Outdoor design is not just about landscaping the garden; it is about creating an area that you can use just as much as something to be admired.  The latest trend is to build an outdoor alfresco area along with any landscaping. In fact, this outdoor area is encompassed within the whole and the finishing touches are the kind of outdoor furniture you choose for this area.

You’ve already decided on the kind of outdoor area you want, with the floor, overhead covering, lighting and other details. The alfresco furniture is an important finishing touch that must meet certain requirements too.

  • It should be comfortable to sit on and use. Without comfort the whole area will be used less than you intended. No one wants to sit on hard seats that offer no support for their back, so choose your furniture with comfort in mind.
  • It must withstand all kinds of weather. You won’t want the job of bringing furniture inside and taking it out every time you want to use it. It should be weather resistant so it can be left in place, otherwise eating outside or even enjoying some relaxation will become too hard.
  • It needs to tone in with the surroundings. Not all types of furniture suit specific outdoor designs or renovations.
  • It should suit your needs and likes. If you choose furniture and furnishings that are not suitable to your lifestyle, again they will minimise your enjoyment of the new outdoor area you’ve created. For instance, some people – especially young ones – are happy sitting on backless seats, others are not.
  • There needs to be enough. If you have a large family or entertain a lot, but only choose four chairs, there won’t be enough for everyone to be comfortable. Or if your table is really small, it will be inadequate to host a party or even a family meal.
  • It should be easy to clean. Outside furniture will get dust on it, and the dew or wet weather can cause mould to form quickly. If it is easy to clean with no tiny crevices, you won’t feel like a slave, but will get the job done quickly with minimal effort. Hint: Wicker furniture is best for a veranda rather than an outside area with no walls and perhaps no roof.
  • For convenience, if you use cushions and table cloths, an outdoor storage area that doubles as a seat or table is ideal to keep them in. The area should be sealed so no spiders – or leaks – can find their way in.


Once you have taken these few ideas into consideration you’ll have a much better chance of choosing outdoor furniture that suits your area and your lifestyle.