Real Estate

hit the refresh button on your outdoor space in time for summer

Written by The ReReport

Colour makes a splash in this setting, featuring the Kanto Castor table and Boheme chairs. All pictures show Early Settler furniture and were supplied by Early Settler.

We’ve finally thawed out from the wintry weather and are dipping our toes into backyard living.
But it’s time to take it to the next level and create outdoor areas that will see us right through the summer months.
Whether you have a little balcony or a huge backyard, the right outdoor furniture will allow you to create another room for your home and, in turn, enjoy the season a lot more.
Early Settler furniture buyer Monica Porter said with the rise of apartment living, Australians were rethinking the way they effectively used space on small balconies.
“Meanwhile, large backyards shouldn’t just be a dumping ground for mouldy plastic tables and chairs,” she said.

Outdoor areas have become as beautifully decorated as indoor areas. Pictured is the Maddox chaise and Basalt coffee table.

Where to start

Although outdoor living should be an extension of your home, Ms Porter encourages customers to take a few design risks.
Use the opportunity to do something a little different and consider mixing and matching pieces and styles.
The chance to decorate outside lends itself to using brighter and bolder tones.
Firstly, however, you need to consider the space you have and the needs of your family, and also think about how you enjoy entertaining and how many people generally join you.
Consider whether you’ll be dining outside at a table in a formal setting, or you prefer a more casual atmosphere of sofas and smaller tables.
Also, Ms Porter said, take into account your location and climate.
If the pieces will be in the elements or in contact with salt air or harsh sunlight, choose materials that are suited, such as powder-coated aluminium and plastics that absorb ultraviolet light.

The Highgate reclaimed-teak table and Cera dining chairs pick up on the rustic scenery.

What’s new

Outdoor furniture has come a long way in recent years.
What was mostly made of plastic and offered in limited colours has been replaced with a vast range of materials, fabrics, colours and patterns.
And the scope has broadened — there are now pieces you might not have considered.
Along with dining settings and sun loungers, outdoor ranges now include coffee tables, occasional chairs, drinks trolleys, ottomans and side tables.
There are also all kinds of accessories to personalise your space. Water-resistant fabrics are available in a multitude of colours and patterns, adding lots of character.
In fact, outdoor spaces are becoming as homey as their indoor counterparts, often decorated with pendant lights, outdoor floor rugs and candles.

Cooper side tables complete this scene, which also features the Saffron sofa and armchairs.

Dream weaver

The relaxed, bohemian look you might find somewhere like Byron Bay was an outdoor style Ms Porter said was becoming popular.
And with it came the demand for relaxed but eclectic pieces.
“We are seeing macrame ottomans in natural yarn and printed floor cushions that create a relaxed, welcoming vibe,” she said.
She added resort style was also on trend, boosted by materials like wicker and rattan.
“The woven finish adds a wonderfully textured, organic feel.”

Patterned outdoor cushions add a fun, vibrant element.

Top tips

Here are some more ideas from Early Settler to help you make a choice:
• Realistically consider what you can fit in to avoid your space looking cluttered.
• Add bench seats or stacked stools for extra seating if you’re short on space.
• Unpack furniture carefully, especially if assembly is required, so you don’t lose any pieces.
• Avoid throwing away extra bolts and screws and be sure to follow the instructions.
• Carefully think about furniture positions and try a few different scenarios until it feels right.
• Take comfort and quality into consideration but, most of all, love what you buy.

The Mantara dining table and Cate chairs give a mix-and-match feel.

Keep it clean

Outdoor furniture that has been left outside or in storage over the winter will most likely need a bit of TLC. Here are Early Settler’s tips for keeping your pieces in tiptop shape:


•Wipe with a damp cloth for everyday cleaning.
•Use a wood protector, which repels stains and protects against mildew.
•Protect the pieces from the elements when they aren’t in use and consider using a protective cover.


•Wash the pieces down regularly with warm water and mild soap.
•Avoid using abrasive materials or cleaners.
•Take special care if you’re close to the sea to avoid sea-salt corrosion.
•Store cushions indoors when not in use.

Greenery makes a bold backdrop to the Bode sofa and Lulu side table.

Hot right now

• Outdoor tables made from composite cement or terrazzo.
• Black or slate-toned poly-resin chairs.
• Plastic chairs in on-trend colours that can be mixed and matched.
• Natural materials, such as recycled timber or marble, for tabletops combined with bolder elements like aluminium bases.
Source: Early Settler

The Calico range looks right at home in this boho scene.

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