With the arrival of summer and forced or voluntary lockdowns in our homes, we have suddenly found ourselves with a new-found love for all things decoration. Spending hours, days and months in a row confined to our houses has made us realize how bland our decor or how dysfunctional or boring our furniture is.
With more time than usual on our hands (for most of us anyway), we have taken this opportunity to renew our gardens or spruce up our balconies and terraces to transform these places into our own little paradise where we can get some sun and fresh air, rest and momentarily forget about our new reality that is the coronavirus pandemic.
So if you’d like to make good use of your time and turn your outdoor spaces into areas you will actually enjoy spending time in, here are some tips and tricks from Kaan Ali Samantır, board member of garden furniture company L’unica.
Durable over pretty
First of all, when choosing garden furniture, go for pieces that are durable and resistant to changing weather and temperatures – after all, you’ll want to preserve the same elegance and comfort for many years, especially if you pay a pretty penny. If you don’t want your garden furniture to get deformed in a very short time and use it for years to come without damaging its form and functionality, Samantır says you must make sure that all the materials used in making the furniture piece are durable and of high-quality, specially designed for outdoor use and suitable for all kinds of weather conditions.
Choose real teak wood
Teak trees (Tectona grandis), which are tall members of the mint family, are one of the hardest trees in nature, and thanks to the oil they contain naturally they do not easily wear or tear even in the harshest weather conditions, making them just right for garden furniture. Samantır says the point consumers need to take notice of is their authenticity. Most outdoor furniture comes from the teak forests of Indonesia, and when buying such pieces buyers must ensure that they were made with the correct permissions from state-licensed forests and that the wood is of the highest quality – Grade A. Teak trees are rare and valuable trees in nature, and when buying furniture produced from them, consumers should also pay attention to the age of the tree used in the product and the way the pieces are constructed. If dried with the appropriate methods in special timber-drying ovens called kilns and processed with the right machines, teak tree furniture can be used for many years, making them a good and high-quality investment. If you are looking for furniture that looks more natural and untreated, teak wood is a great material to choose.
Prioritize quality workmanship
While picking an item of garden furniture made of synthetic rattan and bamboo, which are materials that can resist tough weather conditions and are very easy to maintain, there are two points you should check: that the material is of good quality and is processed correctly. It is important that the ends of these materials are well hidden and not poking out, and that the braiding is tight, secure and smooth. Synthetic rattan and bamboo furniture can be used during all seasons, year-round thanks to their high flexibility and resistance to stretching. They are also easy to clean – just a bit of water and a soft brush is all you need.
Opt for aluminum, light and strong
Garden furniture made out of aluminum is resistant to all kinds of weather conditions and can be used for many years because it does not rust. Such items are widely preferred because they are light and easy to maintain. Aluminum furniture pairs well with a lot of decorating styles and can't adapt to any living space. It also stands out with its stain-resistant structure, effortless maintenance and easy cleaning with just a soapy cloth.
Don't compromise on comfort
The comfort of your garden furniture is also very important for your overall health. The furniture pieces you select should be of high quality, comfy and not cause back or muscle pain. On a side note, make sure that the cushions you use on your garden furniture are not too stiff, that they tie in with the features of the furniture and that they are designed with special fabrics that do not make you sweat. To create a concept suitable for your garden decor and decoration style, choose brands that will please you both in terms of ranges of color, choice of fabric as well as the hardness/softness of the cushions provided.
Decorate with the right size
If you do not have large outdoor areas, don't fret – you just need to be aware of the dimensions of your living spaces when choosing your furniture. If you have a small area, go for more functional pieces, elegant designs and light colors to trick the eye into making the space look bigger than it is. If you have a large outdoor area, you can get wider, more modern or abstract pieces that take up more space.