Garden Furniture Articles
Garden Furniture to Last Forever?
As the credit crunch bites in earnest those with homes & steady incomes are deciding to 'improve not move' and one of the first places they start is the garden. A well designed garden, with the right outdoor furniture can literally add an extra room to a home and of course there is no need to bring in builders, plumbers or electricians to create an outdoor space.
But what do you do when winter arrives and the garden furniture needs to be bought in from the cold, rain and maybe even snow?
Over the last two years a quiet revolution has been happening in garden furniture. Synthetic rattan furniture, designed to last forever & called All Weather furniture, this garden furniture won't rot or fade & can withstand even the most extreme weather conditions. Designed to be left outdoors all year round the new weatherproof furniture designs really are investment pieces as they last so long.
The new all weather garden furniture is also available in furniture pieces not usually available for the outdoors, including corner garden sofas, modular sofas, large daybeds & comfy armchairs - all with large, comfortable cushions in a huge variety of colours & patterns. These pieces work equally well in the patio, garden or conservatory.
The top synthetic rattan is made in Europe (Hularo & Shintotex are two of the best) & the material is then sent to the Philippines or Indonesia to be woven into funky modern designs by artisans with years of experience in weaving cane. The finished items are then shipped back to Europe (where the cushions are made) ready for sale.
Good quality synthetic rattan is very comfortable to sit or lie on, staying cool in even the hottest sun, with a soft yet smooth surface. It is easy to clean, just needing to be hosed down every once in a while, & the material repels the dirt. The weave lends itself to a huge variety of designs & shapes, perfect for the contemporary garden. And finally it is also environmentally friendly as it is toxin free, biodegradable and recyclable.
This new synthetic rattan garden furniture is set to become dominant in the mid to high end of the outdoor furniture market over the next few years as it has so many advantages over traditional garden furniture, teak furniture & even plastic garden furniture.
Outdoor Garden Furniture
Your outdoor garden furniture is very much exposed to all the elements, so it makes sense to take extra efforts to keep them looking new. With correct maintenance, you can prolong the life of any type of outdoor furniture and get the most value for your money. Read on to find out how.
Go easy on the cleaning solution. Most outdoor garden furniture, especially made of vinyl, cannot stand harsh solutions like chlorine, bleach, and solvents. You may think that you are cleaning your furniture with these chemicals, but truth is, you are just accelerating staining and fading. Use cleaning solutions often enough and your outdoor furniture will lose color in no time.
Instead, use plain water for vinyl outdoor furniture. Commercial patio furniture can be easily cleaned with plain water and a pressure washer set low. You can also use mild detergents with mild disinfectants, but make sure that they do not have chlorine or other harsh cleaning solutions in them. If you do not have a pressurized cleaner, use a soft brush as an alternative. Try dipping the brush in a solution of warm water and mild soap, and then gently clean the furniture in even strokes. Do this twice a week if you use the furniture often.
Use special wood cleaners for hardwood outdoor furniture. They will keep the surfaces clean and dust-resistant, and at the same time make the furniture stronger. This is especially true for woods, which need oils to protect their pores and keep them looking new.
Avoid stains by keeping your furniture away from harmful elements. The culprits include unfiltered well water (which can come from sprinkler systems), pods and tropical tree barks, and tannic acid. Ground water contains harmful sulfur, oxides and iron that cause major stains on outdoor furniture exposed to them for a long time. Pods and tree elements leave unsightly and difficult-to-remove stains, and so do tannic acids that are present in common backyard trees (such as oak).
Patio and Garden Furniture
Patio and garden furniture comes in a range of designs, and also a range of prices. Confused about what to get? Read on to find out what your few hundred dollars can get you.
If you just need a simple bistro table and two chairs, one hundred dollars may be enough. Cheap but very durable sets like these are usually made of quality cast aluminum, and are typically enforced with rust-resistant coating. You can either buy them assembled, or assemble them yourself. Assembly will take about half an hour, and can be fun of you are good with your hands.
Sets like these can go for $150 during peak seasons (spring and summer), so be sure to order during off-season months. You can even get this for less than a hundred dollars, if you are lucky.
If you have a bigger budget and a bigger space, then invest in patio sets that are made of stylish all-weather woven wicker resin and heavy-duty steel frame with protective finish. Most of the sets in this price range include two lounge chairs (typically cushioned), a love seat, and a coffee table (usually tempered glass-top that is resistant to scratches). The cushion is usually covered with easy-care fabric, and is easily replaceable.
Add a few more hundreds of dollars and you can buy patio sets complete with an umbrella and an umbrella base. Most sets in this price range are made of heavy-duty steel frame construction (usually coated with protective power finish) and have at least six sling-swiveling bar stools and a fashionable glass-top table. The chairs usually come with easy-care cushions and fabric covers, though some furniture stores sell these separately. Sets like these are built for serious entertaining.
Choosing Garden Furniture
No matter how pleasant a garden is, it is not being enjoyed to its full extent if there is no where for visitors to sit and admire the beauty of the garden. Luckily, few gardeners are willing to sacrifice design for comfort and with the wide choice of garden furniture available today, it is rare to find gardens bereft of furniture. Garden furniture will if anything look great with just about any style of garden.
Indeed, many gardens will provide several different items of furniture so that people have the flexibility to enjoy the garden from a variety of positions. So how does the gardener decide which of these many types of furniture you should be added and to which parts of the garden ? Firstly, they should decide how the garden will be used - formally or informally. Some people entertain a great deal and would use their patios or decks as an extra room for entertaining, while others just want to enjoy the peace and quiet of their gardens. Alternatively the garden may double up as an play area for excitable children.
