Can you put indoor furniture on a covered outdoor patio?

We’re looking at why covered patios are becoming popular, the different types, and if you can put indoor furniture on a covered outdoor area…

We have seen a big increase in the number of covered patio solutions being installed in the UK in recent years. It makes perfect sense. We love to use our outside spaces. Mother Nature often doesn’t love us back. A covered patio is the best way to extend the use of our patio furniture.

According to keyword research we have conducted in Surfer SEO, the term pergola is currently searched on average over 6,000 times a month in the United Kingdom alone. Marshalls, the patio paving specialist, highlighted in their Garden Renovations Index that "Pergola" is only ranked second behind "Summer House" in terms of the most popular/desirable garden features.

Our Frances Garden Table Set on a Covered Patio

We know from our Customer Photos (such as the photo above of our Frances) that we receive for our Do Some Good campaign that we’re seeing more and more covered patios. For a patio to be a true outdoor living space, you need some form of shelter, be that an occasional solution like parasols (pictured below) or retractable awnings or fixed like a pergola or a full veranda-style patio.

Our Frances set covered with a Lazy Susan Parasol

It makes perfect sense to us. We love using our garden tables. Some form of cover is a great way to keep things dry if there’s a passing shower and to keep the sun off you when it is too hot. Covered patios have certainly gained popularity in the UK in recent years as we seek to maximise the use of our outdoor living and entertaining areas.

We know our outdoor furniture sets pair perfectly with our range of parasols. However, what if you have a more fixed structure? Do you need to buy outdoor furniture or can you just put some stylish indoor furniture on your covered outdoor patio area? Well, that is what we want to answer in this article.

What are the advantages of a covered patio?

What are the advantages of a covered patio?

Here at Lazy Susan, we think the popularity of covered patios can be attributed to 3 key factors:

  1. Extended Season
    A covered patio protects us from the unpredictable British weather, allowing us the opportunity to enjoy our outside spaces more.

  2. Increased Value
    Adding a covered patio will enhance the appeal and value of a property while expanding usable living space and creating an outdoor entertaining area.

  3. Versatility
    Covered patios can serve multiple purposes, from outdoor dining and lounging to spaces for gardening or hobbies like painting.

What are the different types of covered patio?

There are several effective solutions you can construct to cover a patio, each offering different benefits and design aesthetics, some even combining a few elements in one. Here are some of the popular ways to cover a patio in the UK:

1. Pergolas

What are the different types of covered patio | 1. Pergolas

A pergola features vertical posts with supporting crossbeams and a full, retractable or slatted roof. They can often be customised with planting, retractable sides, slatted panel walls, or fabric screens for additional shade and privacy.

2. Awnings

What are the different types of covered patio | 2. Awnings

A retractable or stationary awning is a practical option for covering a patio, providing shade and protection from the sun and rain.

3. Shade Sails

What are the different types of covered patio | 3. Shade Sails

Sun shade sails are triangular or rectangular fabric canopies that are stretched between anchor points to create shelter over your patio.

4. Fixed Roofs

What are the different types of covered patio | 4. Fixed Roofs

A pavilion, porch, gable, hip, or veranda-style cover is a fixed building/part of the main house with a solid roof structure over the patio area that provides complete protection from the elements and allows you to enjoy your outdoor space year-round

5. Retractable Roofs

What are the different types of covered patio | 5. Retractable Roofs

A retractable patio cover, such as a retractable roof or motorised canopy, offers the flexibility to open or close the cover as needed.

6. Enclosed Patios

What are the different types of covered patio | 6. Enclosed Patios

Converting your patio into an enclosed space with walls and a roof provides complete protection from the elements for added privacy and security. Options include screened-in porches, sunrooms, or four-season rooms.

Can you put indoor furniture on a covered patio for outdoor use?

If you want to put indoor furniture on a covered outdoor patio, then who are we to say you can’t? You can do what you want. However, why would you want to risk it, when there is a better solution?

Think about the following before you make a decision:

  1. Materials
    Indoor furniture is typically not designed to withstand outdoor conditions, so it's essential to choose furniture made from materials that are made from weather-resistant materials such as teak, cedar, synthetic wicker, or cast aluminium as you will find in our collection.

  2. Protection
    Even though your patio is covered, Mother Nature will still get in if the sides and/or front are open. Consider whether your patio furniture will be adequately protected from the rain, wind, sunlight, etc. You may need to provide additional protection such as covers or awnings to protect indoor furniture.

