Outdoor Lounging

A fresh way to relax

Enjoying the fresh breezes is a wonderful way to start the summer, and it's even more enjoyable when you know that you won't have to pack up all your cushions and blankets in case it rains. Outdoor bedrooms and living rooms are the modern trend, and not a moment too soon. Homeowners are beginning to realize the value of living outside, and outdoor furniture is starting to reflect the comfort and style of that found inside.

Lounging outside can run the gamut from simply kicking back and reading to napping outdoors. Garden furniture used to be stiff, uncomfortable and not really appropriate for taking a long nap or cuddling with close friends.

High-end outdoor living rooms always include:

  • A focal point, normally a source of heat, like a firepit or outdoor fireplace.
  • Seating clustered comfortably around a coffee table or arranged around the space in small sociable groups.
  • A serving cart or table to place food, if the outdoor living room doesn't join up with an outdoor kitchen.
  • Accessories to personalize the space.
  • Outdoor electronics, like speakers and a TV.

Lounging on a Budget

Buying outdoor furniture should be based on what you need as opposed to what you want. If you can't afford to build a high-end outdoor living room, you can still create a wonderful space on your deck or patio. Many people like to buy outdoor furniture that can be transformed into a number of different options. Outdoor furniture is extremely well-made but can be quite expensive, so start with a multi-functional main piece and work up to creating the room of your dreams. A good idea may be to add a new furnishing every year until you get it to your ideal.

Daybeds are a good option for those on a budget. These convert from a bed to a sofa and provide extra seating around the barbecue or firepit. Many people buy portable or moveable daybeds, but if you want to create an outdoor bedroom, you can spend a little more and create a Roman-style daybed under a curtain-draped portico that will also transform into a cool seat by the pool or a place to relax after a barbecue. Pair it with a coffee table and you have a place to visit with friends. An Asian-style daybed is even more multi-functional. It can serve as a sofa, and when the cushions are removed and placed on the patio floor as seats, the base of the daybed converts into a low table that is perfect for an impromptu outdoor feast.

Ottomans are inexpensive and make perfect seating when you find yourself with more guests than you expected. Not only can they also be used as tables, but some can be opened to reveal storage spaces for more delicate accessories and blankets that might not stand up to the weather.

What to Look for in Weatherproofed Furniture

It's important to make sure that your furniture is properly weatherproofed, since you don't want to spend a whole lot of money just to see your pretty fabrics and wood get spattered or soaked in the first rainfall.

A good weatherproofed piece should be made of strong resin, cast aluminum or synthetic wicker. These materials are strong and will hold up to rain and snow. They're also lightweight enough to move around easily. Any cushions should be covered with fabric that will not get moldy in damp weather. Wood should be stained with waterproof sealant to protect it, and any exposed wood on pergolas or decks should also be stained.

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