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How To

Entertaining Al Fresco Style

How important is comfort when it comes to creating an outdoor entertaining space and what should you look for when buying outdoor furniture?
Comfort is key. The depth of a seat is crucial.  Make sure you look for seat cushions that are firm but forgiving and low maintenance. Foam seat cushions are great for this and hold their shape without that cellulite affect.

Plenty of throw cushions are essential for deep-seated lounge sofas to support the lumber area and at the same time can inject colour into your scheme. For a more formal outdoor dining area I think heavier, hardwood tables, look most chic – the bigger the better really for those long summer afternoon banquets.

Wicker or rattan dining chairs look elegant and timeless, however on those steamy hot days, seat cushions and shade; ie fixed sail or umbrella, are key to ensure a comfortable and lengthy event. Keep in mind that fabric and timber will bleach in the sun, but this adds to the appeal of timber furniture – it ages gracefully in the sun.

Why is modular outdoor furniture so popular right now? What does it offer entertainers?
Modular seating allows you to create your own seating configurations to work in any size area. It is important to allow space for your guests to circulate naturally and socialize without being constricted by clumsy furniture pieces. Modular sofas allow you to squeeze on those last minute arrivals creating an intimate setting.  Throw in a large coffee table – great for a spot of fun Mediterranean tapas style dining.

If you’re looking for flexible seating options what sort of outdoor furniture should you look out for?
Benches are a good option for squeezing in extra guests at the last minute and kids are always happy to be squashed onto a bench together.  Benches however can be uncomfortable for the more mature behind, so throw a cushion on as padding. Extendable dining tables are hugely practical for this purpose exactly.

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Natalia

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