Outdoor furniture – choosing and maintaining for maximum impact
Mr Jan Dammis of hospitality furniture supplier GO IN offers advice on outdoor furniture.
First impressions count.
It’s important in outdoor areas – even more than in your interiors – to stand out from your neighbours and competitors with your furniture. So, when designing outdoor areas for 2016, have the courage to go for diversity with a mix of styles, colours and themes.
The recent surge in popularity of retro interiors is now influencing the styles of outdoor furniture. So the most important current trend in outdoor design is about recreating the look, feel and quality of vintage furniture. With rattan losing popularity, attention is increasingly turning back to wood, or wood-effect, furniture.
Traditional wood furniture, especially teak, has the reputation for looking really good for only a short time, before weathering turns it grey. It is also perceived to be expensive, heavy and require high maintenance. However, by using modern materials, manufacturers are now able to accurately recreate the look and feel of real wood with none of its disadvantages. So look out for new, lightweight, low maintenance (and lower cost) designs that use polystyrene or Resysta as a replacement for wood. You’ll need to look closely to tell that it’s not teak!
While warm colours are still popular for outdoor furniture, others are looking to make a style statement using bright, primary colours. With greater choice from manufacturers, it’s possible to make a real impact by mixing and matching colours. The on-trend colours for the coming outdoor season are anthracite, red, green and blue.
GO IN’s top tips for successful outdoor areas
Tip 1. First impressions are everything, so make your outdoor area a good or even better representation of your indoor style.
Tip 2. Offer comfort, style and quality. Make cost savings by buying from the right supplier, rather than compromising standards.
Tip 3. Go for flexible arrangements so that changes can be made quickly and easily. For example, go for small tables, which can be arranged individually or used together for larger groups.
Tip 4. Make small but significant gestures towards additional comfort. For example, offer seat cushions and warm blankets for chillier evenings.
Tip 5. Make sure the furniture is robust, easy to maintain and well looked after to make sure it stays looking good.
Looking after your investment
Buy the best quality outdoor furniture you can afford; inevitably, higher quality furniture will stay looking good for longer, and will represent a better return on your investment. You’ll also need to keep it well maintained throughout the season; this will extend its life and make sure it looks good for longer.
Be particularly careful about the materials that you choose when your location is in coastal areas, where the sea salt can attack lower-quality wooden pieces and can cause metal surfaces to rust. An outdoor area full of furniture with peeling paint and wobbly chairs is obviously less inviting for guests.
Never underestimate the visual impact your outdoor area can convey, both positive and negative. For a terrace, patio or pavement area to look elegant it needs high quality furniture with sophisticated looks. Not only does this make your guests take notice but can also attract the attention of passers-by. This turns your alfresco area into a kind of ‘business card’ as well as a source of revenue for your establishment.
GO IN UK contact details: Tel 0845 021 4646, www.go-in.co.uk
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