How to Choose Furniture for Your Terrace

Selecting the Right Outdoor Terrace Furniture

Bermuda Bay Aged Bronze Outdoor 4 Pc Seating Set with Parchment Cushions

Outdoor spaces increase the value of your home and extend your living space, and terraces are an excellent place to create a calm backyard oasis. Whether you have an existing terrace that needs sprucing up or you’re building a new one for your home, you can learn how to transform your terrace by following a few simple guidelines and decor tips.

Terrace vs. Balcony

Many of the same design principles for decorating a balcony apply to terraces, but these two spaces are distinctly different. Understanding the differences between a balcony and a terrace can help you make smart choices when choosing furniture and decor.


Home and apartment terraces can function as standalone structures or as part of the building. These spaces are often accessible from multiple rooms and are typically larger than balconies. Apart from rooftop terraces, builders usually raise these open outdoor structures slightly off the ground.

Taupe Rectangle Dining Set

Terraces offer a bit more room for dining and seating sets.


In contrast, balconies are elevated platforms connecting to houses or apartments with access often limited to a single room. You’ll find these elevated spaces on a building’s second floor or higher. Most balconies have enclosed walls or railings and are smaller or narrower than most terraces.

Brown 3 piece wicker dining set

Enclosed balconies typically have a low wall or railing as part of their design.

How to Transform Your Terrace

Before diving into terrace furniture ideas and decor options, you’ll need to decide what to do with this outdoor space. Do you envision a cozy gathering place for friends to kick back and catch up? What about a space to invite the family over for al fresco dining? On the other hand, does an intimate setup for reading outdoors or sipping cocktails at sunset have more appeal?

Cindy Crawford Home Lake Como Antique Bronze 4 Pc Outdoor Sectional with Ash Cushions

Knowing how you plan to entertain can help you select the perfect terrace furnishings.

Start with the purpose of the space to narrow down exactly what terrace furniture you need. Since terraces often have limited square footage, you’ll want to look for chic, multipurpose space-saving pieces or sets to make the most of your space without overcrowding.

Focus on Function

Start with the foundation pieces you’ll need to design the look you crave. For a cozy setting, a curved sectional or a sofa set might be the centerpiece of your design. If you’re styling a small terrace, opt for a loveseat or a pair of outdoor club chairs instead. If long afternoon naps or sunbathing is your goal, consider a hammock or a couple of chaise lounges.

Rialto Brown Outdoor Chaise with Aqua Cushions, Set of 2

Chaise lounges are ideal for sunbathing and lazy, relaxing staycations.

If dining outdoors is your terrace’s main purpose, you’ll need a table and chairs that fit your space and accommodate your guests. Folding chairs and tables are ideal for small terraces, while 5, 6 or 7-piece dining sets work for larger spaces. If you’re splitting your terrace into sections for lounging and dining, a bistro set or bar table and stools opposite a loveseat delivers the best of both worlds.

Space-Savers & Storage

Image of 2 gray daybeds side by side

Modular daybeds allow you to reconfigure your layout for multiple guests.

When selecting your base pieces, think about multipurpose furniture and storage, too. If you need both seats for guests and a shady place to lounge on an open terrace, a round modular daybed that converts into individual seats is the perfect choice. Meanwhile, storage options with a slim profile and a small footprint, like a console table or deck box, can help keep your terrace tidy.

Deciding on Decor

Select accents carefully to create your ideal terrace layout.

Once you’ve chosen the foundational furniture for your terrace, assess your current layout and consider what additions you need to boost comfort and build on your theme. If you have an attached terrace, think about installing shelves or wall art to optimize your space. Then, think about the following factors and choose decor elements to enhance your design:

  • Convenience: Assess your terrace’s furniture layout to see where you need to add surfaces for drinks or personal items. Well-positioned outdoor side tables give seated guests easy access to beverages and snacks. Serving carts also come in handy during dinner parties.
  • Comfort: Ensure your space is cozy and comfortable. Add pillows and cushions to teak sofas, wood or metal chairs or benches. On tiled or paved terraces, round, rectangle or square patio rugs also add color and a soft surface for bare feet when you and your guests are relaxing outdoors.
  • Privacy & Shade: If your open terrace gets a little too much sun, cantilever or table umbrellas and canopies in the right size and shape can help you keep things cool. Wind blockers also allow you to create a secluded backyard getaway.
  • Lighting: Festive string lights, chic outdoor floor and table lamps and rustic lanterns offer the perfect ambiance for a terrace furniture set. Look for lighting that coordinates with your decor and illuminates pathways and seating areas.
  • Warm Touches: If you plan to use your terrace in cooler temperatures, a fire pit, chimenea or outdoor heater will keep guests toasty on chilly fall and winter nights.
  • Green Plants: Outdoor planters with swaying palms and hanging baskets full of blooms and trailing vines help terraces blend in with your landscaping. A terrace is a wonderful spot for a container garden full of herbs and veggies, too.
  • Accents: If your green thumb is a little lacking, you can decorate your terrace without plants as well. Garden sculptures can help you build on your theme, while a birdbath brings fluttering feathered friends to your outdoor space.

Choosing furniture for your terrace is easy once you have a purpose in mind and create a foundation of essentials first. Multipurpose pieces help you maximize your space, and then you can build on your design with accents that add comfort, warmth and color to your terrace furniture layout.