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Aunt Bertie's enormous backside has finally met its match!

There is something to be said for finding out what you do best and doing it. This is the philosophy the Windward Design Group, a patio furniture manufacturer located in Florida. Windward doesn't try to sell substandard goods under a designer label name (yes, it has been done!); they simply carved out a niche for themselves in the patio furniture industry and are occupying it to the best of their ability. What that means for you and me is that we can purchase quality patio furniture with an incredible warranty at value prices; and it is made in the USA! Imagine that!

Windward's strong suit is manufacturing furniture that is suitable for commercial and hospitality purposes; they make the furniture that bakes in the equatorial sun, that suffers through spilled booze, oily tanning lotions, and things that shall not be named, that slides around on cruise ships and sits through thunderstorms and snowstorms. So you can envision how great it will perform for you in your backyard - Aunt Bertie's enormous backside has finally met its match!

Most of the patio furniture collections produced by Windward are lacking “bells and whistles" – they produce simple, basic designs that rely on quality more than “cuteness." But as my momma used to say “Pretty is as pretty does." Which isn't to say Windward's furniture isn't attractive; it is. But the real beauty of Windward furniture is that it is built using hefty aluminum extrusions, thick powder-coat finishes and double-stitched slings that will keep you smiling long after the curlicues on that cheap furniture have broken off and fallen into the grass.

One of my favorite Windward collections is the Harbourage which has ginormous 3" wide x ¾" thick arms; the furniture is sleekand strong and the comfortable sling seats provide excellent lumbar support. The Harbourage is also available in a deep-seating version; it's incredibly comfortable and, just like the sling furniture, it is constructed for outdoor use and abuse.

The Sonata Sling Collection is another good option that is a great value; 2 1/8" aluminum extrusions provide a great place to rest your arms when you are holding up that yard of beer or maybe a grilled turkey leg, Henry the VIII style. The Sonata, like many of Windward's collections, comes in a full range of pieces; there is a recliner and ottoman, a swivel bar and balcony height chair, and a loveseat glider.

The Cabo Sling Collection is easy on the wallet; while not as beefy as the Harbourage, it is still built with the same quality and attention to detail and comes with the same 15 year warranty. In the same budget-friendly arena, Windward offers several collections that rock that community pool vibe – again, unsurpassable quality and manufacturing technique goes into to producing these very basic styles. These include the Ocean Breeze, the Seabreeze and the Country Club Sling Collections.

Windward has introduced some flashier styles in recent years; I particularly like the Skyway Collection, which is available in both sling and cushion styles. The Skyway has a contemporary, urban vibe; order it in one of Windward's high gloss frame finishes for a thoroughly modern look. The Eclipse Collection offers an interesting decorative arm feature, and the West Wind Collection has a graceful rolled arm which is a nice touch.

Windward began their business by making outdoor furniture cushions and they still sew their own. Their cushions, just like everything else they do, are expertly made, utilizing quality materials and skillful seamstresses. Their ComfortFLEX cushions won't flatten out or cave in, even with repeated use. They are mold and mildew resistant, drainable and quick-drying. They are also self-extinguishing; which is a good quality when you think about global warming and the alarming increase of asteroids in our atmosphere. ComfortFLEX cushions are environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable.

Windward's cushion division allows them to show their more whimsical side; they make several fun and interesting throw pillows, including tassel and fringe options that you have to see to believe. I can't lie, I love me some fringe.Windward Design Group also offers Marine Grade Polymer, wicker and strap furniture selections, as well as a line of umbrellas.

Everything Windward makes is to your order, allowing you the luxury of picking frame and fabrics that appeal to your taste and suit your décor. I recommend adding fringe. Lots of it.

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