In Summary

Outdoor furniture makes a compound look more homely and cozy. With good furniture, hosting guests does not have to be inside the house especially during the day. If well-chosen, outdoor furniture can last long with minimal maintenance costs

The luxury of a cozy and well-planned outdoor home space comes with responsibility of designing and maintaining it. A key centre piece for such spaces is furniture. Outdoor furniture could range from benches, a set of chairs, tables or even just a simple hammock. These if well accessorised with flower gardens or artifacts like sculptures can add flair to your compound. There are many types of furniture to choose from. When shopping for furniture, consideration to factors such as weather must not be ignored.

Garden rattan furniture
Rattan is described in Cambridge Dictionary as, ‘a tropical climbing plant with tough stems’. The stems are what we use to make furniture. Used alone, rattan is not resistant to rain and any kind of wetness but when woven with other materials, it can create long lasting material for furniture.
Ms Josephine Esther Nalubwama, an independent interior/exterior designer says this kind of furniture is suitable for most outdoor spaces.
“Synthetic garden rattan furniture is made out of material that is treated to be resistant to wetness and wind,” she says.
Ms Nalubwama says one may add a splash of coloured cushions to give it more presence and fluff. Cushions must ,however, be stored indoors in case of rain unless they have water-resistant covers.

Rustic furniture
Rustic furniture, Ms Sarah Mutoni, also an interior and exterior designer, says is good for country homes but can still be used elsewhere. Rustic furniture is easy to maintain and clean. However using a table mat or protective layer before placing hot dishes or cups on it is advisable. It can be cleaned using a soft damp cloth and must be kept out of direct sunlight.

Integrated furniture
Integrated furniture can be made of wood, various kinds of metal and other materials. According to Ms Mutoni, “Integrated furniture doesn’t require a lot of care and can easily be maintained. This kind of furniture is usually cost-friendly,”
She warns that metallic integrated furniture is not a good choice because metal is prone to rust.

Contemporary furniture
Contemporary furniture, Ms Mutoni says, is simply modern furniture such as sofa sets. She says this type
of furniture must be well-covered with polythene or any other kind of material that can protect it from getting damaged by rain or spills from other liquid substances.
“It’s not easy to maintain this kind of furniture as outdoor furniture. One would have to be overly protective and in some cases change the furniture regularly. This furniture is best suited for indoors,” she stresses.