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Tuesday November 22 2016



Furniture for the outdoors Outdoor spaces have become an important part of the home, with classy outdoor dining and lounge suites joining the more traditional garden bench, hammock and swinging seat. Furniture for the outdoors comes in all shapes, sizes and materials with many attractive options available. When choosing outdoor furniture, consider the family’s needs and where it will be placed. How many people will regularly share the seating? Will the furniture be exposed to the elements or be under cover and what will the furniture’s main purpose be? If the furniture will be truly outdoors then wooden furniture which can be reoiled or stained may weather better than upholstered or darker coloured woven rattan chairs. Seating capacity is also significant as is the furniture’s sturdiness if lanky male teenagers reside in the home. However, where large groups are regularly entertained, a supply of stackable chairs or asking people to bring camp chairs might suffice. Loose cushions will need storing especially over winter and purchasing a chest that lives on the deck or patio may take care of this and also hold extra brightly coloured cushions and throws. Foot stools and coffee tables are popular additions to the outdoor setting with novel variations on the theme available, such as a coffee table with a small fire pit. As with braziers, summer fire bans may preclude the use of these at times. A safer option for gaining warmth on those cooler

Canterbury nights may be an outdoor gas heater. Along with formal dining and lounge suites, an egg chair or swinging settee might be placed on the patio or deck, perhaps outside the main bedroom for a tête-à-tête moment while a small table and chairs could be sited to catch the morning sun for breakfast or a coffee break. Budget need not be an issue. The price of new furniture varies as does the size and quality while second hand furniture is available, with the Internet a good place to search. Some is like new while other pieces need re-staining, painting or repairs but cost a fraction of the price of new. You might also construct your own outdoor furniture using Manuka, recycled wood or pallets, or recycle other objects for tables and seats. These can augment and add interest to your outdoor spaces. If your property boasts tall trees, why not string a hammock between two for an affordable place to chill, away from the heat of the day. Around the garden, a wooden or cast iron/wood two-seater might also be placed in a sheltered secluded spot. Lastly, if cleaning is not a favourite pastime, consider the furniture’s composition. A hose down is likely to take care of dust but when rain water gathers and sits on the furniture it can lead to mould and lichen while insects can be a problem when they make their home in outdoor furniture with some serious scrubbing required especially where it is a woven material.

A wooden seat might be placed in a sheltered secluded spot.

Dining suites are now a popular in outdoor spaces.

A small table and chairs could be sited in a sunny spot for a coffee break.

Outdoor furniture from recycled materials adds interest.

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Selwyn Times 22-11-16  

Selwyn Times 22-11-16