Outdoor Furniture Accessories
The extras that make an outdoor room yours
Even if you've bought the furniture and installed the appliances, an outdoor space is not complete without furniture accessories. These are the extra touches that personalize a room and make it unique.
Although having a comfortable sofa or daybed to lie on can be heavenly enough on a hot day, when the weather gets cooler you may want to cover up with a blanket or add a few extra pillows to your outdoor lounger.
Outdoor linens normally include curtains, pillows, blankets, towels and tablecloths. They're made so that you can leave them outside without worrying about them getting wet and covered in mildew.
Blankets can be made of water-resistant fibers like nylon so that you can spread them on the ground and not worry about them getting wet or dirty. Most blankets and pillows (also constructed of waterproof fiber) are machine-washable, so you can keep them nice and clean. You don't have to worry about sticking to a plastic or an acrylic pillow nowadays - the linen is as soft as your bedroom pillow and can come in all different colors and patterns to match or dress up your furniture. If you want to be extra warm in the cooler months, buy blankets and pillows made with a fleece and nylon blend to keep cozy.
Curtains lend softness and privacy to your outdoor room as well as shading you from the harsh sun and wind. Outdoor curtains are normally made of a strong acrylic fiber that's both sun- and water-resistant, so even in a rainstorm you can sit in your outdoor room and never feel a drop of water or a puff of wind. You can buy the curtains by the yard or as a set and hang them wherever you want. A curtain is a great way to create a temporary separation if you have more than one outdoor room, as well. If curtains aren't your thing, you can try an outdoor sunshade, which will block the sun and the wind just as well.
Rugs are a perfect way to set off a room - the right rug can pick up subtle colors in the furniture and give the space warmth. You can find them in all colors and sizes, and they're perfect in front of the barbecue or as an accent to a complete outdoor living room. Plus, if you have children who like to play on the floor, a rug will give them a comfortable spot to sit. Outdoor rugs are made of polypropylene and are braided to stay strong against constant foot traffic and rough weather. Many of them are easily cleaned, as well - simply hose them down and hang them to dry.
These are a well-known feature of outdoor rooms. Umbrellas have come a long way from being flimsy, brightly-colored shades that had to be attached to a table. These days, they range from resembling sails on a ship to naturally colored Asian-style sunshades. If you already have a pergola, chances are you won't need to buy an umbrella, but if you can't afford to build a shelter, you can buy a well-made umbrella to suffice.
Umbrellas are extremely versatile: you can have them standing over your outdoor dining table or on a sliding post, you can mount them from an exterior wall, or you can use them as an awning. They're made of tough cloth or acrylic fiber that repels water and sunshine to keep you cool and dry. However, you should take most umbrellas indoors for the wintertime or during strong wind storms, as the force of the elements can break the umbrella's ribs.
If you're going to eat outside, but don't want to drag your good dishes in and out of the house, don't worry - outdoor dishes are just as pretty as indoor ones and are hardy enough to withstand potential dropping. You can also get covers for your food if you're worried about flies and other insects trying to sample your food before you do.