Patterns for the sun, sleet and snow
Fabrics for all-weather furniture
near you. They will be able to direct you back to the manufacturer; alternatively, some retailers carry more than one standard size.
Another option is to make the cushions yourself, or have them made by an upholsterer. This will give you the freedom of choosing fabrics that appeal to your personal style. There are many patterns and punchy colours available in allweather fabrics now, which allows you to design your outdoor space with the same flexibility and finesse that you enjoy indoors.
The beautiful Sunbrella fabrics that have been combined in the backyard shown here are Steeplechase Malibu (stripe), Canvas Natural, Macaw, Hot Pink and Navy.
Check out their website, sunbrella.com; you’ll find just what you want. With custom-made cushions you can add piping, trims, buttons and fringes that enhance the overall look and feel of your sitting area.
Slipcovers make washing a breeze, but it’s not neces- sary to be able to remove them to clean. In most ordinary fabrics, dyes are added to the surface of the yarn or fabric. The colour washes out or fades easily. The colour in Sunbrella fabrics penetrates all the way to the core, ensuring lasting performance. This technology makes the fabric easy to clean with soap and water and a soft-bristle brush. Sunbrella fabrics are guaranteed weatherproof, in summer and winter. Dear Debbie, Our 10th floor condo has a long, narrow balcony that is our “summer garden” in the air. Flower pots are filled and we have set up a table and chairs and a lounge. The balcony floor is painted concrete. Do you have any suggestions for rugs, or is that not appropriate for outside? Dear Theresa, Here’s a great place for a floor cloth, but there is one drawback to placing any covering over the con- crete — rain and dampness will either soak in or creep under the carpet and ruin the surface of your balcony floor. Periodically you must roll up the carpet and allow the floor to dry thoroughly.
You can make your own floor cloth using a piece of vinyl floor covering. Cut to fit your space, flip it over and decorate the paperbacked side, not the vinyl. Start with a coat of high adhesion primer, let dry, then proceed with your design.
You can paint a checkerboard, or simple stripes, or combine a plain background with some seasonal stencils. Choosing colours and a mottled paint finish will help to hide any dirt or surface irregularities. Apply three or four coats of acrylic varnish to seal your work.
Ready-made or custom sewn cushions from Sunbrella cheer up an outdoor sitting area year round.