When you expose furniture to the elements — the harsh forces of the weather such as wind and rain — it often fades and begins to look worn.
The phrase, the elements, has been used to describe the severe forces of weather since the 1500s and occurs with language that brings to mind the war between man and nature. If you brave the elements, you go out and do things regardless of the harsh weather. Rock climbers, with gear that can withstand the elements, sometimes have to battle the elements in order to reach the summit. In a less aggressive context, the elements in the field of chemistry refer to the substances on the periodic table, including metals such as gold and copper and as gases such as hydrogen and helium.