The Outdoor Furniture Buyer's Guide
Nothing beats the joys of alfresco living. Now that Spring has officially sprung, it’s time to head outdoors to make the most of this glorious weather. Like all the best indoor spaces, great outdoor areas are layered, textured and full of personality that hit the sweet spot of function and style. So whether you are lounging on a sun-drenched patio with a cocktail in hand, hosting big family BBQs, or somewhere in between, let’s explore everything there is to know about outdoor furniture and styling so you can create the space of dreams. Here are some things to consider before you hit ‘refresh’ on your outdoor space.
CONSIDER THE ELEMENTS
But first, and this is important, not all outdoor furniture is created equal. Ideally, you should actually be able to leave your outdoor furniture, outdoors. While how you are planning to use your space is fundamental to choosing your foundation pieces, considering the materials they are made from also needs to be factored in. Firstly, is your outdoor area covered? This gives you a bit more freedom to choose outdoor dining and lounge settings from a variety of materials, and the freedom to leave your outdoor cushions in-situ and ready for action year-round. But never fear, if your outdoor area is exposed to all elements, there are plenty of options for you too. Here is a quick guide to some common materials and where best to place them: Timber – Although the best location for timber is undercover, it will also be okay fully exposed. However, it is worth bearing in mind that timber furniture will need a bit of loving care and maintenance to keep it looking its best if it’s outdoor in all seasons. Aluminium – Aluminium furniture has been used in outdoor settings for centuries, with good reason. It is durable, strong, and ideal for leaving outdoors 365 days a year. Synthetic wicker – Synthetic wicker is durable and generally resistant to UV, chlorine, mildew, mould and seawater. But, it hasn’t been designed with full exposure to the elements in mind, so it’s best to keep it undercover.
HOW TO CREATE A STUNNING OUTDOOR AREA
As with interiors, designers recommend getting the outdoor foundation pieces right and building your look around that. Tables, chairs and lounges are the key here. As the old adage goes, “form follows function”. So whether you will use your space for lounging or dining, let the purpose of your outdoor area guide the foundation pieces you choose.
DAYBED DREAMERS AND LOUNGE LOVERS
For the lounging space of dreams, consider a daybed. Don’t let their simple form fool you; daybeds are one of the most versatile pieces of furniture there is. Evocative of easy-breezy, summer living, a daybed is ideal for curling up with a book (or a cheeky afternoon nap!), a great place for a deep and meaningful conversation or just a place to sit peacefully with a cup of tea. If your outdoor space is going to be a place to lounge, as opposed to a place to dine, pair a daybed with a pair of oversized lounge chairs designed for the great outdoors and you will be reclining in style in no time.
DINING SETS FOR PATIO STYLE AND LUXE OUTDOORS
With outdoor dining season upon us, it’s time to take meals outside to your deck/patio/rooftop/backyard/balcony. The size of your space is going to dictate what you choose here. We cannot stress how important it is to measure up – both your space and your furniture. Hot Tip: Use blue painter’s tape (it won’t leave marks) to mark out the measurements of your furniture before you buy so you know exactly how it will sit (and hopefully, fit). If you have a petite balcony in the inner city, a pair of iconic café chairs and a bistro table will have you dining Parisian style in an instant, without taking up too much valuable square footage. If you’re a veteran entertainer and lucky enough to be blessed with a lot of space, an outdoor dining set is going to be an easy answer that will have your dinner party saying “cheers” in a heartbeat.
Images via Pinterest
With outdoor spaces receiving a lot of attention these days – let’s call it the Instagram effect - outdoor furniture has come a long way. So whether you are Palm Springs dreaming, channelling the Hamptons or are a boho aficionado, you are sure to find a style that will complement your indoor furnishings, or give you the space to really be bold and have fun. It’s entirely up to you. But one thing is for sure; we’re never going indoors again.
All images sourced from Pinterest. See originals and more styled imagery here.
Shop our fabulous range of outdoor furniture here.