How To Take Care Of Your Outdoor Furniture

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Indulging in outdoor activities is the perfect way to unwind during the warmer months but garden furniture will deteriorate quickly if not cared for properly. This makes care for outdoor furniture a must, especially if you want to enjoy your investment’s aesthetic qualities and functionality for many years to come. The way in which you should care for your outdoor furniture will depend on its construction and materials but a regular maintenance schedule is necessary to keep it in optimum condition all year round.

Solid Wood Furniture

Wooden outdoor furniture is ideal for longevity, particularly against the elements, but it does need to be maintained properly to maximise its lifespan. Wooden furniture should be treated with at least two coats of external gloss varnish which can be cleaned with soapy water when necessary. It is important to ensure that all soapy residues are washed off with clean water. Any damage to the varnished surface should be treated to ensure that no exposed wood deteriorates in wet weather. Avoid contact with chemicals such as pesticides and, during winter, store wooden furniture indoors.

Wicker Furniture

Wicker is among the easiest outdoor material to maintain, especially if it is manufactured to be weatherproof. Firstly, remove any cushions and spray the furniture with a pressure washer or hose on a low setting. Any lingering remnants of dirt can be lightly scrubbed off with a soapy sponge before washing with clean water to remove residues. Applying a thin layer of wax to the furniture will help to protect it against wear and also give it a gleam that is sure to impress your guests.

Metal Furniture

Care for outdoor furniture doesn’t come much easier than looking after metal tables and chairs, which can be rinsed with water using a pressure washer or hose to remove loose dirt. Warm, soapy water will help to remove more stubborn marks. Modern metal outdoor furniture is often resistant to rust so needs only light maintenance; paste wax can be applied to furniture which is not rust-free to ensure that it remains in unspoilt condition. Any patches of flaking paint should be sanded down and cleaned before being repainted in a matching colour.

Domestic Gathering by Stephanie Langard

 

Stephanie Langard has designed Domestic Gathering (Tapis), a concept for a carpet that encourages people to gather together.
“Historically the television was conceived to transmit information and entertain, but above all to gather neighbours around a single point, to create a bond.

Nowadays, new technologies have isolated members of the same family, of different age groups while they live under the same roof. However, these new technologies have permitted us to forge other bonds, other networks in a vast space making our world an even smaller place. At a time where nuclear families are struggling to come together in order to spend quality time with one another, I wish to explore the notion of forging bonds and gathering around quite a primitive element: the fire, like going back to basics. In the very idea of forging a link, and well before involving the final users, I mix up the expertise, disrupt the usual traditional production methods and blend the craftsmen together for the duration of a project.

Beyond the final product, it’s the pathway travelled together, hand in hand, which nourishes my creative approach. In this project, everything works well together to illustrate the bond, emotion, light and heat”.

From conservatories to compost heaps: an Eco-Friendly Garden

You’ve got a shimmering lawn neater than the haircut of a military general, pot plants more colourful than a Flaming Lips album cover and a gazebo that could make the Gardeners’ World team spurt tears of pride – but is your garden eco-friendly?
That’s right – From the lawnmower you use to the patio furniture you sit on, the grass (as well as the air and energy usage) can always be made greener.
So, what can you do? Start with a few of these top ideas.
Get with the glazing
What does every perfect middle-class home have in common? You guessed it – they’ve all invested in a professionally made conservatory.
Giving you the perfect view of your garden as you laze indoors, conservatories also act as an ideal form of insulation for your home. Although the glass won’t actually retain much heat, your extension will essentially act as a shield, keeping the cold at arm’s length and saving you on heating bills.
Let it rot, let it rot, let it rot
Composting is the perfect way to recycle those out-of-date newspapers, old bits of food (though never compost fish and meat items, for reasons of hygiene) and rotting plant life that has little to no other use.
First off, create a compost bin to hold your gunk, then fill it with leaves, water, twigs and anything else that will decompose effectively. Be sure to mix up your compost heap so that different materials come into contact with each other, creating an alchemy that will break them down quicker.
After all this, you’ll have a handy supply of compost to give your soil an extra lease of life.
Praise the sun!
In the recent past, solar panels were viewed as ideal ways to power your home, but ultimately impractical thanks to their cost.
But that’s all changing with the price of solar panels recently dropping by a third (according to national newspaper The Guardian). Place these in your garden and on your roof and, provided there’s sunny weather, you’ll have a wellspring of electricity that doesn’t rely on finite fossil fuels to power your home.
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
The average UK rainfall in 2012 was 1331mm, although you’d be forgiven for thinking there was far more. But instead of grumbling and moaning about the UK’s stormy fortunes, put that rain to good use by placing a water butt in your garden.
Allow it to fill and you’ll have a repository of rainwater that you can use to water your plants, saving you on water bills and giving you backup if a hosepipe ban comes into play.

Picture via.

ATLAS Garden Bench by Giorgio Biscaro for Slide

Made of rotationally-moulded polyethylene, Atlas is SLIDE’s latest creation, designed specifically to provide new, innovative, and always unexpected seating solutions with a strong personality.

Atlas springs from the creative mind of young designer Giorgio Biscaro. It is compact and sinuous, easy to handle and position, perfect for furnishing indoor and outdoor areas alike.

Summer 2014: Get ‘Decked’ Out!

Ah, summertime. Pool parties, backyard barbecues and plentiful play in the outdoors. There’s no better way to prep for summer fun than to consider creating a new deck for your home. The options are plentiful from large, multilevel designs brimming with landscape to more quaint ones perhaps with a gazebo.

 

Whatever your choice, here are a few things to think about before embarking upon your fabulous deck project:

 

  1. Purpose: What is the main reason you’re wanting to expand your outdoor living space? Perhaps it’s because you desire to entertain more often and larger groups. Or maybe it’s merely to create more privacy in your backyard, or to have a place to lounge while watching the kids play in the pool.

 

  1. Zoning: When hiring a contractor, be sure to look for one who is familiar with recent zoning codes and regulations. If necessary, a surveyor may have to be called upon to ensure that the deck remains within your property boundaries.

 

3. Material: You’ll want to decide what aesthetic you wish your deck to portray. Weathered woods are quite popular, as are tropical hardwoods such as teak and ipe. Softer woods like cedar and pine are also commonly used, so the options run the gamut.

 

  1. Finishes: Other than the structural design, the finish and color of your deck is a very personal choice. Since the deck will be exposed to the elements, it’s vital to have it finished with specialty stains and protectors our colleagues at Trade Paint Direct  recommend. These oil finishes, coatings and stains in a variety of tones and hues, so it’s up to you to customize the look and feel of your decking.

 

The beauty of adding on a deck is that it literally becomes an extension of your family’s living space. Whether enjoying it under the sun or stars, it will become a welcome addition to your home sweet home.

 

BirdCabin by Tait

BirdCabin provides a safe haven for small birds to visit or even nest in the urban environment where tree hollows are scarce. Designed by Tait’s very own Production Manager Wayne Bell, who wanted to find a use for small timber offcuts, the resulting bird house uses minimal materials and is available in a variety of powder coat colours supplied with hanging hook and cord.
BirdCabin will attract small bird species to your inner city garden and the opening is small enough to deter invasive Myna Birds. Cheep Cheep.

Corail Outdoor Tables and Chairs by OASIQ

The Corail is a new lightweight collection of patio tables and stacking chairs by outdoor furniture brand OASIQ, was launched earlier this year at Maison & Objet.