Patio living has evolved tremendously over the last couple of years and as such, so has outdoor furniture. No longer are our options only plastic deck chairs and dining room sets. Today modern patio furniture manufacturers have taken all the elements as well as aesthetics into account to ensure that you have a variety of funky, stylish and comfortable ranges to choose from.
“People have come to realise that we spend most of our time outside on our patio and therefore our patios need to be treated as interior rooms are,” agrees Mia Delport of Patio Warehouse.
Yet with so many options available, perusing different styles, types and manufacturers is key when it comes to getting the best out of your outdoor furniture, as well as ensuring that you get the perfect item for you and your family.
Susan Perry from The Modern Garden Company advises that you should first and foremost decide on where you are going to place the patio furniture before you can even look at what furniture you would like to purchase.
“It’s entirely dependent on the environment in which the furniture is to stand. Consider the prevailing conditions – is the site windy or exposed to sea salts or humidity and so on. The best material will be the one that is the most appropriate for the conditions. Anything that has to withstand the rigours of South African weather needs to be tough,” she explains.
Your home, too, will be an influence on the style of furniture you use. Your outdoors should be treated as an indoor room, therefore seamless flow from the indoors to the outdoors is paramount when creating outdoor areas that are as relaxing and stylish as the indoors. “Treat outdoor areas as another room in the house; there is a bounty of outdoor-friendly ornaments and fabrics available; your imagination is the limit,” adds Ryan Bakos of Bakos Brothers.
Yet remember that attention to detail and the style of your home should always be taken into consideration even if you wish to create a completely unique outdoor area.
To help you find your ideal furniture faster and more effectively, plan your patio carefully and define what you want to achieve for each area – lounging, dining or enjoying the pool area and the sun.
These decisions will refine which products will suit your needs, leaving style, design and colour the next choices on your check-list.
Industry experts agree that ergonomics are the number one criteria when it comes to outdoor furniture. “Outdoor furniture is made to sit on, not just to be admired,” agrees Hylton Arelisky of Cane Time.
Remember that the design will also influence the comfort of your furniture, so although some items may look great, the comfort levels of these pieces will not necessarily be on par with their designs and styles.
“Also, when choosing the design of the furniture, fabric and colour scheme for your outdoor area, it is important that these three variables are coordinated to match the landscaping and the exterior of the home. This will not only ensure a smooth transition from indoors to outdoors but will also provide a lovely flowing effect,” explains Collin Moodley, the managing director of Trumpex Holdings SA.
Even though, the appeal of eclectic and unique furniture may be the trend, you still have many things to consider in order for the furniture to complement or fit in with your garden or backyard.
Colour is something that you need to choose wisely. Ultimately you wish to relax in a serene environment, where the outdoors and garden are the focal point. You don’t want to take all the attention away from your garden with patterns that are too bold and heavy as this will clash with the general outdoor ambience.
Be bold, but don’t over-decorate and clutter. Varying shades of grey and neutral palettes are always popular as you can dress these up annually and in accordance with current trends, using colours and accessories that are in vogue for that period.
When it comes to fabric, Renier Jansen from BLOC Outdoor Furniture recommends 100% solution-dyed acrylic fabric only. This fabric is specifically designed to withstand the weather and is available in a number of designs, textures and colours.