We all love being outdoors when the weather is bright and sunny. Sitting reading on a garden swing, relaxing in the garden and eating al fresco have many happy memories for most of us. If you live in the southern states, there are many months during spring through fall when it is very pleasant to actually live outdoors. If you want an outdoor lounge area on the patio, then consider all the wonderful, comfortable weather-proof furniture that is now available. It doesn’t have to be wood or plastic to be weather-proof.
Before setting out your furniture, hose down the patio, or better still use a jet wash. Look at what you already have in terms of furniture, side tables and loungers, and decide what you need. Try to keep to a single material throughout, such as wicker, white woven finish or colored aluminum. Even though you are outdoors, your new sitting area should still be coordinated in color and texture. Look at the new Lloyd Flanders range for some great inspiration.
Group your chairs, loveseat or loungers around a focal point. It may be a pool, a garden view, a coffee table or a water feature. An ornamental bird cage with a realistic looking parrot or toucan makes a great outdoor accent. Make sure your seating is comfortable and inviting and add cushions where necessary.
Think about lighting, not only for reading and eating by, but also for added interest around the patio and garden. Solar-powered lights just push into pots and flower beds and give a pleasant glow at night. Did you know you can get special outdoor table lamps? Complete with weather-proof shades and outdoor electrical connections these enable you to read and socialize after sun-down. Lights can be connected under parasols to light the dining table, or you can use candlelight in hurricane glasses.
A few colorful planters will finish off your outdoor sitting area, and they don’t have to be real flowers and palms. Artificial greenery may eventually discolor in the sun, but the advantage is they don’t need watering when you are away, and they don’t shed leaves either.
— Gillian Birch