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What material is best for patio furniture?

For patio decorating, bring on the new materials and, design-wise, try classic with good lines, if you are concerned about it going out of style.

Bruce Shippee/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The question

When it comes to patio furniture, is it better to go with good, solid teak, which never goes out of style, or one of the funkier synthetic materials on the market now?

The answer

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Good and solid usually translates into boring, which means you have seen it before and it never changes. If you are comfortable living in a perpetual Groundhog Day, then get some heavy teak furniture, watch it patina, oil it, watch it patina and so on. Personally, I consider this stagnation.

I say bring on the new materials and, design-wise, try classic with good lines, if you are concerned about it going out of style. Timeless elegance can be achieved in 2013 via stainless steel, aluminum or a number of other materials that last without continual care.

On top of the maintenance issue, weight should also be a consideration. I've always found that teak can be a challenge to move, having bruised my shins one too many times while dragging around heavy, flaking wood pieces. To satisfy my obsessive-compulsive disorder, I prefer a nice, light chaise that has wheels to help me move it to its optimal spot and to line it up perfectly with other furniture.

Starting June 1, architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace will be appearing on The Real Designing Women, which airs on HGTV Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET. Follow her on Twitter @ddtaylordd. Have a design problem? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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