Winter is on the way out, and before we know it, it is going to be clear blue skies, and outdoor entertaining will be in full swing! Get your outdoor area ready for the warmer months with these simple tips.
Outdoor rugs: Outdoor rugs ground your furniture pieces, as well as adding texture, colour, and softness to any outdoor space. Rugs also help to define different entertaining spaces for outdoors, guiding guests when they arrive. Most outdoor rugs are easy to maintain with a simple hose down after use. There are many textures available, with polypropylene the most common. Outdoor rugs that look and feel like indoor rugs are the nicest underfoot, however, be aware of drying time if they’re not undercover.
Add a table runner: Bring a little bit of sophistication and style to your outdoor space by using a beautiful table runner to complement the style of your trays and serving platters. Using outdoor fabrics are a great way to ensure these are durable and going to stand the test of food, sun, wine and little fingers. Have one custom made to fit your table, and include matching placemats and napkins for a complete table. Table settings are a great area to be bold with colour. Make it fun! Use bold prints and interesting combinations of patterns and textures. It’s a great area to ‘play’ with style.
Make it comfortable: Comfortable outdoor cushions and throws make all the difference, especially on those chilly nights where you want to extend the outdoor party after the sun goes down. If using outdoor cushions on furniture, utilise quick-dry foam where possible. This ensures the longest life for the furniture to ensure you get the best value out of your investment. It is an added cost initially, however not having to bring them in after every use allows for peace of mind and a ‘set and forget’ practicality.
Invest in quality: We live in a coastal and sun-filled environment. The selection of the pieces for external use can be daunting, especially when you see the price! However, you need to decide whether the replacement of a cheap material piece in a couple of years is what you’re happy to do as it didn’t last in the sun and salt. Always ask about warranties, and test results from suppliers if available. Look at how the materials will wear over time (materials will fade, teak will grey, the foam will deteriorate) and if these are elements easily maintained over time.
Don’t leave it until last minute: Most furniture lead times are 6-12 weeks for larger items, so we recommend getting in sooner rather than later to make the most of your new designs for the season! Be aware that Christmas cutoffs are already rolling in from our suppliers, so forward-thinking is a must if you want to have the space ready for the big day!
Outdoor curtains: The technology applied to outdoor upholstery fabric can also be applied to drapery fabrics. We are seeing many more exterior sheer fabrics coming through, allowing for that bungalow to be enclosed or shaded with a soft flowing curtain. The retractable wall is also a great addition for Winter months when the added insulation is needed so that the space can be in year-round use.
Consider the design of your outdoor space as you would your interior space. Plan it out and get help if you need direction to get the best use of what you have available. Think about how you will use it and make it work for you.