Decorating an outdoor space can not only be a fun adventure to undertake, it can be quite challenging as well. This is especially true when it comes to selecting the best furniture for your patio or garden. A growing trend in outdoor furniture is to stick with natural stone materials because that is the best way to not only insert some style but also to nurture a more natural space. One of the more popular materials that are seen throughout natural outdoor spaces is granite. Granite is not only tough and weatherproof but it does an amazing job of complimenting the natural space around you. If you’re considering buying natural stone furniture and are unsure about where to start, you are not alone. Here are some of the pros and cons of natural stone garden furniture that will help make your decorating journey go smoothly.
Pros of Nature Stone Furniture
Built to Last
Using natural stone like granite and marble will ensure that your garden furniture has a long shelf life. This is because, unlike artificial materials, natural stone does not easily break down over time. Other natural materials like metals and wood may also seem like a viable option but keep in mind that those types of furniture show signs of aging fairly quickly.
Wood furniture can easily chip and scratch and metal furniture cannot be left out year round because it is vulnerable to weather damage, like rust. Natural stone, however, can be placed in your garden year round which makes it a great permanent option for your outdoor space.
Very Little Upkeep
When you purchase wood or metal outdoor furniture you have to consider the amount of upkeep and work that goes into keeping it fresh looking. Wood furniture will have to be properly stained and weatherproofed because it is a more porous material. This helps to keep it from growing mold which can eat away at the wood over time. Metal furniture will have to be polished frequently to keep it from rusting and to help keep it looking new and fresh.
Natural stone materials, however, require very little upkeep making it a great choice for your outdoor garden. This is because materials like granite are denser and don’t hold moisture like wood does. All you will really need to do to keep your stone furniture looking great is to properly clean it which will save you time and stress.
One concern that many people who are considering natural stone furniture have is whether or not it will be comfortable to sit on. You may be surprised to know that it indeed is very comfortable. While natural stone is tough and strong it offers a great deal of body support which not only will be enjoyable for you but can actually help to improve your overall posture. This makes natural stone furniture a great option for people who already suffer from back pain and other posture related ailments.
Cons of Natural Stone Furniture
There is no way around it, natural stone is very heavy. This is because natural stones like marble or granite are extremely dense. While the weight does help lend the stone to a more durable product, it also means that you won’t be able to rearrange it easily. Basically, once you have the stone furniture in place, it stays there. This can be troublesome for people who like to mix it up and redecorate their outdoor spaces often.
This problem can be easily remedied with perfect planning. By preparing ahead of time for your stone furniture’s arrival you can map out of the perfect space in your garden for it to have a permanent home. This way you can be sure to have the best spot for your stone piece that you can feel comfortable with.
If you are considering natural stone furniture for your garden it is important to note that it will come with a heavy price tag. This is because unlike other outdoor furniture, like wood benches and metal chairs, stone furniture is carved down to the perfect shape every time. This is a long and careful process that is often done with precision and care but that also means that you are paying for the craftsmanship.
While the price tag may be high, you should also consider the quality of the product you are getting. Because natural stone is durable and easy to maintain, you may actually be saving money in the long run. If the high cost scares you, try to do a little research before making the leap to natural stone. Doing research is a great way to be sure that you are getting exactly what you want before you commit to such a large purchase.
Slippery When Wet
Natural stone is perfectly polished and carved to be comfortable and smooth to sit on, but this also means that there is some danger involved. Because the surface is perfectly smooth and doesn’t have any grip to it, once it comes into contact with water it becomes very slippery. Also unlike wood, natural stone is a much harder surface so slipping at hitting the stone can be dangerous, especially for little ones.
To ensure that you are safe from this slippery battleground, try not to use the stone furniture during the wetter months. Also make sure to properly dry it down with a towel before taking a seat this way you can be sure to keep yourself accident-free.
Like anything in life, using natural stone to furnish your outdoor space is going to come along with some ups and downs. While there are some disadvantages to taking a more natural approach to your decorating, the advantages make this design option well worth the risk. Just be sure that you keep in mind what features are truly important to you and stay true to your preferred design aesthetic. The rest will surely fall into place. Good luck.
Rebecca is a freelance writer and editor at http://www.midlandstone.ie, a company that sells and distributes natural stone, patio slabs and garden furniture in Ireland.