In order to entertain properly, guest should not be crowded and so plenty of seating is required. If you entertain frequently, you should consider garden benches and deck chairs for more flexibility. Also should you be lucky enough with the climate to serve meals to your guests without leaving your beautiful gardens, then consider a large garden table and chairs so that you have plenty of room. Additionally you will probably need a decent parasol to your garden table so that you can entertain with protection from the sun (or rain).
Protection from the sun is something the gardener should be conscious of and what better way to relax in your garden, than to add a hammock to a shady area in the garden. Remember, that you do not necessarily need to obliging trees as you can fasten the hammock to two four by four posts that are cemented into the ground or you could purchase a hammock stand.
Some people prefer to just soak up the sun and for those people the ideal items of furniture are sun loungers on your patio or deck.
Indeed, a patio or deck doesn't look finished if it is bare of furniture. A patio is complemented well by either wooden, plastic or metal patio furniture. There should have no problems locating the right pieces for your garden patio and be sure to consider a patio heater. A heater can extend your use of the garden both daily and seasonly.
Finally, as you wander through the garden beds, you will find that there are certain places that are ideal to linger in and ponder. These places are ideal spots for benches or a couple of chairs and a side table. You also may want to add a decorative garden bench to any area in your garden that is a bit bland or in need of a focal point.
3 Things to Consider When Buying Garden Furniture
I made a fatal mistake last week when I told my wife that I had been researching dining sets for my BBQ website. First of all she wanted to know exactly what I meant my a dining set and once I'd explained that I was referring to tables and chairs it was at that point that the tirade of questions such as "why don't we get some new furniture" started. For those of you men that have read "When Mars And Venus Collide" by Dr John Gray you will know how to interpret this inquisition in a manner that does not describe it as nagging, but at the end of the day we all know that it's going to end in a new set of dining furniture and a dent in the credit card!
So if you end up in the position that I find myself in then you are going to have to start the research to ensure that you buy the right set for you and to that end I thought that I would share some of my findings and save you some bother.
What Do I Need To Think About When Buying New Furniture?
If you are anything like me then the last thing you want to be doing is spending time looking after the furniture once it is outside or bringing it inside every time it rains. To be honest I could not do the latter anyway because I would not have the space so when it comes down to it, the single most important factor to consider is the construction material and relate that to the climate in which you live.
1. Construction Materials
This area can be broken down into three main materials, metal, wood and wicker. In the metal category there is Aluminum - Lightweight, doesn't rust and is pretty much indestructible, an all year round choice provided you don't live in an area susceptible to wind! Aluminum can also be cleaned by most household cleaning materials. The other metal option is Wrought Iron - Again an all year round choice. It's heavier in weight and also rust proof provided that the powder coating isn't chipped. Very robust and easily cleaned with soapy water, but do not use abrasives as this will scratch the powder coating.
When it comes to wood then it's really a choice of the type of wood. The best regarded are Pine, Cedar or Teak with teak coming out tops. This is the wood used for decks on yachts so you know it's going to be pretty hard wearing. The reason that you are looking at these particular woods is to ensure that your furniture does not warp as a result of being exposed to the sun and the rain. Wood is weather proof if treated properly so it does need regular treatment but maybe only once a year.
Wicker is the final option and this is supremely comfy but it's not as weather resistant as metal and todays wicker is really a plastic coated onto an aluminum frame. If it is comfort that you are after then go this route but you may have to accept renewing your patio dining set a little more often.
You want the size to be in keeping with the amount of space you have available. If you're blessed with lots of space then maybe this is not such a big deal but if you are space constricted then you might want to consider a bistro style patio set.
Consider how you are going to use your furniture. Do you entertain regularly or is this patio dining set just for the family barbecue? Most sets come as five pieces (table plus four chairs) which is OK for the family but if you want the option to spread out then consider conversion sets because these will give you greater flexibility.
Mosaic table tops really do look great but these surfaces do need special care and attention. The grout around the tiles can crack in extremes of temperature so this type of furniture really does need to be housed indoors if you are expecting freezing temperatures.
Anyway, I have now take everything into consideration and if you'll excuse me I will now get on line and keep my wife happy with a new set of patio furniture and then I will light the BBQ!
|Using Outdoor Rattan Furniture in a ConservatoryConservatory furniture has achieved a bad reputation over recent years for being old fashioned with people only thinking of the high back cane suites, the sort of thing you'd expect your grandmother to have.
|Cane Furniture - Ideal For ConservatoryCane furniture, otherwise known as rattan or wicker furniture, is known for its strength and durability. Cane itself, as a raw building material, is very tough and resistant to damage. Due to its toughness, it is impossible to work with cane when it is in its raw, unprocessed form. The cane needs to be treated with heat so that it will be soft enough for the workers to work with.
|Furniture Using Natural Materials Including Cane, Seagrass and RattanPurchasing furniture for your outdoor patio, conservatory, or indeed any part of your home involves several factors - you obviously want to pick something that is aesthetically pleasing, that fits your overall interior design scheme and also furniture that will last. For the your conservatory excellent qualities can be found in seagrass, rattan and cane furniture.
|Cane Furniture - Durable and BeautifulCane is a raw material that comes from the stem of large rattans. It is most commonly used to make attractive and affordable wicker furniture for use indoors and outdoors. Whether you are looking to purchase furniture for your backyard, patio or any room within your room, cane furniture can offer a timeless look that will last you an especially long time.
|Cane Furniture For Your ConservatoryWhen buying furniture, you don't just want your furniture to look beautiful. You also want them to be reasonably priced, and at the same time, easy to maintain. In general, almost any kind of raw materials you can think of can be made into furniture. You can easily find furniture that is made from wood, plastic or steel.
Note: All prices in British Pounds