Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Think outside Box Outdoors

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Think outside Box Outdoors

Article excerpt

Vani Naidoo

IN Australia our outdoor spaces tend to be an extension of our dining rooms with many meals taken on the patio, deck or balcony especially during the fine warmer months.

Furnishing these areas can be an exciting project.

But before you immerse yourself in glossy catalogues or hurry off to the shops waving that credit card, it is important to think about the space you have, how much you will use that outdoor furniture, how much time you have for upkeep and, of course, budget constraints.

These days, as with most things, we are spoilt for choice both in terms of designs and materials used. Wood and metal remain popular but now there is also the option of fashionable plastics and hard-wearing synthetic materials.

Wood

For my money, wood is still the nicest looking and most durable material around in a variety of styles that would suit most tastes.

Timber most suitable for outdoor furniture includes teak, eucalyptus and jarrah which can be stained, oiled or painted depending on the finish you are after.

Furniture made from wood is strong and sturdy but of course is heavy to move and requires a fair bit of maintenance.

Look for solid construction, brass or steel hardware and a smooth even finish like the Seven-piece Harrison & Havana, $1599.

Furniture of this type will stand up well to the elements but needs to be wiped down frequently and oiled every 3-6 months especially if placed in direct sunlight. Left untreated it will turn grey and can splinter and crack.

Metals

Buyers often opt for stainless steel thinking it will last forever and require very little work. But if the material is not of a high quality (marine grade) or the finish is poor then you have a high chance of corrosion and staining.

Aluminium, although pricier, is a better option as it doesn't rust or stain and a good powder coating will make it more resistant to corrosion (Contempo four-piece lounge, $1999). …

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