It seems to be a slow start for spring this year. It’s still pretty chilly especially in the early mornings and evenings. Not quite time to move outside, but I promise you the heat will come and it will come with a bang! Now is the time to take advantage of the cooler weather and prepare your gardens and patios for summer use and summer heat.
This winter was a wet and windy one so the first thing I’m going to do is take a look at all of the cushions on my outdoor furniture; wash the covers and see if any need some extra TLC or replacement. There are so many wonderful outdoor fabrics with great colors, patterns and even textures (Sunbrella fabrics have come a long way baby). I’m also having loads of fun playing with outdoor trimmings – a little special fringe really helps to elevate a cushion especially one for the outdoors. It’s a detail that is quite unexpected and really makes them special. I think I’m also going to hang a two person hammock for a shady spot. They always look so inviting especially with a few pretty cushions too.
I don’t like high maintenance anything, particularly when it comes to my outdoor furniture. It’s for this reason that I stick with high quality faux wicker over aluminum frames. All you need for this stuff is a quick swipe with a broom or hose and you’re good to go. It is so quick and easy – which on a lazy weekend I really appreciate. Also the aluminum frames tend to be light so easy to move with storm preparation.
I do love the look of metal outdoor furniture – visions of the elegant painted iron dining chairs or pretty benches float in and out of my thoughts. But we all know about Bermuda and the salty air. Rust may be a trendy look elsewhere in the world but sadly a bit too real for us here in Bermuda.
I also love the look of outdoor wood furniture, specifically teak but even if you like the grey weathered look, it still takes some annual care with sanding and oiling which frankly I’m not prepared to do it (too lazy). I learnt the hard lesson of weathered wood and splinters as a young bride when our lovely teak dining chairs embedded a big splinter in my backside. What a fun “getting to know you” moment for me and my sweet hubby!!!! I think that did me in on wood for good, but if you don’t mind the maintenance then it is a good option.
Shade is a big thing for me too. Some folks love the feel of the summer sun on their skin, not me though. It makes me feel like the sizzling leaf under a magnifying glass. No thank you!!! To counter the sun, there are loads of wonderful shade options out there and not all need to break the bank but they do tend to take a bit of preparation so something to get organized now before the sun is a blazin’. A big leafy tree can be the best possible solution but if that’s not an option for your personal Eden then there are all sorts of umbrellas that are fantastic from the simple round or rectangular ones in stands to the oversized cantilevered umbrellas. Another great product is strategically strung sail cloths. Depending on your DIY skills, this can be cobbled together from local hardware stores or you can even find a load of prefab versions out there that span the gamut in pricing.
So do be sure to take advantage of the more comfortable temperatures now and get your patio ready for some heavy summer use. For Bermuda my tip would be stay away from anything metallic that will rust quickly and look for low maintenance furniture options. There are many well-known good quality brands that are low maintenance from fabrics to furnishings and I’m always happy to help. If you don’t go the quality route and opt for the cheaper imitation look (nothing is wrong with that) but just be prepared to replace it more often (like every summer) because Bermuda’s harsh sun and salt air will weather anything and everything. It is just a matter of time and the higher quality the longer it will last and vice versa.
Sponsored Story by Beth MacDonald Interior Decorating Ltd.