Outdoor Living Guide

Back yard BBQ’s, playing and relaxing are all traits most of us Australians enjoy whilst hosting friends and family all year round, especially during the warmer months. Creating an oasis to your backyard, patio or balcony area requires certain elements that are crucial to a remarkable space that balances both relaxation with entertaining and can be enjoyed for years to come.

Just like your home, your garden has a character of its own, so it’s important to pick pieces that suit the space available. Finding the best outdoor furniture is essential for making the most of sunny days, as when it comes to choosing outdoor furniture, even the smallest garden oasis is worthy of some stylish, durable furnishings.

CHOOSING GARDEN FURNITURE

Australian contemporary living often blurs the divide between interior and exterior spaces making clean lines and practicality important design criteria when selecting furniture. 

The furniture you choose will largely be dependent on the amount of space you have. If you have a small garden, or even just a compact rooftop or balcony garden, the most versatile thing to buy is a smart little bistro set in metal or rattan (Metal garden furniture tends to be cheaper). Bistro sets are particularly on trend at the moment and have a pleasing vintage look, especially the traditional French café-style sets that we're seeing everywhere right now.

 

Classic doesn’t have to mean old fashioned. By experimenting with material and shapes, you can achieve a classical look without looking dated. This affordable outdoor table and chairs set is made from heavy duty cast aluminium, which is weather-resistant and highly durable. The cast iron legs add to the sturdiness of the set whilst the detailed floral pattern will give any garden, patio or balcony a romantic European touch.

 

Teak is one of our most popular options, because this tropical timber has built-in character and plenty of rugged durability. This compact Solid Teak garden furniture set (above) is constructed from extremely durable teak hard wood. This design has been seasoned, kiln dried and then fine sanded to give a very smooth appearance. Teak wood is known for its exceptional strength and weather resistance, making it far more suitable for garden furniture than any other kind of wood. 

 

If you have a bit more space to play with, like a generous patio, why not set up a proper outdoor dining room? This will provide the perfect setting to host lunches and dinners. A dining table which can withhold outdoor climates doesn’t have to compromise on the luxurious look. This provides the ideal context for a luxurious outdoor dining experience.

Alternatively, a lounge set creates a more relaxed atmosphere, somewhere to sip on our favourite Italian cocktail, an aperol spritz and read a book on a warm afternoon.  

 

 

SMALLER SPACES

We can all dream about a large yard with a pool and leafy surroundings, but let’s be honest, space is a premium especially in capital cities. Be realistic about the area you have to work with and how you want to interact with it.

When you are working with a smaller garden or outdoor area, you must ensure you know exactly what you want to use your space for, similar to how you would design rooms in your house for specific uses. Storage and multifunctionality are the two key elements that all outdoor furniture for small gardens should have. Furniture that interlocks when not in use is a great option to limit the footprint of the furniture, allowing you to use your garden for other activities. You can ‘unravel’ the furniture for a real sense of grandeur for dining or entertaining. Versatility is key in small gardens as you need to be able to get as much as possible out of the space available to you.

 

 The Osmond Retro Side Chair, above, is not only stackable but comfortable and affordable. This set of two outdoor dining side chairs feature a panelled, curved back with sloped arms in a bronze effect finish for a clean and simple industrial look.

If your garden - or budget - isn't large enough for a full garden furniture set, then make the most of the good weather with a comfortable garden seat. The ample seating area of the Summer Chair has a generous, mid-century modern design, with a low profile and rounded backrest for optimum comfort. The legs are minimal, in keeping with the overall aesthetic. Made from powder coated steel with a cool black finish, the openwork, lattice construction ensures that it doesn't dominate your outdoor space

 ZONING

Your backyard shouldn't be an after-thought. Australia's mild climate and long summers create the ideal conditions for an outdoor entertaining space that takes full advantage of your property and a designated place for outdoor entertainment centred around alfresco dining furniture is essential.

New garden furniture is the perfect addition to freshen up your exterior space by clearly demarcating different sections. With summer upon us, rather than conceptualise your garden as one big space, think creatively for how it can be used for many different purposes.

Proportion is everything. Just as you’d measure up before purchasing indoor furniture, you should do the same for your al fresco areas. Whether you have acres of land or a compact city rooftop, always measure your space and take note of the size of dining tables, chairs and loungers to ensure they’re a perfect fit.

Create a section for calm relaxation with a garden sofa and armchair set lined with sumptuous cushions in line with your home’s design scheme – this works perfectly when encapsulating a fire pit for warming up moments of cosy dusk evenings. If your concentration is enhanced by fresh air, consider creating an outdoor workspace so relaxation areas are not compromised with phone calls or cluttered with laptops. Finally, preserve a place for children’s playtime with a small low table on a grassy area – this will nurture their imaginative side with picnics and tea-parties while giving the adult space some sanctitude.

STYLE

Transform your outdoor space with furniture and accessories that are big on style. For a modern look, simple angular lines, minimal pieces and refined colour are essential. Elegant metal design keeps the look fresh and contemporary. For a classic look rounded shapes and mixed material such as wicker and timber area popular choice. Or for a coastal, pool side look pale grey and white is a great colour combination.

 

Possibly the best colour for outdoor furniture at the moment, grey rattan garden furniture stands out beautifully against nature’s colour palette. This allows you to achieve a minimalist approach and let your natural surroundings take centre stage.

 Experiment with different designs to suit your style and reflect your mood. Keep it fun by choosing pieces that are original, versatile and set you apart from the crowd. A hanging chair such as the Egg Wicker Rattan Hammock by Gardeon (above, now on sale) makes a really statement whilst symbolising the epitome of ultimate relaxation with a cool and exotic vibe. 

Make sure to take care of your garden tables and seating – even though it’s outdoor furniture, you need to give it a little TLC from time to time. Hose it down after splashy afternoons, or a windy week. It’s important to wash off the chlorine (or salt if you’re near the ocean) from cushions and frames. If you’re not using your furniture for extended periods, it is worth investing in an outdoor furniture cover to protect from the elements. This will result in you getting a much longer life out of the pieces that you have brought into your home. 

STAY COSY 

There’s nothing like the crackle and glow of a fire pit on a cool night. This little addition can encourage you to extend the use of your outdoor space during the colder months while also creating a beautiful feature in your yard.

As the sun goes down and the evenings draw in, it can turn a little chilly, so it's worth investing in some cosy throws and blankets on hand to keep you warm. 

Finally, when entertaining outdoors make sure you stock up on lots of cushions. Cushions make a great alternative seat if you don't have enough garden chairs or benches as well as an ingenious method of dressing your furniture up with a dose of added colour. You can keep the décor fresh year-on-year simply by updating your outdoor cushions, throws and rugs. These bring the feeling of the inside out, add texture and pattern, and allow for some extra comfort during those long nights sitting and chatting with loved ones.

 Take a look at our beautiful selection of outdoor scatter cushions by Bandhini 

 


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