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The best outdoor furniture for this season, in materials that can survive the elements

Winter is here, and it’s time to make the most of the outside areas of your home. Whether a lush garden, a spacious patio or a balcony with a view, there is vast range of options when it comes to outdoor furniture.

Want things to be cosy? Then opt for wood. Prefer a sleek look with clean lines? Consider aluminium or stainless steel. Want something cool in the popular industrial style, then give cement a try. If none of these sounds right then maybe the all-weather wicker is more your style. Outdoor furniture in recycled plastic is a great way to do your bit for environment while you up your style quotient. Or else you could just mix and match the materials for a personalised look.

Here is everything you need to know about the materials to use, so you can make an informed choice:

For outdoor furniture, aged teak is by far the most popular choice. And for good reason:

1.    Teak has superior natural all-weather capabilities and lends a warm feel to any outdoor space.

2.    Teak provides incomparable durability if cared for properly.

3.    It can withstand rain (if sealed properly), sunlight, humidity, wind and extreme temperatures.

Some care tips:
·    Sealing with varnishes or stains can help prevent warping in humid climates.

·    Always use coasters to avoid the appearance of moisture rings and heat marks.

·    Clean with a mild soapy water mixture to remove dirt and dust on sealed furniture.

Wrought iron has been used commonly in the past, but it is heavy and prone to rusting. Hence, modern outdoor furniture is in aluminium or steel. Aluminium is extremely versatile, lightweight and durable. Low on maintenance, the furniture does not rust like iron when exposed to moisture. It is not ideal in locations prone to strong winds as the pieces are lightweight. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Lightweight construction of aluminium makes it easy to move, stack and store.
  • Aluminium and steel resist rust and moisture damage better than other metals.
  • The metal can withstand rain, sunlight, and extreme temperatures and the furniture pieces are easy to clean.

Some care tips:
·    Spray with plain water or a mild soapy solution to remove dust and dirt.

·    Powder coating offers added protection against weathering.

Once considered only a building material, concrete is now trending as the go-to material for modern outdoor furniture. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it is strong and durable. Here’s what you need to know:

1.    Concrete is heavy, porous and susceptible to staining by nature. Liquids will soak into the surface and carry the stain into the concrete.

2.    Concrete sealers are essential for protecting the furniture from damage. They are available in matte and gloss finishes.

3.    Some furniture pieces use blends of concrete and fibreglass or resin that are lighter and protect the surface from stains.

Some care tips:
·    Clean spills as soon as possible, using mild soap and water.

·    You can use a broom or dry cloth to remove dust and particles like dust, dirt, leaves etc.

·    Dip an abrasive sponge in soapy water and scrub it to remove heavy stains or dirt marks.

·    Do not use any acid cleaners.

Another great material for modern outdoor furniture is synthetic fibre woven over a metal frame. It is popular because its low maintenance and lightweight. 

1.    Resin wicker is more durable than traditional rattan wicker material. 

2.    Most high-end resin wicker is UV-resistant, so it won’t fade or crack.

Some care tips:
·    You can remove dust and dirt by spraying the furniture with water and air-drying.

·    The furniture can be wiped clean with a wet cloth.

It is extraordinarily strong and extremely durable. It is resistant to moisture, cracking and stains.

1.    Requires little to no maintenance and is easy to clean.

2.    Naturally resistant to fading and moisture—won’t produce mildew or get rusted.

3.    Can withstand rain, humidity, wind and extreme temperatures.

Some care tips:
·    Simply spray with clear water or a mild soapy mixture to remove dust, dirt and pollen

·    Can be wiped clean with wet cloth.

Other than these you can also opt for furniture in polypropylene plastic, resin, moulded fibre, solid acacia wood, etc.

If you are looking to buy some outdoor furniture, check out the stores on this list.

1.    Emmanuelle Outdoor Chair

Material: Natural Rattan and Polypeel Weave

Store: ABACA

Price: Rs 1,21,700

Check here

Outdoor chair in dark grey richly decorated

Modern outdoor, semi-circular bench in wood, concrete and steel

2.    Modern Outdoor Semi-Circular Bench

Material: Old Burma Teak, Micro-concrete, Stone and Stainless Steel

Store: Fusion Access

Price: Rs 48,000

Check here

3.    Muuto Linear Steel Bench and Table

Material: Frame and tabletop in welded steel with a weather-resistant deep-matte powder-coated finish.

Store: Muuto by Angel Ventures

Price: On request

Check here

Black dining set with table and two benches

Dining table with chairs, in foreground of a wooden bench with pillows

4.    Mater Ocean Chair and Table

Material: Recycled fishnets, recycled ocean hard plastic, steel frame in Gunmetal finish

Store: Mater Design by Angel Ventures

Price: On request

Check here

5.    Äpplarö Bench with Backrest

Material: Solid acacia, acrylic stain

Store: IKEA

Price: Rs 13,703

Check here

Wooden bench with backrest

Outdoor seating area for kids under a big blue umbrella

6.    Resö Children’s Table

Material: Solid acacia, acrylic stain

Store: IKEA

Price: Rs 6,937

Check here

7.    Summer Seat

Material: Moulded-fibre-reinforced plastic body with fibre-pigmented finish

Store: Rubberband

Price: Rs 12,000

Check here

Plastic seats in orange and grey for the summer

Tunnel bench in bright blue for outdoors

8.    Tunnel Bench

Material: Moulded-fibre-reinforced plastic body with spray-painted finish

Store: Rubberband

Price: Rs 15,500

Check here

9.    Skarpö Outdoor Armchair

Material: Polypropylene plastic

Store: IKEA

Price: Rs 8,671

Check here

Outdoor white armchair in plastic

Wooden deckchair

10.    Äpplarö Sun Lounger

Material: Solid acacia, acrylic stain

Store: IKEA

Price: Rs 17,329

Check here

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