Patio Decorating Tips
Our sub-tropical climate that brings heat and humidity in summer also provides refreshing breezes, especially on the coastal areas like the Gold Coast. Our cooler winter afternoons are often perfect for relaxing outside and enjoying the warming winter rays. On the Gold Coast in particular, the weather favours outdoor living and social interaction, with a custom designed patio from Pacific Patios being a great way to get the best out of our beautiful climate.
Decorating Your Patio
When having a patio built, it is important to think about what it is you will be using the space for, and what furniture you will require. Will you be using the patio mostly for dining alfresco, or for quiet reading time? How you intend to use your patio, as well as the size and orientation of your patio dictate how to “dress” or decorate your new space.
Patio Furniture and Furnishings
There are lots of different materials and styles, and plenty of choices when it comes to deciding on the patio furniture that best suits your needs. Your choice of furniture can make your patio a quiet haven and/or a wonderful outdoor entertaining area. Patios are also becoming outdoor kitchens with many family meals now being enjoyed outside more than inside, breakfast, lunch or dinner!
As noted, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to patio furniture. To help you with your decision, we have provided some of the pros and cons of the different types of materials that patio furniture and furnishings are comprised of.
Timber is widely used in patio decorating and is relatively durable, more so if it is a hardwood rather than pine. Timber is often preferable to many other materials in terms of environmental sustainability, particularly if it is sourced from sustainable forests.
In terms of maintenance, timber does need fairly regular sanding and oiling. This could also include varnishing or painting depending on how exposed it is to the outdoor elements. Overall, timber looks great, can be quite affordable and is an environmentally conscious option. Finally, timber is warm and natural, inviting and familiar, and an option that is hard to beat.
Natural Fabric Furnishings
Fabric cushions add a touch of comfort and create an open invitation into an outdoor living area. Depending on how you are planning to use your patio these items may include pillows, hammocks, shade blinds, throws or a colourful beach umbrella.
Not only do these items create a relaxed and inviting environment, they are also very influential in terms of visual style. On the whole most people “dress” or decorate their patios to complement their existing home decorating style. Another very popular patio decorating style is Indonesian with Bali-type furniture and soft furnishings creating the feeling of an oasis holiday.
The cost of fabric soft furnishings varies considerably. If you choose natural fabric that has not been treated for protection from the outdoor elements, they may fade and become marked by mildew or mould within a relatively short period.
Even fabric that has been treated for stains and UV, if left uncovered will in time deteriorate. Thus when selecting these sorts of products you need to take into account that within a year or two, you may well need to re-cover or purchase these items new again.
One patio decorating tip is to buy cushions with zipped covers so you can wash them. They may cost a little extra initially but could be cost-effective in the long run as they will last longer.
Synthetic Furniture and Furnishings
Plastic or synthetic materials are becoming increasingly popular for outdoor use. Synthetic furniture is often built to last, and can be more weather resistant than timber. Often synthetic furniture requires less maintenance. There is a huge library of outdoor synthetic furniture and furnishings to choose from, including for example scatter cushions from Sunburst Outdoor Living.
The downside of most synthetic materials is that they often are not recyclable and may be harmful to the environment once they reach the end of their lifespan.
Perhaps the most popular contemporary option for patio decorating, metal is very widely used in spaces such as these. Metal furniture is versatile, often fitting a range of needs and applications and pairing well with other materials. An example of this would be a synthetic cushioning being placed over a strong metal frame. Metal has a wide range of finishes, and can fit a number of design styles. It is also structurally very strong, and will not be damaged easily. One downside to metal-based furniture is that it is often not as affordable as some other options. Furthermore, even treated metal can corrode and rust as a result of salty sea air.
Personally, I love the look and style created by many of the homeowners of new Pacific Patios outdoor living area.