One rule of thumb when buying outdoor furnishings: Metal looks good against a backdrop of green plants, but wood looks good anywhere. Enter our old friend teak. Here are five weather-resistant teak classics for the patio (we've sourced both investment pieces and budget-friendly versions):
Above: In 1985, Dansk tableware designer Jens Quistgaard created a Teak Folding Stool using untreated wood that develops a silvery patina over time. It measures 17.4 inches tall; $299 from Design Within Reach.
Above: High and low: At left is the Jens Quistgaard Teak Folding Stool; $299 from Design Within Reach. A Rekal X-Stool (R) is slightly shorter at 17 inches high; it weighs 10 pounds and folds to a depth of 2 inches for storage; currently on sale for $50 from Bhome Bandon.
Above: The iconic Parsons Table—which has square legs of the same thickness as its tabletop, however big or small the table—was the serendipitous outcome of an exchange between French modernist designer Jean-Michel Frank and his students at the Parsons Paris School of Design in the 1930s. Or so the story goes: After Frank challenged his class to create a simple design that would look good in any finish or color, a janitor constructed a prototype to display at a student exhibition.
Now a ubiquitous design, the Parsons Table's proportions make it an easy companion to nearly any other furniture style. Inspired by the original, a Barlow Tyrie Apex Teak Table with a slatted top measures 82 3/4 inches long by a generous 46 3/4 inches wide and is 29 1/4 inches high; $4,299 from All Modern.
Above: A heavy-duty Hampton Teak Outdoor Dining Table measures 78 inches long by 39 inches wide and 29 inches high; on sale for $1,395 from Teak Warehouse.
Above: As Janet put it in a recent 10 Easy Pieces, a major virtue of square wooden planters is that they're "free of fuss or filigree." Here are high-low versions of two 28-inch-square planters: (L) a Studio Planter With Commercial Grade Liner and interlocking corners ($1,090 from Country Casual) and a Teak Tree Planter Box with tongue-and-groove joinery ($447.52 from Teak Planter).
Above: From Danish furniture-maker Skagerak, a reclining teak Steamer Deck Chair measures 64.2 inches long by 22.8 inches wide by 39.4 inches high; it's $799 from Horne.
Above: A Teak Classic Steamer Chair by D-Art Collection with brass hardware also reclines; it measures 59 inches long by 24 inches wide by 37 inches high; $332.39 from Amazon.
Above: What makes the classic Adirondack chair the perfect spot for a nap? It's the gently sloped back, the wide armrests, and the low-slung seat; all conspire to make you very sleepy. A Barlow Tyrie Adirondack Chair (L) has a fan-shaped back and a generously proportioned seat that's 38 inches deep; available for $989. A Salter Adirondack Chair (R) is 36 inches deep; $485 for a DIY kit from Arthur Lauer.