As the lines blur between indoor and outdoor living, we discover the latest in outdoor furniture trends and accessories to smarten an outdoor living space.
Natural themes and colours are dominating the look for outdoor furniture with sumptuous lounges, featuring water resistant fabrics, taking centre stage. Jill Mann from Sunlounges Online says it is important for people to make their outdoor living areas as comfortable and as fashionable as their indoor areas.
If soft furnishings don’t reflect your style, there are a variety of settings and chairs available. For a sleek modern look go for timber and stainless steel; wrought iron gives a classic feel to an outdoor setting, or if you’re looking to furnish around your pool or spa, aluminium or timber deck chairs and sun lounges can complete the look.
If you’re budget is tight and a plastic outdoor setting is the only option for you, keep it out of the weather to extend its life. Quality European imports, such as those made in Italy should have a life of between 5 – 7 years, compared to cheaper imports, which may only survive a couple of seasons (when left in the weather) says Jill.
If choosing an aluminum setting, it is important it be anodised, which is a process that protectively coats the aluminum, preventing rust. The canvas should be hardy and treated so the sun’s rays don’t fade and damage the fabric.
A timber setting should be treated and oiled to extend its life if left outside; but it is good practice not to leave timber furniture to the mercy of the elements. If you’re looking for something to leave by the pool, timber is not the best choice.
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High-grade aluminum furniture is suitable for people living in hot, humid climates. The better the grade of aluminum, the less heat it retains, protecting users from burning themselves if the furniture has been in the sun for an extended time.
Blue and white stripes are always a popular choice for deck chairs and bright bold colours, such as watermelon and pastels, are popular for sun lounges. Natural tones and themes are popular offering a clean smooth urban look for those who want to add a funkier feel to their outdoor area.
Accessorise with colourful tableware to brighten your table settings, you could even create different themes by using different colours and textures. Accessorising gives you a chance to add a different flavour to your setting without having to fork out too much money. You can buy some great tableware from supermarkets or retail homeware stores.
Cushions are a great way to make your outdoor furniture comfortable, brighten up a plain outdoor setting or accessorise an outdoor lounge setting. With prices starting from as little as $10, cushions are both functional and affordable way to brighten up the outdoors.
Candles add ambience to an outdoor setting as well as adding colour and fragrance. Burn citronella candles to ward off pesky mossies, or to create a tropical setting, burn flame torches.
A hammock makes a great addition to any outdoor area and offers an escape for one or two people. Just tether the hammock between a couple of strong trees and relax the day away.
Ceiling fans are a great way to keep cool when outdoors in hot, humid areas. Speak to your local electrician about installation.
Read more: 6 tips for a relaxing outdoor living space
Some outdoor living areas truly combine the indoors with the outdoors through with an outdoor shower. For convenience locate the shower by the pool or outdoor spa to clean off before or after bathing or create a private outdoor shower sanctuary by installing a courtyard shower. If this idea appeals to you, create privacy by installing privacy screens or planting screening plants, such as bamboo.