When shopping for outdoor furniture it is important to buy for the space, rather than buying and then trying to make the space.
Starting with a floorplan is a great way to play around with the space from an aerial view. Identifying doors, windows, views and traffic flow.
What Outdoor Furniture will fit in my space?
With a rough idea of space we can now start to think about what we want to do with the space. Are we wanting to lay down and read a book, are we wanting to host huge dinner parties or are we looking for 1 solo chair to stare into the abyss and find inner peace. Obviously if we are wanting to throw huge dinner parties in a tight space we have our challenges, but its better to aim for the dream space and work from there. The general rule is to allow 75cm from table to wall to allow chairs to be accessed if you are going for a standard outdoor dining area. You can however create a fluid space with smart outdoor furniture or by simply breaking up larger sets (removing chairs) and bringing them out when hosting friends or family! The advent of smart outdoor furniture has really changed the ballgame, with many hybrid lounge/dining options and creative space saving ideas that can really add usability to an outdoor space.
What Outdoor Furniture will last in my space?
Once the space and the concept is mapped the next step is looking at the surrounding environment. How much sun does it capture, is it completely exposed to the elements, do we need to add some shade? This will help us determine which materials will work and whether we need to allocate budget to furniture and shade. The amount of exposure to the elements will also determine how much care will be required. Fully exposed areas will almost rule out natural materials, although timber can be used with a strict maintenance routine. For completely exposed spaces products with aluminium frames are going to be the best option – with a quality cushion and cover to ensure longevity.
What colour & style Outdoor Furniture will suit my space?
The next piece of the puzzle is the colour palette and feel. If you have a clear theme to your inside/outdoor area ie hamptons or modern – then you already have a concept to build around. For others look to compliment the existing flow it might be about picking up on the existing feel or creating a new contrast. Look at house colour, tile colour and if in view the surrounding elements (plants, pool, ocean (hey we can all dream!)). “Many exterior colour schemes are based on natural and earth-based colours,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux colour and communications manager. “I’m loving the warm greys and darker charcoals, which look beautiful against many bricks, stone and the greenery of the garden.”
Shopping for Outdoor Furniture?
Time to hit the shops! With a brief on paper and brain full of ideas and know how, it is time to get online or instore and find the perfect suite. We should have a concept in mind (lounge, dining or both) an idea of materials that will work and a rough idea of style and colour. This should help filter down to a great list of items - with a final test of comfort and meeting with the budget committee (whomever he or she may be…!) to help identify the perfect suite for your space.
The outdoor space can be the best room in the house if the right type, style and fit for your needs is chosen. Make sure you don’t get caught on the final hurdle of buying a cheap option that will bring joy for the 2 minutes at the counter but pain for the following days/months and years as the thousand screw assembly, uncomfortable so never use and rapid deterioration under the elements renders all of your hard work a waste of time!
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