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Why are Adirondack Chairs & Adirondack Furniture a Cottage Favorite?

With summer right around the corner, it's time to sit back and enjoy a cool beverage in an Adirondack chair.

Adirondack chair you say? What's that? The Adirondack chair is an outdoor armchair having an angled back and seat made of wide, usually wooden slats. It's been around since the early 1900's and was originally known as the Westport Chair named after a small town in New York close to the Adirondack Mountains.

What's made Adirondack chairs so popular for so long is how comfortable and stylish they are. The chair's back provides just the right angle for dozing off, and the wide arms easily accommodate a cool drink or your favorite book. Hours simply go by when you're kicking back in a comfortable seat.

Originally, Adirondack chairs were painted dark green or brown. Today, you can find an Adirondack chair in a variety of designs, colors, finishes or materials that fits your personal style. A popular Adirondack chair favorite is made from cedar since it's lightweight and rot resistant. However, today's Adirondack furniture manufacturers have extended beyond the classic using various woods and recycled plastic materials.

Adirondack chairs made from wood have been tested for durability, warping, rot and insect resistance. Most woods are kiln-dried and pressure-treated so your Adirondack furniture can be used for all-season outdoor use. Other than cedar, many woods used in the manufacturing of Adirondack furniture include teak, cypress, mahogany, alder, eucalyptus, and southern yellow pine.

Depending on the type of wood your Adirondack chair is made of, you may have various color options to choose. If the natural look isn't what you had in mind, you can choose painted Adirondack chairs in various colors. Some manufacturers offer up to 29 different color options for their Adirondack furniture. From the classic cottage colors such as white, yellow, and barn red to the ultra-sleek flamingo pink, you are guaranteed to find a color that suits you. And if you're daring to be even more different, you can find hand painted Adirondack chairs with sunflowers, ladybugs and even frogs on the entire back of the chair.

If you want to add even more personality to your Adirondack chair, choose from various finish options. The natural look has no finish treatment that would compromise the natural aging process of the wood. If you want to add a little splash of color, your chair may be finished with a UV protected stain allowing your furniture to age a bit more slowly. Painted Adirondack chairs are generally finished with a latex enamel that is outdoors, non-toxic and water based. Darker colors are mixed with SPF agents to resist fading.

Chairs that are painted can be finished in several ways. One way is a pristine finish, or solid color, throughout the entire piece. Another finish option is a distressed look. If your Adirondack chair has a distressed finish, this means after the color has been applied and dried, the chair's edges and grain are slightly sanded to give the appearance of an antique look. A washed finish is sanding throughout the entire chair simulating an even more weathered and antique appearance.

Whether your Adirondack chair is painted or stained, slight maintenance will be required every 12-18 months. If that's more work than you want, another option is a plastic Adirondack chair. Plastic Adirondack chairs are virtually maintenance-free, with the exception of a little cleaning on occasion. Although you may not have as many styles or color options to choose, plastic Adirondack chairs have been given the nod of approval by many consumers.

Plastic Adirondack chairs are made to absorb no moisture, and therefore will not rot, warp, crack or splinter like Adirondack chairs made from wood. By permeating the material with UV stabilized coloring, the need for finishing is eliminated, making the chairs virtually low maintenance. Plastic Adirondack chairs are built to last a lifetime. They are unaffected by sun, rain, snow, even chlorine and saltwater, making this type of chair the epitome for the low-maintenance consumer.

So take the time to sit back and relax in this country classic, perennial favorite. Adirondack chairs are handsome and durable and can host an outdoor party or a crowd of one. Either way, your Adirondack chair will be an always-ready invitation for comfort and relaxation.

Jennifer Akre is successful business owner of many outdoor furniture websites including Her websites offer product and information on Adirondack chairs, Adirondack furniture, teak furniture and more.

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