In this final post of interior design and decorating for outdoors, I will cover outdoor furniture and fabric. This is another don’t skimp zone. Get high quality furniture like Janus et Cie, Century, Gloster, Modern Outdoor, Brown Jordan and other designer brands available through design professionals. The photos in this post are all of projects I have completed for my clients in San Diego using high-end, quality furnishings.
I always tell my clients not to skimp because it’s not worth it but, I regretfully tested my theory last summer. I was in a pinch, as we had just rented out our house for the summer, and needed an outdoor table and chairs. The high end line I wanted was weeks out, 4-16 weeks is typical lead time with custom furniture cushion production. So, while I was hesitant I didn’t have much choice. I broke down and I went to a modest line retailer and got a table and benches. I learned the hard way to practice what you preach. It took less than one year for my modest retail furniture to warped and twisted. So, I can now speak from personal experience, it doesn’t pay to skimp on outdoor furniture!
Looks may be deceiving. Some of the less expensive brands may look similar to their more expensive counter parts, but they are not the same. If you are looking at the faux woven/wicker look, know the exterior on both high end and low end are virtually identical. The extra cost for the high end is because of what is under the surface – the structure is where the high end brands are far superior. Using superior quality framework helps high end furnishings last longer than the cheaper knock-offs.
Fabrics for outdoors have come a long way from where we started. Remember those fabrics that felt like plastic? We now have fabrics that look just as nice, and FEEL just as nice as there interior siblings. You can even get chenille for outdoor use now. Chenille not your thing, that’s okay, there are many contemporary looking fabrics that feel much nicer than we are use to. Sunbrella is the most know brand of outdoor fabrics but take a look at the likes of Chella Textiles or Link Outdoor. The key is getting a solution-dyed acrylic for outdoor use.
In summary, get the highest quality fabric and furnishings you can afford for outdoor use. Here in San Diego we can enjoy our outdoor spaces 9 months out of the year. If it is time for you to update your exterior – give me a call to see how we can make your outdoor space amazing.