How to choose the perfect outdoor setting

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How to choose the perfect outdoor setting

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The right furniture can transform any outdoor space and help define how the space is used. But how do you choose? To help you get these choices right and make your outdoors truly great, follow these inside tips from Bunnings’ National Furniture Buyer, Ben Shanley.

Entertain, relax or dine?

First up, how do you use your outdoor area? Do you entertain a lot? Is it a place you go to relax with a book or the Sunday paper? Perhaps it’s an al fresco dining area that you’re trying to create? Or maybe it’s a combination of all three?

How you use the space, its location and the style you are hoping to achieve will have a big say in the furniture choices you make.

Outdoor setting

Entertain

If you like to entertain, flexibility is key. Outdoor furniture that can easily be moved aside to create space is ideal – so think lightweight materials like aluminium or wicker.

Aluminium is naturally rustproof, lightweight and extremely durable, so you can leave it out all year around and it requires minimal maintenance aside from the occasional clean. For insurance against oxidation, look for aluminium pieces that feature rustproof hardware and a UV-resistant powder-coating finish.

The latest designs of wicker furniture can give your outdoor space a sophisticated, resort-style feel. Wicker is made from a variety of materials including cane, rattan, bamboo and reed.

Durable and easy to maintain, there are a few simple tricks to make sure your furniture stands the test of time. Avoid leaving wicker furniture out in direct sunlight or rain for long periods and protect it by positioning it in a shady area or using a quality furniture cover.

Outdoor setting

Relax

If your outdoor area is a place where you like to put your feet up and enjoy some down time, then you’re going to need some lounge furniture.

Bring the comfort of the indoors to your outdoors with a corner lounge, daybed or sunlounge. Built for style and comfort, these can be made from timber, resin or tough weather-resistant materials like aluminium or UV-protected wicker. Some pieces even come with padded polyester cushions that are also weather resistant.

Or if you have a smaller space and just want a quiet place to read, try a Swing Egg Chair, swing lounge or hammock.

Outdoor Setting

Dine

A durable outdoor setting is a must if you like to dine outdoors. Style, material and size are the key considerations here.

Bold colours, wicker furniture and mix-matched styles are becoming more popular as they will instantly enhance the look and feel of an outdoor area.

Multi-functional benches and sofas that include storage underneath the seating area are great options as they provide hidden compartments, including pull-out drawers and shelves.

Fibre Cement settings are a popular choice as they are low maintenance and extremely durable. These settings can be washed down with a pressure cleaner or brushed down and are built to withstand the harshest elements.

Wooden furniture is timeless but requires the most maintenance. Cleaning and oiling once a year will help protect the timber from deterioration. If it has been left out in the elements and turned a natural grey colour, don’t worry, it can easily be restored.

Our tip

Your new outdoor setting will last longer if you take care of it, check out our handy outdoor furniture care guide.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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