How To Choose Your Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor Furniture hero

Whether it’s dappled sunshine on your weekend paper or the last licks of light on a friendly Friday wine, relaxing outdoors is one of the greatest privileges of living in Australia. It’s positively balmy all year round, and, with a climate so temperate, it would be rude not to make the most of it.

Designing your outdoor space is a personal thing. Here are 5 things to ask yourself to define the outdoor furniture that’s right for you.

Images sourced (from left): optimumgardendotcom, howtodecoratedotcom and bystephanielynndotcom.

Think about how you will use this space

Outdoor furniture is an investment in your kind of relaxation. And choosing the right style for you depends on your lifestyle. Take a look at your space and ask yourself, how do I want to enjoy this?

Is your ideal Saturday spent whiling away the time in your fave bucket chair with a book? Too busy trying to chase the kids down? How about a sandpit table and some comfy bean chairs? Do you dream of serving up a chandelier-lit seven course degustation dinner for all your friends? Opt for an elegant outdoor dining suite.

The possibilities for outdoor love are endless…

From left: Mercer Alfresco Exemplar 3 Piece Dining Set, Sunlong Australia London 5 Piece Dining Set and Sunlong Australia Liverpool 9 Piece Square Dining Set

Be realistic about how much space you have…

Even better, get out your tape, measure and draw it up. Cut out to-scale versions of the furniture you’re considering and move it around the space. Is that umbrella really going to create a shady haven or will it just completely take over?

If your furniture is too big for your space, the effect will be crowded and awkward. If it’s too small, it will look lost, adrift…

Soundslike HOME Iron Lounge Chair, available online at Zanui.

Spoilt for space? Sleek modular lounges with coordinating coffee tables make the perfect companions to your L-shaped pool (!). Not so spoilt? A cosy breakfast nook on your balcony can be just as decadent. If you’re mad for entertaining but short on space, an extendable dining suite is a great option. Think about how many peoples you ordinarily invite and invest in some fold-away chairs for space-saving.

Arm-less chairs and benches also conserve your space.

Images sourced (from left): bloglovindotcom, cdndothomeeditdotcom and brickandstonedotcomdotau

Style before you buy

Define your style before you start. Rather than purchasing one-off items, consider how the whole space might look. Adopting an aesthetic that supports your existing interior décor is advisable. It helps to create a cohesive finished feel and enhances the effect of indoor/outdoor zones.

There are a wide variety of styles available from formal to family-friendly, casual coastal to rustic. Outdoor ottomans are great for casual, fam-friendly spaces. Turn up the play with vibrant fabrics for durable style. Or layer your outdoor rugs and cushions for Boho-chic style, ideal for indulging in home picnics. Add replica designer options for iconic style.

From left: GLOBE WEST Rumba Oyster Rattan Occasional Chair, Lazy Bag Compressed Foam Chair, Medium, Alexander Santorini Marco Black Bench, and VC Living Marlboro Bench, available online at Zanui.

Consider the material and the conditions

Outdoor furnishings by definition are more exposed to the elements and hardiness is a key factor in choosing the right setting for you. Consider whether your space gets a lot of sun, whether it’s covered or whether it needs to be weather-resistant.

There are a whole range of 5, 4 and 3 piece outdoor lounge suites made from fine quality weather-resistant materials. Stylish Outdoors feature a range of swing chairs fashioned from hand-woven all-weather polyethylene wicker and rust-proof aluminium.

Images sourced (from left): florencefindsdotcom, youtudotbe, and mydesigndumpdotblogspotdotcom

From rustic to super-chic, wooden furniture is both long lasting and sturdy. Pine is an affordable option, while teak is an extremely durable and more luxurious in look. Channel Enterprises also offer old-world iron chairs as well as outdoor settings in rattan.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.