We’ve reached peak en­ter­tain­ing sea­son, so em­brace the beau­ti­ful weather and gather friends and fam­ily for an al­fresco get-to­gether.

Australian House & Garden - - Houses -

The se­cret to cre­at­ing an invit­ing out­door area is to ap­proach it much as you would any room within your house: en­sure the fur­ni­ture you choose is com­fort­able, stylish and a good com­ple­ment to other pieces in­side your home. Dura­bil­ity, size and price are im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tions, too. Keep­ing things ca­sual is key – out­door fur­ni­ture should en­cour­age your guests to re­lax and set­tle in. Just add beau­ti­ful table­ware, napery and dec­o­ra­tive touches and you’re set for sum­mer.

Size mat­ters

Con­sider scale when you’re select­ing out­door fur­ni­ture. A round bistro ta­ble with fold­ing or stack­able chairs may be per­fect for a bal­cony but could look a bit lost in a larger space. Con­versely, al­low enough room around a big­ger din­ing set­ting for guests to ac­cess their seats with ease.

Style and sub­stance

From clas­sic tim­ber set­tings to low-main­te­nance alu­minium and pow­der­coated metal, to­day’s out­door fur­ni­ture is avail­able in a wealth of great-look­ing ma­te­ri­als. Dura­bil­ity mat­ters, so em­brace weath­er­proof, UV-re­sis­tant out­door fab­rics, tough­ened glass table­tops and supremely sturdy syn­thetic wicker.

Look for flex­i­bil­ity

Light­weight, low­main­te­nance and flex­i­ble in its func­tion­al­ity: ide­ally your out­door fur­ni­ture should tick all these boxes. A great out­door ta­ble can be dressed up with can­dles and lanterns for an el­e­gant din­ner just as eas­ily as it will serve you for a ca­sual bar­be­cue or as a spot to read the Sun­day pa­per.

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