With the spring and summer entertaining season on us it is time to consider the furniture on the deck and in the garden. Well-furnished outdoor areas not only add elegance and functionality, they add lots of room for larger gatherings with your family and friends. Maybe your dining room only fits a half dozen, but the deck or lawn can fit many more usually.
When choosing garden furniture, consider what you will be using it for and the amount of space you have available. If you have a large deck or patio then you can choose between a dining or grouped pieces for conversation and beverages or with a casual design of well-spaced loungers and chaise recliners.
For the lawn or garden a mix is best with a 6 to 8 piece central sitting area and several small groupings with 2 or 3 chairs and a small table. This is ideal for larger parties. Think like a casual bar or restaurant with an area in center for the large group but places where guests can sit slightly apart to comfortably chat when they grow tired of sports talk.
If there is not a canopy or ample shade trees the liberal use of appropriate sized umbrellas is a good idea. A large umbrella over the central area is a must if there is not a canopy but smaller ones at each pairing of chairs or loungers around the outskirts add both usefulness and distinct elegance.
For aesthetic purposes, get complimentary colors and styles for each setting area instead of exact matching. Varying the size of umbrellas, and perhaps the shades of color on them and a tasteful mix of solids and prints for cushions on the furniture is much more attractive than identical sets. Think of the difference between a fast food restaurant and your home. Do you want to look like McDonalds or a relaxing home?
Having the BBQ grill and a bar or buffet set up slightly away from the sitting area is convenient. It prevents people from having to interrupt conversations to pass through or have things passed to them and will allow you as the hosts to mingle and enjoy your guests instead of simply serving them. It also allows guests to feel more comfortable simply helping themselves to a beverage if they do not need to ask for it each time.
For Furnishings choose things with adequate padding that invite people to relax and stay for a while. Hard while plastic and folding chairs with nylon webbing are okay for taking to watch the kids’ softball game but are not great for home entertaining. The rattan garden furniture is available in virtually every style and color and is durable enough for outdoor use and elegant enough to be brought inside for use in the sunroom or spare rooms during winter months.
There are different materials available in garden furniture. For shaker style or wood slat real wood looks better than resins but will require paint or stain every couple seasons. For rattan if you do not have covers for every piece then the resin is a better choice as painting rattan is a big chore. Cushions are replaceable but it is cheaper to get covers and keep them covered when not being used than to replace them due to sun fading and weather wear every other year. Umbrellas should always be down when not in use and taken down completely in severe weather like thunderstorms.
A well-arranged lawn or deck with suitable furnishings will provide hours of enjoyment and endless opportunities for entertainment. Often, during half the year it will become the most popular “room” in your home.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 22 May, 2013