OUTDOOR LIVING IDEAS
Take life outside with these practical tips and bargain shopping finds.
TLC FOR FURNITURE
The best way to maintain outdoor furniture is to minimise its exposure to the sun. Regular maintenance will keep it looking good, too. Clean timber with a gentle hose and wipe down, then apply a product suitable for the timber. Hardwoods need a specific hardwood cleaner then sealing oil – tinted oils have more UV protection than clear oil.
Metal furniture may rust in a shady damp area – remove rust and touch up with paint. Brush or vacuum dust and debris from woven items and wipe clean with a damp, not wet, soapy cloth. Treat upholstery with fabric protector, store cushions indoors and handwash if necessary. Plastic furniture consistently left in full sun may deteriorate.
THE POWER OF A SHOWER
The most basic outdoor shower option is to connect a shower rose to a hose and stand in a large tub. A kit from a hardware store will include a tap, shower head and pipe; you connect it to a garden hose and let the sun warm up the water. Make sure there’s adequate drainage. More elaborate set-ups can involve connection to hot water and drainage systems, but you will need a plumber and possibly local council permission. If the shower is next to your home, waterproof its exterior to avoid damage.
NOOKS & CRANNIES
Smaller spaces benefit from creative thinking. For example, a bench with built-in storage does double duty as a lounge-about daybed and dining seating. Add an easily portable table with strappy or woven furniture for a cosy dining area, which can then be rearranged or removed when more floor space is required. #
COMFORT PLUS Vivian outdoor lounge setting with coffee table, $2299.95, from Super Amart. COOL COLOUR Hudson wire side table in Mint, $30, from Target.
Grand scale Solid and chunky furniture works best in a large area.
FLOP ABOUT Coastal lounge beanbag in Stone, $79.95, from Life!
GROWING UP potato ivy, $15.99, from Spotlight. SWING SEAT Macramé hanging chair, $260, from Down That Little Lane.
HANDY SURFACE Acapulco replica side table, $29, from Kmart. EXTRA PADDING Miconia futon cushion, 45cm x 45cm, $59.95, from Kas. WHEELIE GOOD Vindalsö outdoor trolley, $149, from Ikea.
Gear off! Wash away sand, salt, garden grime – even clean up the dog – alfresco.
Making room See how to style and create an outdoor living area on page 98.