When considering making the outdoors more comfortable and more functional, the addition of garden furniture is always a good decision. Outdoor furniture, compared to the indoor ones, have to be more resistant to elements and more durable. If chosen wisely, this type of furniture can be used to complement existing garden decor or be the centrepieces of the garden.
The first thing you have to decide is whether it is to stay out all year round or be stored away in winter. Items that can be left out of doors is made from wood – usually hardwood – plastic or metal. The ones that must be taken indoors is made from cane or bamboo, unpainted and untreated softwood and, of course, anything that is upholstered. Storing it indoors or in a garage can sometimes present problems, unless you buy something that can actually be used indoors too. But there is a third category; items like loungers, chairs and tables that are collapsible or can be easily dismantled, and take up very little space when stored.
Choose wisely and make sure it goes with the style of your house and patio. Rustic, rough-hewn benches and tables usually look out of place in a town setting, unless you have deliberately created a country garden look to go with them. Bamboo and cane or any outdoor wicker furniture look good with tropical plants like the yucca, but they are less happy in stark modern surroundings. Wooden items should be strongly made, especially if it is to stay outside all year round. Check that any metal screws, hinges or fittings oh them are made from stainless steel or brass rather than steel, which will rust.
There are different materials for garden furniture sets. When one aims to have a nature-centric garden, a good idea is to use wooden garden furniture. Durable wood include cedar and teak. Teak garden furniture is made of the tropical hardwood which is weather-resistant. It is very attractive and since it is able to stand the weather, it is among the longest lasting furniture commercially available. This is the reason why furniture made of this material often becomes a valued antique. Cedar patio furniture, on the other hand, is resistant to fungi, cracking and warping, making the beauty of this hardwood last a decade or more.
If one wants a material which is low-cost but serves a similar purpose, rattan garden furniture is a good option. Rattan is a climbing plant which grows in the tropics. Natural wicker furniture can be made of rattan but it can also be made of bamboo. However, these materials are less weather-resistant than metal or wooden furniture.
Resin patio furniture are said to be comparable to other weather-resistant furniture. Resin is a synthetic material which can be dyed with different colours, moulded into narrow strips and woven like natural wicker furniture. Manufacturers and homemakers say that this material can stand harsh weather and can be left outdoors without protection.
Metal materials are great for the outdoors. Aluminium furniture is lightweight and does not rust. Wrought iron, on the other hand, is heavy and is a fitting material in places where there are strong winds (e.g. near the beach). Because this material is predisposed to rusting, painting and powder-coating can be used to extend its usability. Metal bistro sets will give your garden the Mediterranean appeal; many bars and restaurants use table and chair sets so people can enjoy a meal or drinks in the terrazas or piazas in places like Spain and Italy. Dreamy.
The conservatory is also a g reat place for storing some of the furniture you don’t want to leave outdoors either during the winter season or on a daily basis. Choose furniture that will also look good in this room – comfort and a homey and cozy look is something many people strive for. Being such an important room that lives within the realm of the house and the garden, do check out this lean to conservatory kits for great information on conservatories done on a relatively low budget.
Tips for the Outdoor Setup
If the outdoors is sloping or the house is in a ridge, furniture could be placed on established garden decking in order to have a better view of the environment. If the garden has big trees with strong trunks and branches, garden furniture hammocks can be hanged for. These hammocks may be used by the members of the family for taking a nap, reading a book or watching the sunset.
To make the outdoors more comfortable, garden furniture cushions, hanging chairs or a lounger may be added. Even if the family or the occupants of the house prefer to sunbathe, it is still good to add parasols because the heat can become very overwhelming, especially during this age of global warming.
Even if the manufacturer or the seller touts the garden furniture sets as resistant to the elements, it is still better to take that extra mile to protect these outdoor mainstays. One protective measure is to place them under a gazebo tent. This way, even if it rains or snows, they would be subjected to lesser forces. Outdoor furniture covers and patio covers can be used for tables, chairs and other outdoor essentials.
Where to Find Outdoor Essentials
There are many good furniture shops for UK residents but the best are Homebase, Argos and
B&Q, and in general (USA or Worldwide) check out Lowes, Smith and Hawken, (has moved to target.com), Ikea and Pottery Barn. Whether one is looking for supplies, accessories and furniture for the garden, these places are the places to visit.
Photo: by amandabhslater **Courtesy of flickr.com