THE GREAT OUT­DOORS

En­joy sum­mer days with on-trend out­door fur­ni­ture

The Courier-Mail - Home - - NEWS - VANESSA DE GROOT

COM­FORT and colour are two of the key themes driv­ing the lat­est de­signs in out­door fur­ni­ture.

The clas­sic out­door din­ing set will never go out of fash­ion, ac­cord­ing to Bun­nings na­tional fur­ni­ture buyer Ben Shan­ley, but with peo­ple in­creas­ingly blend­ing their out­door liv­ing space with their in­te­rior, com­fort­able and stylish pieces are be­com­ing more popular.

Amanda Grant, out­door fur­ni­ture sales leader for Ikea, said re­lax­ation was im­por­tant for out­door fur­ni­ture.

“Peo­ple are look­ing for op­tions for out­doors beyond the typ­i­cal sun bed, which is now less popular than arm­chairs and lounges,” she said.

Other re­lax­ing op­tions in­clude stand-alone ham­mocks, with Mr Shan­ley nam­ing Bun­nings’ Mi­mosa curved tim­ber-framed ham­mock as an ex­am­ple.

Masters Home Im­prove­ment out­door liv­ing buyer Clare Knaggs said out­door fur­ni­ture trends changed less than those in cloth­ing. But the key colours for each sea­son of­ten changed, with pas­tels next in line.

“Adding colour through ac­ces­sories is an easy and cost­ef­fec­tive way to in­stantly up­date an out­door space,” Ms Knaggs said, point­ing to Masters’ range of Zumo cush­ions and place­mats.

With higher-den­sity liv­ing be­com­ing in­creas­ingly more common in Aus­tralia, com­pact out­door fur­ni­ture is also be­com­ing more popular. “Tall ta­bles and bar stools are spaces­mart op­tions for small court­yards and town­houses, and fold­able fur­ni­ture or bistro sets are great for small ar­eas and bal­conies,” Ms Knaggs said.

While many peo­ple just had a clothes airer or three-piece set­ting on their bal­cony, Ms Grant said there was so much more that could be done.

She said stor­age benches with wall pan­els that also pro­vided pri­vacy from neigh­bours were one op­tion, while a bal­cony could en­joy an in­stant facelift through floor­ing tiles, such as the Ikea Run­nen range.

In the busy mod­ern day, dura­bil­ity and easy main­te­nance are also im­por­tant when it comes to out­door fur­ni­ture.

Ms Grant said many peo­ple liked the look of tim­ber out­door fur­ni­ture but not its need for con­stant main­te­nance, hence the pop­u­lar­ity of faux tim­ber fur­ni­ture ranges.

She said stor­age bags could be used to store tex­tiles out­side and pro­tect them from the el­e­ments.

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