The outdoors soothes the soul. Green spaces and patios have turned classic and functional with furniture you can sink into...
Different kinds of outdoor furniture
As we ease out of spring into summer, the city is resplendent with a burst of the Tabebuia rosea pink blooms. Evenings in Bengaluru are just comfortably pleasant enough to sit with your favourite people for company in the home patio. Terrace gardens and balcony decor are not uncommon for an apartment-prone city like Bangalore, and extending one’s aesthetic sensibility to the outdoor of one’s home is a very Bangalorean trait, indeed.
Modern day garden furniture is no longer an ignored prop or a postponed decision of home interiors. Home-owners are choosing outdoor furniture insightfully, willing to invest in the highest quality material and design so their patio can rub shoulders with their living interior. Here are a few suggestions for outdoor spaces, and the best kind of furniture to go with it...
Relaxation and lounging
Some spaces are dedicated to enjoying the open air and breeze while sitting with a beverage or a drink, watching sunsets and sunrises, quietly. Thinking of balcony or terrace seating, one might easily imagine vintage porch swings and hammocks. Think again. Outdoor and close shaded seating has come a long way in terms of material, design and comfort factors. Outdoor sleepers and loungers crafted out of cane and rattan in wickerweave are very much in vogue. Available on upmarket online furniture retail sites, some of these eclectic pieces will connect easily with the creative spirits who want to stay minimalistic and elegant.
Many brands are offering durability and warranty against rusting or fading, which allays loss of quality due to external weather. The ubiquitous Indian antique jhoola or swing is still a great choice that augments the traditional aesthetic. For a light weight feeling and more movement, hammocks are a popular choice. Here again, online portals are making us spoilt for choice with many varieties of material like canvas, cotton yarn, duracord rope and polyester. Hammock material too has been revolutionised to remain colour fast, fade and mildew resistant, and to feel as comfortable and soft as cotton. Combined with a great choice in frames of hardwood, white oak or cumaru, hammocks nowadays are anti-microbial and anti-bacterial and do not require repeated painting. Some of the fabrics used are breathable, sweat absorbent and can remain stain-free in case of spills.
Soaking the sun in
For expansive patio areas in home exteriors, outdoor day beds are something to consider. A plush seating for two or three persons with durable fabric upholstery and synthetic rattan can easily outlast many seasons. Comfortable and contemporary, outdoor beds can come with or without a canopy. They are designed to look cosy and can resemble a four-poster bed at times, with a baldachin of printed or plain muslin or organza, or even plain lengths of soft fabric draped ornamentally on the top and sides. Such a piece is picture perfect for summers and can be placed in a yard decked with plants to spend hours reading a book. Day beds can also be designed to suspend from the roof and are built on a thick wooden frame with a soft mattress, to conveniently hold the weight of two to three people. These hanging sun beds make can make backyard decor look unique and interesting. Poolside furniture is similar and can include loungers, lounge chairs, sun beds, pool chairs, bar stools and nest beds. Nest beds are great for bonding or afternoon naps, and sometime can be hung over the pool, taking rejuvenation to a higher level.
Hosting barbecue nights
Besides dedicated and outlandish examples of outdoor furniture, simple and functional sofas and seaters too are extremely popular. Metal seating, wooden frames or ensembles of wood, metal and wicker have a stylish appeal when guests come over for open air get-togethers like barbecue nights and in-house celebration. A wrought iron rocking chair with padded and quilted fabric seating will make a great impression while your guests make a beeline for it. Outdoor dining sets are also a feature in patio decor, often topped with glass for the main table. Wrought iron, wood, steel and wicker should be predominant choices of material for long-lasting outdoor furniture, considering the tropical Indian environment. Cold rolled tube and sheet is also favoured over plastic and resin as a viable material option. Steel frames with teak wood and leatherette make for elegance, functionality and longevity of structure.
Outdoor furniture is fast becoming the homeowner’s pride as well as the zen space in the greenest pocket of the house. Buying outdoor furniture made out of metal with powder-coat paint finish that emits negligible volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a responsible choice to encourage a green footprint as the materials are recyclable.
— The writer is a design expert who understands the intrinsic aspects of interior spaces and its trends. He helms an exclusive designer furniture brand.