Lucky enough to have a house with an outdoor entertainment area? Take advantage of the precious extra space by decorating and furnishing your patio or deck for a great space to relax and socialise with friends and family. The best thing about outdoor living is that you can design the space to suit any look or mood, from a cosy and comfortable alfresco haven to a breezy and relaxed summer sunning spot.
When designing your outdoor space, it is important to note the difference between interior and exterior design. Any furniture, decorations or other items positioned on your patio or deck may be exposed to the elements. Purchasing weather-resistant furniture will allow you to effortlessly enjoy your space for longer. To help you, we’ve put together a handy guide of the most popular outdoor furniture types, to help you decide what will and won’t work for your alfresco area.
Plastic outdoor furniture is usually one of the most affordable options. These items are usually lightweight, portable and easy to store when not in use. Plastic furniture also requires little maintenance and is quick and easy to wash and maintain. Available in a wide range of colours and styles, plastic furniture can be used to create a unique and versatile alfresco look to suit your home. The bright hues and streamlined designs of plastic outdoor furniture are particularly ideal for modern and contemporary homes.
Wood furniture is usually popular option for outdoor areas, and for good reason. Sturdy, comfortable and timeless, wood furniture can be used to enhance the natural beauty of your home or to create a rustic look. Common long lasting wood furniture types include teak, redwood, cypress, cedar and pine. Keep in mind that these pieces should still be regularly treated to preserve their colour, protect them against the elements and increase their longevity.
Wicker furniture can be natural or synthetic, made from cane, rattan, bamboo, or other natural grass materials. Lightweight but durable, wicker furniture is versatile and easy to match with other decorations or furnishings, such as pillows or throws. Wicker furniture looks great in summer and winter and can enhance your outdoor entertainment area all year round – just be sure to choose weather resistant wicker furniture! It is also advisable to ask the manufacturer or supplier on how to take care of your wicker furniture pieces over time – you may find you need to regularly waterproof them.
The two most popular types of metal outdoor furniture are wrought iron and aluminium. Each come with their own set of advantages and disadvantage, so be sure to carefully consider form and function.
Wrought iron furniture is a classic choice that often evokes a formal and elegant feel. This type of furniture is usually heavy, ideal for windy locations. However, it is temperature sensitive and will retain both heat and coldness, which can make it uncomfortable for lounging. You can add a splash of colour and keep things cosy by decorating these furniture pieces with pillows. Wrought iron furniture also requires careful maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion.
Aluminium furniture is a great option if you’re after a modern, streamlined design for your outdoor space. These furniture pieces are corrosion resistant and won’t fade or rust, unlike other metals, especially if they’re also protected with a weatherproof finish. Aluminium furniture is also light and portable, low maintenance, and easy to clean with soap and water. However, quality aluminium outdoor furniture sets can be expensive, which may not be ideal for those who are on a budget.
Outdoor furniture is a long term investment, so it’s advisable to make careful decisions when purchasing such items. The weather will inevitably take its toll on your outdoor area, but with regular care and upkeep, you can maintain the appearance and increase the life of your furniture.
Don’t forget that having a semi or fully covered alfresco space will also help to protect your furniture! Consider investing in a stylish veranda, pergola or sunroof. Not only will these structures provide shelter from inclement weather, but they’ll also enhance the look and functionality of your home’s exterior.