our Modsy Brand Spotlights helps you get to know some of our favorite brands you’ll find in your 3D designs.

Next up: Serena & Lily!

Serena & Lily

Meet The Brand: Serena & Lily

Serena & Lily offers a wide range of furnishings and accessories that work with any aesthetic. But they’re especially great if you love the breezy California look, boho-style interiors, and coastal design ideas for the home.

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What They’re Known For

Serena & Lily furniture and bedding have a reputation in the design world for high-quality, timeless staples. Their designs have classic coastal good looks but are updated with modern lines for today’s home. Their pieces are also easy to mix-and-match with different styles and any home decor.

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Why We Love Them

There’s a reason why everyone loves Serena & Lily! The brand has some of the best investment bedding, furniture, and rugs that are handmade and unique. You can always count on them to add major comfort without sacrificing style.

Serena & Lily work with lots of natural materials for their pieces, and they use them in a sophisticated and polished way that gives all their designs a fresh, relaxed, and classic look. Their commitment to quality natural material is both thoughtful and captures their attention to detail and craft. It’s what makes their pieces incredibly comfortable and long-lasting.

Serena & Lily’s designs also have an airy aesthetic that adds a cool, livable vibe to rooms—you’ll feel like you’re always at a beautiful, welcoming beach house!

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Our Designers’ Picks From Serena & Lily

You already know why we love this brand, now explore some of our designers’ favorite pieces from Serena & Lily’s collection!

Anguilla Rattan Coffee Table

Add a warm organic feel to any living room with this bent-rattan coffee table in a natural finish. The tightly woven top provides an interesting play of tone and texture, while the hand-bent base keeps it from feeling bulky. Mix in bright pops of color in the decor on top to punch it up with a coastal-eclectic look.

Malibu Chandelier

This chandelier is like a ceiling gem. The strands of gorgeous beads with subtle gold veining and the frame wrapped with natural hemp and tassels give the whole piece an elegant rustic appeal. It brings earthy glamour to any space, but we can see it adding major charm in a nursery or kids’ room.

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Seas Bar Cart

This casual and earthy bar cart design has mid-century influences and the handwoven rattan adds a beautiful textural look. Set it up in a corner in the living room or dining area for an instant sophisticated accent piece. Top it with cocktail glasses and barware, then balance it out with vibrant decor, like greenery, coffee table books, and candles!

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Caledonia Woven Console

Elevate any entry or living space with this coastal seagrass and wood console cabinet. The woven doors offer rich texture while the leather pulls make for sophisticated finishing details. It’s the perfect piece to anchor an empty wall and it pairs beautifully with other woven accents, such as a rattan chair, basket planter, or any number of Serena & Lily rugs.

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Cabot Square Coffee Table

If you’re after classic elegance, this practical tiered coffee table has storage and style to spare. The painted mahogany, raffia-wrapped shelves, and Deco-inspired brass details make this table a simple, timeless piece. Use the storage shelf for books and TV remotes, then add glass vases and metallic accents on top to play up the brass details of the table.

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Avalon Daybed

This daybed is gorgeous with its lattice rattan pattern and makes for a great statement piece to anchor a guest room or bedroom. It was inspired by a French sofa from the 1940s and has an airy, natural beauty to it that can work seamlessly in any coastal, eclectic, or boho interior. Layer this daybed with lots of Serena & Lily bedding, such as textured throws and pillows, for the perfect afternoon nap spot or guest bed.

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Harbour Cane Bed

Made with sustainable rattan by hand, artisans meticulously wove together the cane pattern for this unique, breezy bed. It has rustic-coastal appeal but is a versatile piece that can work in any space, from classic to modern. You can easily top it off with Serena & Lily bedding in soft colors, keeping the styling light to match the airy aesthetic of the bed frame.

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Islesboro Chair

This chic hand-woven seat is made of water hyacinth, which is a surprisingly durable material. There are also black rattan strips layered in that add sophistication and depth. It’s a substantial chair that will look as beautiful in a living room as it does around a dining table. Keep the decor around this chair minimal so that they take center stage and shine on their own!

Mirabelle Rug

Serena & Lily rugs include a selection of batik-inspired styles that are made entirely by hand, which means that no two are alike. This unique batik-style rug has an amazing border and traditional pattern that instantly brightens up a living or dining room. We love it in indigo for the deeply saturated color tones that go great with neutral furniture and decor.

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Shore Bench

Made of natural rattan, this low-back bench is the perfect perch for an entry, hallway, or even sun porch or covered deck. It has a breezy look and a very organic feel, so it has a light and airy appearance while also adding instant beach-house vibes! Top it with soft-colored and patterned pillows for a dose of relaxed texture and comfort.

