Working as an interior designer, my projects more and more extend from the inside to the outside. This is a blessing for a designer aiming for a holistic concept.
Furniture concept/moodboard for a outdoor plan
With many new outdoor materials available, a large market of outdoor furniture, textile and lighting developed. Not only companies specialist on outdoor products but also every leading furniture manufacturer by now has an outdoor collection in their product range. The outside becomes the extension of the inside and customers can choose from outdoor wallpapers, rugs, furniture, cushions, lighting to art. There is no limit in designing balconies, patios, gardens and public open spaces - comfort and style is available for even the harshest environments.
Furniture concept/moodboard for a outdoor plan
Depending on the location, essential requirements like water resistance and UV-restistance are crucial for outdoor materials, softness and skin-friendliness for comfort. With a wide range of materials to choose from, an overview of some of the most popular materials with pro and cons helps to keep track.
Teak ist the most common wood used for outdoor furniture. Its beautiful honey brown colour will age if untreated to a modern grey.
Characteristics: All-weather capable, water resistant, durable, comfortable, low maintenance (if treated, only once a year). Might get cracks due to sunlight.
Acacia (sustainable and eco-friendly, Cedar, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Redwood and Shorea can also be used for
Aluminium and steel are mostly used, because of their durability and low maintenance. Aluminium is very versatile in shapes and design. Steel appears mostly galvanized (zinc coating) or as stainless steel (chromium added to molten steel) for durability. It is a very strong material but also heavy and expensive. Due to powder-coating all colours and finishes are possible and it offers protection to corroding when exposed to chlorine.
Characteristics: All-weather cabable, versatile in shapes, low maintenance, with coating colours/Textures possible and protected
Synthetic Resins & Plastics
Polypropylene became a very popular material for outdoor furniture. It is derived from recycled plastic from detergent bottles, milk containers etc. It was first introduced 1954 and since then has been mass produced is now one of the most popular materials for the manufacture of outdoor furniture. Its versatility in shapes, colours and sizes, it's lightweight and inexpensiveness made this material very popular. For wicker HDPE offers a higher strength and durability than the previously used PVC.
Characteristics HDPE: All-weather capable, durable, low maintenance, lightweight, many forms and colours, recycled and recyclable
For a modern and sleek look concrete became more and more popular for outdoor furniture.
Characteristics: durable, strong but heavy. Concrete is a porous material therefore gets easily stained, especially acidic substances are a problem, concrete blends are more durable.
Smart Yarns and Synthetic fibers like vinyl, polyester, acrylic
A huge development happened concerning outdoor fabrics. A lot of knowledge and experience of materials came from the boating sector: Ropes are made of Polyester and Polypropylene, the production method determines how durable and flexibel the material will behave, produced in the most brillant colours. Another synthetic fiber used for ropes is Polyethylene in the form HMPE (high modulus polyethylene) which is eight times stronger than steel ropes despite being up to eight times lighter.
Batyline and Textilene mesh are premium synthetic outdoor fabric. They are extremely strong and tear resistant. Their netting design allow airflow and helps the material to dry quickly, so they are used for outdoor chairs, lounge chairs and sofas, sun screens etc.
Characteristcs: Comfortable, soft, versatile in colour and usage, water resistant, but not all-weather capable (should be protected in winter). Upholstered fabrics are used with fill materials like quickdry foam to eliminate mold and mildew issues. Due to production procedures with roller pressure (e.g. Apelt Outdoor Collection) chemical treatment is not necessary for density and shine.
Due to new materials and further development of LED, lighting plays a big part of the outdoor ambience too. Like outdoor furniture metal in combination with polycarbonate or HDPE are used
for the durability and shaping ability.
Outdoor wallpapers or technical coverings for outdoor areas
There is almost no limit for designing patios, gardens, balconies and even the walls
of houses for high visual impact solutions for domestic and commercial projects. A technical feature for these is the nature of components: printed fibreglass with transparent finishes and waterproof primer.
Because of their requirements, the new outdoor furniture trend is not one of natural materials but many materials are recycled and recyclable. It is necessary to check if the materials are certificated and that no substances that can harm the ecosystem are used and that synthetic products are recyclable or reclaimed fibers.
Furniture concept/moodboard for outdoor plan
Enjoy being outdoors!!!