Designer-Approved Outdoor Furniture and Outdoor Tips

Interior Design Tips

Summer is upon us and April is the month where everyone begins to clean up their patios to enjoy their backyard with loved ones (hopefully as we all start to get vaccinated!) so I thought this would be the perfect time to release an outdoor furniture blog post as many of you had questions about outdoor furnishings. Especially during this pandemic, many of us want ways to expand our outdoor space to be more livable and make it an extension of your indoor space.

Here are my top outdoor tips:

  • Most patio pieces are weather-friendly, however try to look for powder coated aluminum, steel, iron and concrete. For woods, I recommend acacia and teak. For cushions, do your research to make sure the fabric is made of acrylic/polyester or a performance fabric such as Sunbrella or Olefin which will be extremely resistant to stains, water, and wind. If you invest a bit more time into researching the materials and fabrics that go into your outdoor purchase, you should be able to keep these for over 10 years to come vs having to replace a chair that will last you only 3 years.
  • Integrating the five Feng Shui elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) in your garden is important — especially water because of its powerful and soothing presence.
  • Since I like to change my color scheme out often, I suggest keeping it neutral with your furniture and adding a pop of color with your pillows and accessories.
  • The best outdoor spaces have a combination of sun and shade. Consider retractable Roman shades or awnings in combination with shade provided by natural plantings to provide some versatility. This also allows you to enjoy the space in any weather.
  • Invest more time and money into outdoor furniture such as aluminum or teak furniture and save on the pieces that could be more disposable, such as cushions, rugs, and candles, as they take the most abuse.
  • If regular visitors are older, be sure to have a chair or two that has arms and isn’t too low — sectionals and oversized lounges can be difficult for older guests to sit in.
  • Don’t forget about lighting: For parties, rely less on electrical light fixtures and create an intimate space with hurricane lamps and candles. Twinkle lights are always a crowd pleaser — look for commercial grade products that can be set on a dimmer.
  • Think about how you will want to utilize the space; Dine, lounge, read? That helps determine what needs to be in the space to make it functional for those needs.
  • Who could forget adding in natural elements? Lots of potted flowers, plants, and herbs not only look beautiful, but can also add to the aroma of the evening. Adding a fountain or small water feature also helps to make the space feel special.

 

Do I matchy-matchy or do I mix and match my outdoor furniture? Answer: You can do either or! To make it look more designer-like, you can mix and match to make your space feel more personalized. With a conversation area, I do like the look of a cohesive sofa and 2 arm chair set, so that is what I am doing with my patio area.

 

 

I have gathered a few outdoor furniture combinations below that you can have fun combining. Shop below my recommended sofa, chair, coffee table and rug selections I have curated for you. Enjoy, friends!

 

 





with love,
Jennifer Ma

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