The great outdoors is a wonderfully dynamic space to furnish. Whether it’s a summer barbecue with friends, breakfast on the terrace or tea time under blossoming trees, many of our most idyllic moments are spent outside: why not give it the attention it deserves? To give you a helping hand and inspired by the Vivendo collection, we’ve come up with the crucial considerations when choosing the perfect outdoor chair.
First and foremost, choose materials of the highest quality. Superior plastics such as polycarbonate and polypropylene offer a lightweight, weather-resistant solution in a diverse range of styles and colours. Fibreglass is an attractive reinforcement material that is worth looking out for. The versatility of plastics makes them well-suited to outdoor furniture. Polycarbonate, polypropylene and technopolymers (plastics used as replacements for metals) all provide options in terms of weight, colour and strength to suit your requirements. In addition to its strength, polypropylene has the property of being grease resistant, so is well suited to barbecue lovers.
Wood, metal and stone all have the potential to be suitable alternatives. A suitable wood should age well, and be resistant to the elements. Teak is a particularly appealing choice that is naturally resistant to decay and does not shrink or expand over time. Look out for Iroko, cypress and cedar as attractive and practical woods.
For many the outdoors is a design space free of expectations. It is a place to experiment with bright colours and quirky designs. Your garden will be full of bright tones and flowers, so consider matching your chairs to the natural palette outside. Patio or terrace environments may be better suited to softer colours such as white or taupe, which may also be more at home indoors if needed. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to explore the use of colour in your outdoor furniture.
Like it or not, you won’t spend every day basking in the afternoon sun. For this reason, stackability could be an important consideration and a valuable feature, helping save space in the winter months.
Unlike your indoor furniture, outdoor chairs tend to be moved continuously, so make sure your chair is lightweight and easily handled. Moreover, your chair should be able to withstand the rough and tumble of regular movement. High quality plastics such as tough, polycarbonate are apt choices.
Consider the possibility of using your outdoor chairs in the warmth of your home. Dual-purpose chairs will save you money to invest in the furniture you love, enabling you to enjoy them in any setting, all year round. Bear this in mind when choosing colours, and invest in durable items that will withstand transportation.
Don’t let an uncomfortable chair spoil your lazy afternoons in the sun. A chair’s shape and material are both essential elements, though lounge-style chairs or armrests may also be important features to consider. Look out for carefully designed openings that support your back and save on weight.
Keeping your outdoor furniture in pristine condition is not always easy, but can be made simpler by carefully chosen materials. Most metal, plastic and wooden furniture should be cleaned at the beginning of the season with hot, soapy water. Ensure you use a non-abrasive cloth to avoid scratching the material, and take care when using pressure washers to clean fragile areas such as glass tops. Woods often require a little more attention, especially if you want your furniture to be brand new. This can be achieved using stained oil, or if you’d prefer to preserve the wood’s aged look using hardwood or teak oil.
See the full Vivendo outdoor collection of dining chairs here.