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Outdoor Furniture

04 April 2012 swimart

Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor Furniture

Barwon easy chair lifestyle

Brighten your backyard

There is nothing better than relaxing by the pool on a deck chair with a drink in hand. But if your outdoor furniture set is looking less than inviting due to a bit of wear and tear, it might be time to think about refurnishing your outdoor entertainment area.

This is the perfect time of year to bring that spark back to your home’s outdoors; you’ll have people inviting themselves over for Christmas after you’ve refreshed that tired décor!

Transform your home

By focusing on bringing elements such as colours or textures from the inside of your house to the outside, you can create an overall unified design.

Katie Rowley from Eco Outdoor’s Marketing Team says bringing the indoors outdoors is one of the season’s hottest trends.

“Think about bringing the luxuries from the indoors out,” she says. “Think large outdoor sofas with oversized luxurious cushions, beautifully soft outdoor fabrics and attention to detail in the craftsmanship such as exposed seam stitching and stunning timber joinery. These details in outdoor furniture provide a seamless transition from your indoors and act to expand your home well into the outdoors.”

Suit to your lifestyle

Before heading to your local outdoor furniture outlet, take some time to plan what look and purpose you are trying to achieve. Consider the elements of your outdoor space that you have to work into the design; especially if you have a pool or verandah, which will both make a difference to the type of furniture you purchase.

Deciding how you want to use your outdoor area is also the key to picking the right pieces; those with kids, a pool and a verandah might like a more casual table set and lots of pool furniture to set the focus around where the action is, while those with a smaller backyard could prefer a more serious dining table closer to the house.

“Once you’ve settled on how you like to use the space, choose finishes and furniture that complements your lifestyle,” says Katie. “A large dining table with benches is great for entertainers and large dinners with family and friends, while comfortable outdoor sofas and low coffee tables are perfect for relaxed entertaining with tapas style meals.”

Choose quality pieces

Pelion dining setting

The key to your new look standing the test of time is quality. Pick furniture pieces that are made of sturdy materials from a reliable brand. Hard finishes are best for the outdoor area, as they need to be able to withstand years of weathering and sun damage.

“Eco Outdoor’s range of furniture is built to withstand the harshest Australian climate without compromising on style and design aesthetics,” says Katie. “Living in the Australian climate and leaving furniture exposed in the outdoors all day every day means that only the best quality products will perform year after year. Outdoor furniture should be built to last, and ours is.”

You also need to consider where your furniture will be located; this is particularly important for pieces that will be placed in the immediate pool area and other areas that are very exposed to the elements. Pool furniture needs to be resistant to chemicals, rain and sun.

Keep it looking like new

Although most outdoor furniture is made to last, there are still a few things you need to do to keep your new set of furniture looking like new.

“Stainless steel and compact laminate will need a wipe down every now and then to keep them looking showroom new,” says Katie. “Teak exposed to full sun can benefit from a very light oil with natural wood oil every few months. If you have teak products in a dark and shady area, a scrub down every few months will keep the timber clean and fresh.”

The key to maintaining your furniture is to work it into your routine; if you keep putting it off, the clean won’t be as effective.

Budget-friendly tipsIf redesigning and refurnishing your outdoor living area will hurt your wallet a little too much, never fear. Here's some tricks to get the look without breaking the bank:

- Re-covering old cushions:if the cushions on your pool furniture are looking a bit faded, bring the brightness back by re-covering them with a bold pattern or colour.
- Varnish/paint job:revamp tired looking wood with a coat of varnish. Alternatively, paint your furniture white and sand it back. Now you have furniture that is meant to look worn; no more maintenance!
- Change the layout: even something as simple as rearranging the furniture can refresh the look. Put the pool chairs over the other side, or spread them out.
- Feature pot or plant: purchasing one focus piece is great if you want a new look without buying an all-new furniture set. A large pot in an earthy tone or an exotic looking plant should do the trick.