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Balboa Counter Stool

We’re big fans of these Serena & Lily bar stools because they’re perfectly proportioned for any kitchen/bar space. Not to mention, they’re made for comfort, so you can lean back and lounge in them for hours! They’re made with wood wrapped in rattan that has a gorgeous texture and subtle variations in tone, and they come with a plush cushion seat that adds the perfect pop of color and comes in many fabric options!

Dip-Dyed Stools

These fun little handcrafted stools with glossy-white dip-dyed legs are stylish and versatile pieces that can go anywhere in the home. They’re hand-shaped from raw teak wood and make for perfect corner accents in any style room, from rustic to industrial to coastal. Top them off with a small plant to drive home the organic, hand-made feel of the stool.

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Blake Drawer Nightstand

The lacquered navy raffia on this beachy and modern nightstand is an instant focal point in any bedroom. The Parsons-inspired design is classic yet bold, and the brass drawer pull adds a touch of polish and sophistication to the relaxed raffia. Pair it with a neutral bed and style it up with other small brass accents to make it a bedside statement!

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Stylist Picks: 11 Pieces That Do The Rattan Trend Right

rattan trendThere’s so much to love when it comes to the rattan trend that’s been making its way into homes all over. We’ve been seeing rattan furnishings go from covered patios and porches into living rooms, dining spaces, and bedrooms, and we just can’t get enough of it.

Whether it’s a small side table or a full-on headboard made in the material, rattan pieces have a way of adding bold natural texture, organic appeal, and a breezy, laid-back vibe in spaces. You probably associate rattan furnishings with beach houses, your grandmother’s timeshare, or even the iconic Golden Girls’ home. But the material is getting a versatile and contemporary facelift for 2019. But what makes rattan one of our favorite materials of the moment is that it’s absolutely timeless – it doesn’t really go out of style ever and it won’t feel dated in a few months.

Still, incorporating the rattan trend into your existing decor can be tricky. So to help you get started (and inspired), our stylists rounded up a few rattan pieces that you can easily work into your home. Read on for their top picks for bringing the rattan trend home in small, medium, and major ways.

rattan trend1. Round Woven Tray with Handles

Pretty and practical, rattan trays are the simplest way to work this 2019 trend into your decor. It goes with practically everything and this design with handles has polished appeal.

2. Kids Rattan Nightstand

This rattan nightstand makes for a small accent piece that’s perfect if you’re looking to ease the material into your space. Not just for trendy tots, try using it as a side table in your living room to add a touch of texture.

3. Mobbi Round End Table

For a slightly more substantial rattan piece, this round table makes for an easy accent that’s stylish and functional. Bookend a white sofa with a pair of these to play up a breezy, casual look.

4. Sarah Bartholomew Octagonal Rattan Mirror

If you’re looking for a statement piece that will be a focal point in your space, this sculptural mirror with a rattan frame will certainly do the trick. Try hanging it in the entry for major impact.

5. Balboa Armchair

Comfy and laid-back, rattan armchairs lend rooms an airy elegance. They’re also super versatile. Place two on a covered porch or pull them into your living room for an instant conversation spot.

rattan trend6. Farmhouse Woven Rattan Baskets

You really can’t go wrong with rattan baskets, which we love as pretty storage bins for throws, blankets, and pillows. Another idea? Try using larger baskets as planters for tall leafy plants.

7. Tejido Dining Stools

To play up a casual, tropical vibe, group comfy rattan stools with your dining table. Not ready to commit to a full suite? Pull up a pair to your kitchen counter – they’ll provide the same relaxed feel.

rattan trend

8. Headlands Pendant

Among the most captivating uses of rattan we’ve seen, light fixtures are an amazing way to rock this trend. Try hanging multiple rattan pendants in a room for gorgeous accents that will instantly draw the focus upward.

9. Reflect Rattan Credenza

Ready to do rattan in a big way? This show-stopping credenza will add serious visual texture. It also offers plenty of storage and is a perfect display for art and objects. It’s our idea of the ultimate conversation piece.

10. Noelie Rattan Lounge Chair with Cushion

If big comfort is what you’re after, consider a deep cushioned rattan lounge chair in your living or bedroom to give yourself a place to kick back and unwind. We love a rattan lounge chair for the cozy and organic feel it brings to a space.

11. Santa Ana Headboard

There’s something about a neutral-hued rattan headboard that sets a warm, cozy, and inviting tone in a bedroom. It’s the perfect statement piece as it has a way of presenting natural texture without overwhelming a space.

Ready to bring the rattan trend home?

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