  3. Weather
    In the UK we can see a lot of rain, which will cause problems with certain types of indoor furniture, especially wood furniture or natural rattan furniture. Make sure your furniture is treated or sealed to protect it.

  4. Maintenance
    Outdoor furniture typically requires significantly less maintenance than indoor furniture. You'll need to regularly clean, maintain and protect indoor furniture to keep it looking its best. Our cast aluminium range will simply need an occasional wipe-down with some warm soapy water.

  5. Durability
    Consider whether your indoor furniture is durable enough for outdoor use. Outdoor furniture is designed to withstand frequent use and exposure to the elements without becoming damaged or worn. Our cast aluminium is rust-resistant and coated with a protective painted finish to give it our trademark look.

  6. Usage
    Think about how you'll be using your outdoor space and whether your indoor furniture is suitable for those activities. For example, if you plan on entertaining guests and dining outside, you will need furniture that is best suited to that.

  7. Style
    Outdoor furniture is also designed for outside spaces. Indoor pieces could look a little out of place. Yes, you could maybe blur the lines between inside and out, but as well as the furniture being fit for purpose, we think (to get the most use out of it) it should fit and function as part of a wider garden design scheme. Our collection features a timeless patio look that is elegant and will not go out of style.

Outdoor furniture is the best solution for a covered patio

Outdoor furniture is the best solution for a covered patio 

While it is possible to use indoor furniture to work on a covered outdoor patio, we think it makes much more sense to choose furniture that is designed for outdoor use than to take the steps needed to keep it protected from the elements.

You want to create a comfortable and inviting outdoor living space but you don’t want to have to keep moving the furniture into storage or covering it every time the weather takes a turn for the worse.

And while a patio with a fixed roof might offer shelter from direct exposure to rain, snow, or sun, etc it will still be exposed to other environmental factors that can affect its condition over time, such as:

  1. UV
    Even though your furniture is sheltered from direct sun, UV rays can still penetrate through openings in the roof or bounce off nearby surfaces, causing materials like wood, outdoor fabrics, and plastics to fade and deteriorate.

  2. Moisture
    Covered patios are sheltered but not fully sealed from the elements, so they are still prone to moisture build-up. This can lead to mould, mildew, and rot, particularly with wooden furniture that is not treated or designed for exterior use.

  3. Pests
    Insects, birds, etc can still access furniture even under a fixed roof, potentially causing damage or leaving behind droppings. Our How to clean bird poo off your garden furniture article looks at how to easily remove it from outdoor furniture.

  4. Temperature
    Outdoor spaces in the UK will see sudden temperature fluctuations, even in the summer. Extreme heat or cold can affect the integrity of indoor materials that are not finished or treated properly, causing them to warp, fade, crack, etc over time.

  5. Dust
    Even though the furniture is sheltered, it is still susceptible to accumulating dust, pollen, leaves, etc, which can degrade the appearance of indoor furniture. Outdoor pieces are designed for this and the materials are much easier to wash down quickly.

  6. Damage
    Depending on the layout of the patio and the activities taking place, there's still a risk of accidental damage from things like spills, knocks, or scratches, even under a fixed roof. Outdoor pieces are more durable and easier to repair than indoor ones if the worst should happen. A scratch in our furniture can be easily touched up with our paint kits.

Our final thoughts on what to do in your outdoor space…

In summary, while technically you could consider placing treated indoor furniture on a covered outdoor patio, it is still exposed to various environmental factors that it would not be exposed to when used indoors.

Proper maintenance, such as regular cleaning, and choosing durable materials, is essential regardless of whether the furniture is under a roof or fully exposed to the elements, and pieces designed for outdoor use, such as our cast aluminium range, have several clear benefits "out of the box".

Placing outdoor furniture under a covered patio offers you greater versatility in terms of how you will use your outside space. You can set up a cosy seating area for lounging and relaxation, create an outdoor dining area for al fresco meals, or even add features like a barbecue grill or outdoor kitchen for cooking and entertaining.

Our furniture is fit for that purpose, designed to be left outside, complement outdoor settings, is comfortable and durable, and is best suited to outdoor use in the UK climate.

Furnishing a covered patio with outdoor furniture allows you to create a comfortable, functional, and visually appealing outdoor living space where you can relax, entertain, and take maximum enjoyment from the unpredictable (but still great) British summertime.

If you have any photos of your Lazy Susan Outdoor Furniture on your covered outdoor area, then we’d love to see a few snaps for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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