How to Decide on A Material for Outdoor Furniture
When you are ready to make the investment into quality outdoor furniture, maybe to furnish your new home or to infuse fresh life in to your current home, you’ll need to give some thought into exactly what style and material will suit your outdoor area.
The perfect choice for outdoor furniture should reflect your personal style, the type of space you have to work with and you’ll also want to consider what you’ll be using the furniture for. You might want an ultra-comfortable lounge or maybe an outdoor dining table is more suitable for a family. Either way, you’ll need to get the basics covered first and decide on a material before you start deciding on a specific shapes or what colour cushions you’ve got your eye on.
There are many different materials that outdoor furniture is made of, usually these materials are all UV safe, durable and water-resistant to ensure they have a long lifespan. Let’s take a closer look at our most popular materials, and you’ll be able to decide if they’re ideal for your personal taste and your furniture needs.
Depending on how it’s styled, wicker can give off either a retro or a coastal Hamptons vibe, this style is very trendy considering Australia’s mostly sunny weather.
Wicker is a fantastic choice for outdoor furniture, absolutely no maintenance is required (other than a soapy wash to remove dust every now and then) which is why it’s ideal for those wanting to spend more time enjoying the furniture then maintaining it. Wicker is hand woven polypropylene plastic, and comes in countless weave sizes and colours, you’ll be able to style your outdoor area to look both modern or traditional with the help of a few décor and accent items.
Seasonally cleaning the wicker with warm soapy water will remove a build-up of dirt & dust.
While the material is UV stabilised, you can further protect your setting by using covers (you’ll be able to get these in store) and these can be put on during the colder months when you’re not likely to be using the furniture frequently, this will extend the lifespan of your furniture.
Aluminium furniture is 100% no maintenance, which is why it’s such a popular choice for Aussies. The material itself is powder coated and baked in an oven with a matte finish. This doesn’t rust and thanks to the matte finish, UV doesn’t affect it, meaning it won’t fade or get discoloured as the years progress.
Simply wash with a soft cloth and soapy water.
Always a popular choice for outdoor furniture, stainless steel offers versatility and durability. This material is easily matched to other popular outdoor items such as BBQ’s and outdoor kitchens, it won’t clash and will easily accentuate other items.
Sometimes stainless-steel has ‘tea staining’ which is small discolouration on the steel that requires a spot clean with a scourer and warm soapy water, this should only take a minute and will give you a new piece back in no time. Do not use circular motion when using the scourer, be sure to go along the grain of the steel.
Concrete pieces have risen in popularity in recent years. The way concrete furniture is manufactured makes it relatively light weight, so don’t let the name fool you. Cement furniture has small fibreglass hairs added to the slurry of concrete, which is hand laid into moulds. This ensures it’s lightweight (transportable) and high strength, giving a beautiful industrial finish. At Remarkable Furniture, we offer 8-10 different types of legs to suit the table slab, allowing you to customise your style with the legs and matching chairs.
Warm soapy wash.
You can apply 2 coat of external sealer if you want to put onto table, which makes them 100% stain free.
Merbau is an amazing timber sourced from Indonesia, you’ll find that most decks in Australia use Merbau as it is a very strong and stable timber that doesn’t rot or warp. What’s not to love!
Merbau is the perfect material for Australian conditions but does require a smidge of effort before using! When you first take the product out of the box, there will be a substance called ‘tannen’ which is a colour that can leak of out the Merbau. To make sure this doesn’t cause you any issues, it’s recommended to wash down the product 3-4 times (just with a hose in the back yard).
After the initial wash downs, you’ll want to use a deep penetrating oil twice per year. This oil will permeate down into the grain giving you a beautiful lustre on the timber and adds stain resistance.
Teak is primarily used heavily when constructing boats, it has a very high oil content making it perfect for the water or humid conditions, and won’t be prone to splitting or drying. Regarded as one of the best timbers in the world for outdoor conditions, teak is a favoured choice for anyone looking for a natural piece of furniture.
Teak will form a soft ash-grey tone on the surface when exposed to sun over time, which suits countless house styles and décor schemes. Teaks natural colour can be maintained by washing down the material with teak cleaner and annually sanding the surface lightly.
It’s important to take care of your cushions and extend the lifespan of your outdoor setting. When you aren’t using the furniture regularly, remove cushions and store these in a dry area, or as mentioned above, invest in some furniture covers. Avoid any contact with insect repellent, suntan lotions or oils as this may cause discolouration.
Hopefully, one of these options has jumped out at you and you’ll have taken the first step toward the outdoor oasis of your dreams, where you’ll be entertaining in no time!
If you’re still struggling to find a suitable option, you can head into our showroom (Moorabbin, Vic) where all our pieces are on display with a friendly team to answer any questions.
Furniture setting featured: Barcelona Wicker Setting