Choosing the right outdoor furniture

The furniture plays an important role in the look and feel of an outdoor landscape and is one of the key considerations in landscape architecture and landscape design. The selection of furniture can be the defining point of a well-designed and attractive backyard or outdoor lounge area where you can relax in the garden. In order to design the perfect outdoor space, first its purpose should be determined. The furniture and decorative elements placed there depend on whether it is for simply lounging, entertainment, outdoor dining, or sports and recreation. The exterior space can also be blended with an interior space for higher space utilisation, but this requires the selected indoor and outdoor furniture to complement each other and not conflict in the design. Once the objective for an outdoor area is determined, consider which materials should be used for furniture and other elements. Finally, the necessity and room for storage should also be considered as the furniture may need to be packed away during unfavourable weather.

Functionality

When choosing outdoor furniture, the largest determining factor should be the nature of the space and the function. If it is a recreational area for sports or entertainment, there should be space for the activities and a rest area, and if the area is meant for outdoor dining, a large central table with matching chairs would be suitable. The physical space available should be utilised well, and cramming too much into a smaller space would make it look cluttered and less relaxing to be in. It might be possible for a space to have multiple functionalities with different sets of furniture depending on the activity, but this would require the unused set to be stored somewhere and involves shuffling around with furniture and equipment.

Materials

Determining the materials out of which the furniture would be made is another consideration. It depends on the aesthetic quality of the space as well as the weather and climate. For example, it would not be wise to use cushions in a damp area or untreated wood in an area where insects are common.

Storage

This is also another important consideration as outdoor furniture are exposed to the elements and unfavourable weather would seriously undermine their longevity. Therefore, when selecting outdoor furniture, it should be decided whether the furniture would be kept out of doors all the time or will be stored when unused (or when weather conditions are unfavourable). The materials also have a key part to play here as metals and wood are often just fine with being left in the weather but cushions, and cloth furniture can be ruined by rain. Plastics, fibre, cane and hemp are durable materials that a reasonably weather resistant, although it would still need drying after rain, for example, if you expect to use it immediately afterwards. If the furniture is to be stored at any point, make sure that there is ample storage to facilitate this as simply moving them indoors may clutter the interior living spaces.

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