How to style: outdoor furniture
Interior stylists tend to focus on, well, interiors.
With Aussie summers begging for backyard parties and long nights drinking wine on the patio, we think it’s about time we gave a little attention to outdoor furniture – here’s how to style it.
Whatever the weather
Your first consideration when shopping for outdoor furniture should be how it will hold up to weather conditions. Wood gradually warps in wet conditions if not treated, and our favourite wicker furniture will fly away like Dorothy if the wind is strong enough. We know it’s tricky when Australian weather has a reputation for four seasons in a day, but an outdoor storage box may be a sound investment to quickly put away items such as cushions if the weather gets too wet and wild. And remember that outdoor furniture is not a marketing gimmick – you’re paying for materials that will endure all the elements.
With open spaces, what you have to work with can be overestimated compared to indoor spaces which can sometimes feel smaller than they actually are. There’s nothing worse than splashing out on a gorgeous outdoor furniture set and bringing it home to find it doesn’t quite fit on your patio. Use a measuring tape or a smartphone app to find out the exact measurements before you buy, remembering to always keep free space – outdoor spaces should never feel cluttered! Try not to be seduced by patio sets with multiple pieces, because chances are a slimline sofa, casual chair and small coffee table are all you need.
It’s a match
Too often we love the cohesiveness of an indoor scheme – but when we step into the backyard it’s like a different world! Generally, the range of outdoor furniture is not as varied in style so it can be difficult to match it with the rest of your home. That’s why we recommend waiting for the perfect pick – or hiring a stylist who can find one for you! Your first port of call should be the brand which your indoor furniture came from to see if they have any similar styles for outdoors. If all else fails, find something in common to tie it together – a matching colour or design detail.
Colour me happy
Outdoor spaces are not for brooding – add a little colour, go on! While you don’t have to go full-out, the addition of a bright yellow cushion or a big vase of native plants will help your outdoor space feel like a bright sunshiny day, even when the the skies are grey. These little details are what will make you want to come outside more often, such as a scented lantern, fresh water pitcher or stack of easy-read books. It makes us want to throw a BBQ just thinking about it!