This old green wicker rocking chair set looks right at home on this recently renovated Tennessee mountain house when in fact, it came from the homeowner’s relatives. When in doubt, opt for wicker.

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

One (big) little thing to consider! 

These days, we consider it a blessing from above there are so many options when it comes to outdoor furniture. We are no longer limited to curly-Q wrought-iron loungers or cheesy plastic pieces whose final fate will almost certainly involve a big gust of wind. There are sectionals more inviting than those inside our family rooms and fabrics we now choose to use indoors as well. Outdoor furniture design is thriving.

Which is a bit ironic in the South, where we arguably love porch-sitting the most, but are happy as can be with the classics. Like a good old rocking chair.

So it can be understandably daunting to pick one that is juuuuust right. Not to be the Goldilocks of porch decorating, but the rocking chair can’t be too fancy, too creaky, too big, too small, or just too…not right. Luckily there are so many options (like this wicker one, or this traditional white one, or this modern one…) but there IS one thing to keep in mind.

When choosing a material, you’ll come across plenty of teak. And for good reason—it’s sleek, sturdy, and requires less upkeep. But, before pulling out the credit card, know you will be paying a pretty penny and keeping it as is for the foreseeable future of that rocking chair’s life. Teak is infamously difficult to paint, so there will be no weekend DIYs when/if you tire of its natural look.

WATCH: The Rocking Chair Man

That’s no reason to shy away though—just know that your rocking chair may never be red, white, or any other shade that strikes your fancy. It may also require periodical refinishing, though nothing a well-researched DIYer couldn’t handle.

Bonus advice: just buy it pre-built. Unless you love team-building activities and Ikea furniture. Assembling a rocking chair will cause such so much undue stress that a week spent out on the porch won’t be able to erase it. We speak from experience. This isn’t any old three-piece shelf you picked up down on the DIY aisle, “some assembly required.” We’re talking “significant assembly required.”