How to buy wicker furniture

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Wicker furniture says come, sit and relax!
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How to buy wicker furniture for a beautiful, versatile and excellent investment

Whether it's for an outdoor patio, an enclosed porch, a sun room or any bright spot in your home, wicker furniture is a good investment for its durability, looks and airy elegance.

"Wicker" refers to the tight weave that makes this furniture light and sturdy, whether it's woven from bamboo or other natural plant reeds or synthetic fibers. The frames are made from rattan, a sturdy vine, or metal.

It's a good idea to review these tips on how to buy natural furniture so you get the most bang for your buck and the most furniture for your floor plan.

The first thing to do when shopping for any natural material furniture is to be open-minded. Wicker furnishings are not just for outdoor patios or sun rooms anymore. There are styles of furniture for every room in the house and in a variety of styles, from Asian to Early American and classic to contemporary wicker designs. Depending on your budget and needs, you can outfit one entire room in wicker and complement it with wicker accessories in other rooms or hallways.

When planning your rooms, be creative. A chair designed for an outdoor setting can give a stuffy old den a bright and airy feel. Formal-looking rattan dining room chairs might give an outdoor patio a more elegant feel.

The next consideration is location. If your furniture is going to stay outside exposed to all kinds of weather, look for chairs, lounges and tables that have aluminum frames rather that rattan. The aluminum won't rust in the rain, especially if it's coated with paints and resins to match the furniture. The wicker weave should also be coated with waterproof resins to protect it from the elements and then painted or coated with colored vinyl to match your decor.

The small extra cost for the frame, resins and coating will be returned many times over when your beautiful furniture lasts for years and continues to look great without having to be moved indoors when it rains of snows. Of course, if it is going into an enclosed patio, sun room, dining room, bedroom or other indoor area, weather protection will be less important that color and style.

When it comes to choosing a style, one major consideration is available space. To showcase the beautiful weave patterns, many pieces are large and ornate. If this is your choice, make sure you have room to show off its beauty but also to be able to move it and to walk around it. There are many smaller and more traditional styles of furniture available in wicker as well. Also, while a piece may be labeled "outdoor," it can always be used indoors as well. In fact, the outdoor versions usually come in many more painted colors than indoors, which tends to be more the traditional natural fiber look.

Finally, don't forget the accessories. Furniture stores offer stylish and affordable TV stands, coffee tables, bookcases, lamps, stools, desks, containers and cabinets that will compliment the rest of your wicker furniture, or just give you and easy and inexpensive way to start building your collection.

Whether you're starting with a patio chair or furnishing an entire house, home decor pieces are stylish, versatile, colorful and an excellent investment.

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