Ah. Can you smell the freshly cut grass and white oleander perfume carried on the breeze? With tax returns hitting your direct deposit and spring knocking at the door, it’s time to modernize our outdoor space. With the right outdoor furniture set, your backyard will become a garden oasis to spend your evenings and weekends luxuriating. There’s nothing better than having an open book in your lap as you delightfully sip your raspberry iced tea from a chilled La Rochere bumble bee glass tumbler.
The Great Outdoors
The first question to ask yourself before your backyard’s redesign is this: How am I going to use this space? For some, the answer will be as a place for meditation, reflection and peace. For others the backyard will be a space devoted to entertainment, conversation and exploration.
The ways in which the space will be used will of course dictate the styling of the outdoor furniture. Currently in vogue and the most satisfying of furniture design movements is the Mid-Century Modern. Widely practiced in today’s contemporary home design, bringing the straight-edged, no frills furniture scheme of the Mid-Century outside will create a dynamism between the organicism of your garden and the functionality of your patio set.
As has been recognized, the furniture that polishes our home forms atmosphere and feeling. Our furnishings tell us and our guests the purpose of the space and how it is supposed to be used. According to Don Norman there are two important characteristics in design: discoverability and understanding. Good design tells us what activities are possible, how to achieve them (discoverability) and how the product is used (understanding.) If either discoverability or understanding is lost, the design has failed. It is no different when it comes to our outdoor living spaces. How do we know we are even allowed into this secret garden if there is no walkway, no bench or even shade? Why have a garden blooming with hydrangea and hyacinth if you aren’t able to smell their fragrances and enjoy the serene beauty of the garden?
Materials to Set You Free
Like the objects that fill your home, you want your garden furniture to be of good quality. A common mistake people make when buying outdoor furniture is not recognizing it as a worthy investment. Would you willingly buy a piece of furniture made out of corkboard finished in a faux wood veneer? Absolutely not. The same thing should be true of your exterior furnishings. There are five materials you’ll want your outdoor furniture to be built of:
- Synthetic wicker
- Cast or wrought iron
- Plastic and resin
These materials are durable and able to withstand extreme weather conditions, as conveyed by Better Homes and Gardens. Though as Better Homes and Gardens does advise to keep in mind that some furniture pieces (despite their durable materials) will last longer under covered spaces, such as under gazebos and porticos. As Miles Redd said, “Buy the best, and you only cry once.”
Blooms are Color Enough
A pitfall to be wary of: colored garden furniture. While the teal outdoor coffee table and matching side tables are very sassy, the color will fade in the sun after an extended period of time. It’s not economical to replace garden furniture every time you tire of seeing it, so by avoiding colored outdoor furniture, you are prolonging its life cycle.
To incorporate color in your furniture, bring in some accented throw pillows and cushions with removable lining. You can change out the fabric every six months to keep it fresh. Who could ask for more?
Your garden is your oasis, make it yours with pieces that inspire.