by Kaye Morris
It's easy to update your patio furniture with fresh outdoor furniture cushions. Since the fabric of your outdoor cushions and pillows fades and weakens over time with exposure to rain and sunlight, you'll need to replace outdoor cushions every once in a while. Whether you need cushions for chairs or for benches, you can use these tips to find the perfect styles for your home.
Take accurate measurements before buying any outdoor cushions. Measure the length and width of your outdoor furniture and write down the measurements. While seat cushions may be more forgiving, especially in open wicker chairs, you'll have a harder time getting bench cushions to fit if they are too long for your furniture.
Select a design. Outdoor chair cushions usually come in two styles: a single piece that covers the seat and the back of the chair or two separate pieces that can be tied to the chair. Some outdoor chair cushions are quilted and feature buttons, while others are smooth. Consider the style of your outdoor furniture if you're unsure which cushions to buy. One-piece cushions work best on structured patio chairs with upright frames and arms. If you have benches or armless chairs, you may want to buy just outdoor seat cushions instead of upper cushions, as these will stay in place better.
Make sure your cushions are made of outdoor materials. Select outdoor cushions for chairs made of durable outdoor fabric and materials that are weather-resistant and UV hardy. Protection against UV damage is particularly important if you live in an area with high temperatures and lots of sunny days during the summer. Weather-resistant outdoor cushions are less likely to develop mold and mildew during periods of heavy rains or humidity.
Choose an appropriate color and pattern. Complement or contrast with the decorating theme or color scheme you already have in place. Stripes in red and white can give your patio a nautical theme, perfect near a pool. Black-and-white stripes offer a high-end cabana feeling. A tropical print will give your garden an exotic feel. A playful toile lends more of a vintage look.
Think about decorative accessories. Purchase matching accessories to complement your new patio furniture cushions. Create a cohesive design with matching pillows and patio umbrellas. Look for stools, planters or vibrant pots in colors pulled from a printed fabric. You could even plant flowers in the same colors as your cushions.