With summer here, most of us are already entertaining and socialising outdoors – it is, after all, one of the things that we South Africans do quite well! But whether you’re hosting an informal braai or a top-notch al fresco dinner, chances are you’re going to require the perfect patio furniture to enhance your and your guests’ outdoor relaxation, entertaining, and enjoyment levels.
And if you’ve been eyeing some new patio pieces for the forthcoming summer holiday, put a pause on that potential purchase – at least until you’ve finished reading these 7 tips to help you choose the right outdoor / weatherproof furniture.
Is your home located near Cape Town’s or Durban’s seaside? Is it privy to the amazing rainfall and thunderstorms of Johannesburg? These factors will definitely determine which patio furniture pieces you can buy and which you should rather skip.
Remember that hot, dry conditions can make certain wood splinter and crack. Strong winds can easily lift up aluminium furniture while wicker will not last very long when constantly exposed to moisture.
Of course a covered patio where your outdoor furnishings are protected from the elements can solve this problem!
Buying furniture for your living room can’t happen without proper planning. The same goes for your patio pieces.
Use the shape and area of your patio / porch / balcony to determine the size of those outdoor furnishings. Remember you’re going to need proper legroom around those chairs and tables for walking!
homify hint: For a small outdoor space, opt for café or bistro-style tables and chairs, as these have smaller profiles than other designs.
Is your patio located on soft ground / grass or does it have proper hard surfaces like a wooden deck or tiling? This, too, will help determine the right materials for your environment.
Keep in mind never to place soft woods (like pine) on grassy surfaces and in an exposed area, as it can cause the wood to rot. And moisture can also be the enemy of various metal furniture.
homify hint: Want to protect your patio furniture from the scorching South African sun? That’s what patio umbrellas were made for!
In addition to the amount of rain your patio will experience, also take into consideration the amount of care your furniture will require.
Certain outdoor materials (like aluminium, teak or resin) are perfect for exposed spaces as they don’t need too much care. Wrought-iron designs can also last a really long time, plus withstand lots of heat and moisture.
For a material that’s durable, comfy and trendy, opt for wicker. And to test its quality, try and insert your fingers in-between the wicker – if it’s tight, then you know the designers were committed to producing a high-quality piece.
As you’ll be relaxing on those patio furnishings, top-notch comfort is a must. But when buying colourful pillows and mattresses, ensure the fabrics are suitable for the outdoors by being fade- and mildew resistant.
And when checking out more luxurious pieces like daybeds and hammocks, always test them out in store by ensuring you can stretch out and lounge on them most comfortably.
Winter will inevitably return, and for those chilly months even covers won’t be adequate for certain materials (like wicker). Thus, make sure you either have decent storage space for your patio furniture, or buy something which can be used indoors during winter.
Your outdoor furniture is an investment, which is why you’re going to want to take good care of them. And while some pieces (like plastic sets) can simply be sprayed down every few weeks, others need more TLC.
To clean wicker furniture, for instance, first vacuum the cushions and chair to get rid of all excess dust. For washing down the chair, use a bristle brush with medium stiff bristles and warm water. Don’t use too much water as that can damage the wicker. After cleaning, wipe the entire piece down with quick-absorbing towels.
Wooden pieces need to be wiped down with a damp cloth and polished every week to ensure that shiny look. Aluminium and steel furniture can be hosed down with water every two weeks (depending on how regularly you use them, of course) and be left in the sun to dry. And before popping those cushions into the washing machine, check the labels!
Want to ensure you purchase your patio furniture from a top-notch designer? Then consider CKW LIFESTYLE. This interior design firm is located in Johannesburg, but meets the requirements of clients throughout South Africa.
With nearly 20 years’ experience, CKW LIFESTYLE presents an array of services including customised furniture (for both indoors and outside), interior architecture, project management, interior design and decorating, upholstery, soft furnishings, and décor and accessories.
From the outdoors to interior spaces, let’s see 7 Hot and trending living room designs for 2019.