The pergola’s been built, but how can you make it look more inviting? Careful planning and design using the right furniture suited to outdoor living can perk up your pergola and turn into it a favourite retreat for all the family.
There was a time when choices were limited to the park bench style seating or plastic tables and chairs. These days the selection of patio furniture available is as varied as the styles of pergolas themselves.
The Dining Setting
No pergola, veranda or outdoor living area would be complete without table and chairs. Somewhere to entertain guests, serve a meal or simply enjoy a coffee and a magazine is imperative. If you have a large area and the budget allows, why not look at the informal dining suites designed specifically for the outdoors? Choose from coloured steel frames, glass table tops and chairs topped with comfy padded cushions.
If your pergola is predominantly timber you may want to continue that theme with your furnishings. Sturdy Jarrah tables and chairs come in a range of sizes and shapes from the basic square look four seater to massive ten place seatings or octagonal if your space allows. Mix and match the cushions with some slip covers in plains, stripes or patterned fabric.
The down side of timber is the maintenance to keep it looking pristine. A seasonal light sanding and a generous coat of furniture oil will protect your furniture from the elements.
The Outdoor Café Look
Perhaps you want to retain a cosy, intimate atmosphere. There are some lovely small round tables with iron frames and mosaic tops available, from striking black and white to a variety of terracotta shades.
There’s nothing wrong with an upturned barrel and a colourful tablecloth on top either though. Cut a hole in the centre and add an umbrella if your pergola is open roofed.
Tropical Island Feel
Cane furniture either in the natural earthy looks or painted in a variety of different shades and colours create a sense of the tropics and exotic island living. Choose from the tub style, chairs with curved backs or the grander high backed look of India. Add some plump cushions with slip over covers for easy cleaning.
Furniture on a budget
Quality furniture can be sourced from second hand stores and flea markets. Give the item a coat of paint designed for outdoors for a fresh and colourful look.
Pieces of timber or specially cut glass sitting on top of cut of logs can make great side tables or logs on their own can provide extra seating around the edge of the patio or along the path.
Before you throw out that old sofa think about how it might look on the veranda with a cheap throw rug over it.
Verandas and patios are a place to retreat at the end of a long day or relax and entertain friends and family on weekends. The more comfort you bring in to the area the more time you and your guests are going to want to spend there.