Outdoor living is a huge part of the Mornington Peninsula way of life.
Whether your outdoor space is big or small, there’s an alfresco option to suit your lifestyle. But knowing how to decorate your space with garden furniture is the hardest part. Do you want a space where you can get away from the world and unwind? A garden catering to dinner parties and social functions? Or, maybe a little bit of both?
Thoughtful planning is crucial to creating a garden space that’s comfortable, functional, and reflects your personality.
Here are 7 smart garden furniture tips to help make your yard the perfect place for dining, socialising, and relaxing.
Choose weather-proof furniture
Australians treasure the outdoor lifestyle, but furnishing an outdoor space that’s comfortable, modern and clean isn’t enough - you need to protect your garden furniture from rain, hail and shine too.
If you’re planning to add wooden tables and chairs you’ll need to avoid warping, cracking and wood rot. So, if you love the look and feel of timber, opt for high quality materials like teak which contain natural preservatives. For a more robust and resilient material, weather-proof galvanised steel and concrete composite make for eye-catching choices.
It’s worth noting that while there are certain materials that handle the elements better, investing in quality waterproof covers, UV-resistant paint finishes, or protective awnings can extend the life of your favourite garden pieces.
Create inviting focal points
Garden furniture can make (or break) the look and feel of your outdoor space. The right furniture creates a deliberate and intentional design, while the wrong furniture looks out of place and clunky.
The simplest way to create a focal point is to create an outdoor seating area or dining table in a location that can be viewed from multiple angles and areas of the garden, as well as the house. For example, a quality water-resistant teak bench at the end of a gravel pathway that catches the eye and invites people to wander down the garden path and spend quality time in the yard.
Comfort is king
An outdoor space is a blank canvas where garden furniture can make art, but avoid choosing style over comfort. The type of furniture you choose should be picked for its support, not the way it looks in a catalogue or on Google.
Outdoor furniture comes in a range of materials, including:
- Stainless Steel
- Wrought Iron
- Concrete Composite
- Hardwood Timber
- Synthetic Resin
Each material has its own pros and cons that make it perfect (or a nightmare) for certain climates and conditions. For example, aluminium is lightweight and easy to move but may be blown over in strong winds. While stainless steel, as a durable and low-maintenance material, can become scalding to touch under the hot sun. Speaking to a landscape design team can help you choose furniture you’ll love to sit on, rather than regret.
Bonus Tip: Comfort under your foot is just as important as the outdoor furniture you sit in. Quick drying outdoor rugs look stunning, and provide a soft cushion for bare feet and kids.
Fixed seating adds functionality
Every item of garden furniture you add needs to serve a purpose.
Pillows should add comfort, chairs should be sat on, tables should be used to host dinners and family events. Your journey to a stunning yard should start with a plan, so ask yourself, “how will my furniture be used?”
The simplest way to ensure functionality is to opt for fixed seating. While fold-up furniture and moveable chairs can add flexibility, they interfere with your space’s distinct style.
Try working with your existing space to create seating that blends in with the yard. For example, a corner of your garden can become a comfy corner seating nook. By designing with the existing flow of your space you’ll create more space for you to play around with. All while adding a permanent and functional feature for you and your guests to enjoy.
Take the indoors outdoors
In the past there was a clear difference between the inside of a house, and the outside. Modern home design has erased this boundary with countless Mornington Peninsula properties creating seamless living spaces that flow indoors and outdoors.
Garden furniture can be used to create the vibe of an ‘outdoor living room’ complete with a sitting area, dining table, and a weatherproof outdoor rug to create a cozy corner perfect for warm summer nights.
Design your own tranquil oasis
There’s something uniquely appealing about spending time in the garden, book (or drink) in hand, enjoying the afternoon sun. With just a few pieces of outdoor furniture you can transform your patio or garden into a personal oasis where you escape to unwind.
The simple addition of a hammock provides an enjoyable relaxation factor (and is sure to be a hit with the kids). Or, a comfortable weather-proof chair and low coffee table turns a garden nook into a calming retreat. With the unpredictable weather of the Mornington Peninsula you’ll need to take rain into account, so opt for cushions made with waterproof outdoor foam to avoid damage.
Create unique ‘spaces’
Gardens are more than plants and trees - they’re multi-functional living spaces that extend from your home. Take the time, or speak to a landscape design expert, to plan out your outdoor space.
How do you enjoy spending your free time? What does your dream garden look like? What passions can you enjoy outside?
Answering these questions is crucial to creating a space, or multiple spaces, that cater to your wants and needs. For example, section off your seating with low garden beds to create an alfresco area for outdoor dining. Why not add bench-style seating for a sunny breakfast nook? Or, turn an existing corner space into a reading nook.
Fixed fireplaces are also growing in popularity across the Mornington Peninsula, offering year-round accessibility and a highly social space that is equally enjoyable on your own, warm drink in hand, and a starry sky above.
Dreaming of a garden furniture upgrade?
When it comes to your outdoor furniture, less is more.
When you cram tables and chairs into your garden space it becomes busy and chaotic. The right piece, or furniture set, elevates your space by unlocking a natural flow where people can congregate, or you can relax on your own.
Long gone are the days when a backyard was used to store old furniture and host the occasional get together. As more and more Mornington Peninsula homes see the value of their garden, it’s up to you to find furniture that makes you feel at home, while reflecting your unique style and personality.