Sitting outside and enjoying the weather is rejuvenating. It’s a great time to trade urban grays for sunny days, to watch the new growth of plants and animal life, to be amazed at all the new little lives learning how to use their wings and take flight. My head fills with pulling together outdoor spaces and making them more inviting, adding touches that refresh. And how do I enhance my outdoor living space? I start with the perfect outdoor furniture.
Here are 4 design tips for the perfect outdoor furniture:
Tip 1: Quality pays off
Select outdoor furniture that’s made with quality. Most of the manufacturers we sell have some craftsmen and trade secrets that you’ll want to take note of. Quality also matters because we’re filling our landfills daily with quick items that only last for a season. There are important steps in the manufacturing process to make outdoor living pieces that stand the test of time.
Tip 2: A lasting finish
Metal frames should be pre-finished with a nanoceramic ceramic pre-wash to increase paint adhesion. Each casting is hand polished to provide a smooth, finished surface for painting. After a multi-step cleaning process, the furniture receives a baked-on powder paint coat, much thicker and harder than conventional wet paint, followed by a hand applied antique finish.
Tip 3: Durability in design
When you design your outdoor living space, look for cast aluminum with a superior grade molten aluminum hand-poured into molds made from exceptionally detailed woodcarvings; wrought aluminum features with heavy tubing, strengthened at stress points with interior wall supports and galvanized steel inserts, triple polished 360-degree welds and high-solids polyester, powder-coated finish.
Tip 4: Materials matter
Maximize your outdoor living space by choosing pieces that last. Stainless steel can offer both strength and corrosion-resistance for a long life if it has a high-grade content of chromium and nickel. Stainless steel with 360-degree welds that are hand polished offer maximum durability and a finished look.
The right fabrics boost outdoor performance when made with the finest materials and technology for longevity outdoors. Choose UV-resistant resin, vinyl and polyethylene wicker that is memory tested to 50,000 compressions and is hand-woven over the frames—natural teak that’s plantation-harvested with frames with mortise and tenon construction.
When designing your outdoor space remember less is often better, and that quality over quantity lends a simpler look and feel. And don’t forget the accessories to add pops of character. The industry has stepped it up with outdoor rugs, trays and succulents that weather anything the weather has to offer—in every season.
Cover Photo by Arcwind
I want it now.
I am a true believer in making a "I Want It Now" list. That sounds like a conundrum doesn’t it? Well, it is!
Skip the list, right? Dive in and buy! Often, we think we want it now and the design will simply not be complete without this monumental item. And that item. And we do that again...and again...and again. We want all the things.
From a Designer perspective, when I look at the many homes that I enter, I am amazed at how filled they are at any given moment. It’s so easy to buy, and buy, that we really don’t realize all that we’ve actually brought into our space. It accumulates over time...slowly trickling in... and you hardly. Even. Notice.
I have been blessed with many repeat clients in my business. We complete projects often in multiple locations-- maybe in their main home, a vacation getaway, office, or all of the above! But, truth be told, the majority never realize the scope and quantity that’s actually in their space until they experience a relocation! The number of boxes is such a shock to them.
I find the more stuff that enters a space, it simply clutters the area. And with all good intentions, that room then loses its functionality. And it happens to the best of us! No one is immune to the sneak attack of the clutter! On the days that I experience this in my own hive, I know it’s time to go in and reevaluate!
So, back to the "I want it now" list. I have worked in rooms with amazingly cool items, and those spaces are a true delight to stage. And the reason why? Over and over, it’s because there were just the right number of items in the space, and those special items were on a stream-lined want list that was created with intention. The owner searched with purpose for items with a certain- “je ne sais quoi.” They don’t have “all the things,” but they do have items that they’ve spotted somewhere on their journey that have stuck with them along the way. There was a joy in curating the items, and a true charm in seeing how well those truly exceptional items fit into their design.
So, because of this, rather than an “I want it now” list, I like to call out must haves. The very nature of “quality over quantity.”
Cover Photo by Jonny Caspari