I am an amateur seamstress and decorator and enjoy making my own upholstery and fabric pieces. We have a backyard for the first time and I want to “furnish” the patio with style. What do you recommend that can withstand lots of sun and the occasional rain? Colour is my passion.
How exciting that you have an outdoor space of your own. I know you will enjoy creating an oasis that sizzles with flair. The marketplace is jumping with everything outdoors right now. Seating of every description abounds, and there is a good selection in all price ranges. You mention that you are a seamstress, which opens up so many design avenues. Fabrics treated for outdoor use have come a long way, and not only in UV protection and water resistance. Sunbrella, the world leader in outdoor fabrics, has such a wide range of choices in on trend colours and designs that you will find it a challenge to make a selection. Their Select Furniture Fabrics feature stylish patterns and motifs including cityscapes, jungle motifs, stripes, solids and shapes. The Pure Platform line is a textured, plush chenille that features a gorgeous texture that mimics a sanded velvet. The Pure Essential line has a defined basket weave that combines thick and thin yarns.
Consider your seating arrangement. Wood, iron and the popular woven resin chairs and loungers all call for a comfortable padded seat. Sew up cushion covers in lots of sizes, wrap a sling chair, make your own poufs. Outdoor curtains are another decorative opportunity. Draped behind seating or as a backdrop for dining, they provide style, shade and privacy. You can mix and match to your heart’s delight. Check out www.sunbrella.com shown here for inspiration and products. Also, www.jtsoutdoorfabrics.com is an excellent source for all your outdoor fabric design needs including Sunbrella fabrics, awning rails, hardware, fasteners, upholstery tools, foam and more.
I see outdoor carpets for sale and wonder how practical they are? Are they really necessary? When you are outside your expectation for what’s underfoot is not the same as inside. I look forward to bare feet on the deck.
Outdoor carpets add a layer of warmth and style to an exterior space. It’s a personal choice, but they can delineate a seating area and add a touch of homey domesticity. They are manufactured to withstand summer weather so are waterproof and often UV resistant. Necessary? No, but they do afford clean, soft footing over a stone patio or other flooring that may be uncomfortable to walk on. Just like an indoor carpet, they do require care. Be aware of tripping hazards where carpet ends are loose.
For those who would like to add a carpet to their deck, porch or patio, here are some tips for keeping it clean and fresh. A good vacuum will pull up the dirt, which otherwise gets stomped down into the piles. Dish soap and water will remove overall dirt. The important bit to watch out for is the growth of mould and mildew. If the carpet is continually getting wet and not drying properly it’s a perfect environment for mildew. A damp carpet will also harm the wood or concrete it is sitting on. Lift up the carpet and allow it to air and dry thoroughly in the sun. Clean and dry the area that it covers. Roll up and store inside in the winter.