Originally Published on January 20, 2020. Last Updated on February 17, 2023.
You’ve worked, planned, and saved. After years, you finally have a second home where you and your family can recharge, relax, and enjoy a climate utterly different than the one where you live.
However, there’s still plenty of work to do once you’ve signed all the papers. To make the most of your second home, you must carefully select outdoor furniture that brings out the best of your space and aligns with your family’s interests. Follow our quick guide to choose the outdoor furniture best suited for your second home.
Assessing Your New Outdoor Space
What kind of second home did you buy? A secluded beach house drenched in sunlight? A cozy two-story cabin in the heart of the Adirondacks? When you purchase a second property, it’s often a retreat nestled in an idyllic location. Approach your outdoor furniture purchases knowing this home, if furnished properly, will be a venue for relaxation and recreation that your main home isn’t.
Take Stock of Your Main Home
First, grab a notebook and a pen. Take a walk around the outdoor area of the home where you live now. What outdoor furniture do you own? Is there a pool? Do you have a large outdoor kitchen or only a few rocking chairs by the front door?
Write down every furniture item you have, and then write down every type of activity this furniture can accommodate. What do you do when outside at your main home? Do you sunbathe? Do you dine outside? Do you read? Do you have a fire pit?
Then, determine what spaces you lack at your main home. Try to incorporate these new spaces into your second home, whether that’s a sprawling outdoor living room for movie screenings or a fire pit table for snacks and drinks after sunset.
Measure the Outdoor Space at Your Second Home
Once you have full ownership of your second property, schedule an afternoon to do some preliminary planning. Bring a family member or friend and accurately measure each outdoor space you’re able to furnish. These measurements should include obvious spots like your front porch, deck, and patio, but also include areas like an open stretch next to your garden or the space alongside a pool.
Follow our in-depth guide to measuring your outdoor space so you have a realistic assessment of what types of outdoor furniture would and would not fit in each area.
Decide the Primary Uses of Your Second Home
Now you’ve determined how much space you have to work with at your second home. Maybe you have two flexible areas where you can include a set of outdoor furniture. Perhaps it’s a sprawling property, and you have five or more areas. Now you must whittle down the options and finalize the primary uses of your outdoor space.
Make your choice based on a combination of what everyone in your family enjoys, what climate your second home resides in, and what types of spaces you are missing at your main residence. Using this method, you may decide to include a large dining set for afternoon meals, a designated sunbathing spot along the veranda, and a cushioned deep seating set by the garden for relaxing.
Possible Uses of Your Outdoor Space
Of course, starting from scratch is intimidating. Have you measured the deck of your lake house or the patio of your desert retreat, but unsure what furniture will bring your property to life? Consider any of these popular and functional uses for your space.
- Situate the deck facing your home as the go-to spot for outdoor entertainment by furnishing it with a complete 6-piece deep seating set. Arrange the furniture in a semi-circle facing the house for an evening outdoor theater, or point the furniture toward the horizon for a calming oasis where you can catch up, take a snooze, or play charades while enjoying the view.
- Designate an area to soak up the sun and watch the kiddos splash around in the pool with a set of durable, waterproof furniture. If you prefer stretching out and working on your tan, you can opt for a supportive chaise set. If you would rather furnish a lounge area, go for some Ultimate Adirondacks with hideaway ottomans.
- Need a cozy hideaway to gaze at the stars? Outfit your backyard with an Adirondack conversation set and a fire pit table to swap stories, roast s’mores, and breathe in the night air. The adjustable flame and minimal upkeep make a fire pit table safe for pets and children, as well as easy to maintain.
Are you still looking for ideas? Research more potential uses for your outdoor space.
The Importance of Quality Material
The secret to enjoying a second property is reducing the amount of maintenance and cleaning you have to do to keep it looking like new. You visit a second home for an escape, not a second round of staining, sweeping, and color treatment.
That’s why it’s paramount to invest in quality furniture materials that will allow your outdoor furniture sets to last for decades without constant upkeep. Our materials contain UV-inhibited pigment that runs through the lumber, preventing the colors from fading even when left in direct sunlight for an entire season. Materials like recycled plastic won’t rot, mildew, or rust due to rain and moisture. They won’t warp, crack, chip, or peel in extreme temperatures, making them an equally ideal fit for frigid winters and scorching summers.
Other durable materials like aluminum can overheat in direct sunlight, and sturdy hardwoods like teak still need treatment to avoid discoloration or other signs of degradation. To find the perfect combination of long-lasting material that can be cleaned with a simple wipe down, look no further than POLYWOOD®.
Get some assistance planning the outdoor spaces of your second home with the POLYWOOD Outdoor Furniture Planner. We’ll ask you five total questions about the size and shape of your deck or patio, and match you with up to three curated furniture sets so you can furnish your vacation home or second property with confidence.