For us Namibians outdoor living is in our blood. Your patio should be one of your favourite spots, especially during our o-so-hot summers. Here are a few tips on decorating your outdoor patio.
If your patio is uncovered, I will say the first and most important element will be to create some shade. This will not only allow you to spend more time outdoor away from direct sunlight, but will also help protect your furniture and fabrics from the harsh Namibian sun. Shade can be created by way of an outdoor umbrella, sunsail, retractable awning or pergola. Which ever you choose should suite your lifestyle and house.
Patio furniture is a great way of brining comfort and style to your outdoor space. Remember they will be exposed to the elements, even if only indirectly. Wind, rain, and sun will damage furniture over time (even the glare off a wall could fade fabric overtime). Therefore make sure that you buy furniture that is specifically manufactured for the outdoors. Some woods, such as teak work great outdoor and will last a lifetime, but will require some care and is quite expensive. Synthetic rattan is a very good alternative choice to natural rattan and wicker. Yes, the real deal will always be my first choice when is comes to looks, but natural rattan and wicker will not stand the test of time when exposed to the elements. Good quality synthetic rattan is manufactured for outdoor use and requires very little maintenance.
Powder coated aluminium is also a good choice. It is strong, will not rust, is lightweight, making it easy to move around, and requires minimal maintenance. Quality aluminium furniture should last for a decade or more (although seating and other fabric parts will require replacement over time).
A patio is the one area where you can definitely use some bright colours, especially when it comes to fabrics. Most fabric houses stock a variety of fabrics suitable for outdoor use. Fabrics with a blend of polyester, acrylic and olefin are known for their durability against the outdoor elements. I always suggest to clients to rather store scatter and seat cushions when not in use in an attempt to prolong their lifetime, as even light fast fabrics will fade in our Namibia sun. Look out for the gorgeous tropical and geometric prints that are available in stores and showrooms.
Outdoor rugs are also becoming very popular and as with outdoor fabrics, most fabric houses stock outdoor rugs. As a rule such a rug should be UV stabilised, water and mildew resistant and easy to clean. They can also be used very effectively to define and brighten up your patio area.
Even though most patios are in or close to the garden, I am a firm believer that a patio without a few pot plants is unfinished. And as we are still subjected to strict water restrictions, what better way to introduce greenery into your space.
Remember when buying furniture, fabrics and rugs to ask the supplier for specifications and make sure you adhere to the requirements in terms of cleaning, maintenance as well as do’s and don’ts on exposure to direct light and moist.
I hope you will be able to use some of the information provided. Make it your own unique and interesting space by adding interesting lighting, candles and other decorations. And remember to have fun.
Jana Gous Interiors | [email protected]
[ Images obtained from the Internet ]