Furnishing your alfresco can be a fun activity that reflects your personality, style and creativity. But the furniture you choose for your outdoor home extension should also be guided by why you built it in the first place and by the realities of outdoor living.

The Basics

There are two essential areas to consider when choosing your alfresco furniture:

  • A good couch defines lounging space for you and your guests and it is more than just an oversized chair; it is the workhorse of the living room.
  • A good dining table, with its accompanying chairs, is the focal point of any home. It is the one place, the “neutral ground,” around which the entire family gathers.

Inner Space

The next thing you need to consider is how much space you have available in your alfresco. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to jam a sectional sofa into a 9-square-metre space now, would it? When you have limited space, say 12 square metres or less, your options are limited to stackable, convertible or multi-purpose furniture pieces.

Spaces between 12 to 30 square metres may still be limiting, but if you choose your pieces carefully and arrange them carefully you can avoid cluttering up the space while still enjoying more furniture options.

If you have more than 30 square metres of space in your alfresco, then you have the luxury of selecting from a wide variety of furniture and even segmenting your outdoor extension into specific sections.

Form Follows Function

Consider how you have designed your alfresco. What functions did you have in mind for each area? For example, if you want a section to be a lounge area, then it would make sense to place a sofa or some lounge chairs. If you have designated a spot where all you want is for people to look out and appreciate the view, then perhaps a couple of lounge chairs or maybe even a hammock will work perfectly.

Reality Check

Outdoor conditions demand more from home furniture. When selecting the pieces to place in your outdoor extension, keep the following in mind.

  • The furniture should be made out of durable materials. Furniture will be exposed to the elements so they must be able to withstand constant changes in temperature, humidity and other factors. Woven rattan furniture, for example, are beautiful, but they tend to wear down much more quickly when exposed to the elements. Likewise couch cushions won’t last very long if they aren’t waterproof and get wet.
  • Choose furniture that is easy to take care of. Wood table tops are great, for example, but stone topped finishes are easier to wipe clean.

Spend some time to go through these considerations and understand your needs and the limitations imposed by your outdoor space. This will help you make the right choices that will transform your alfresco into the most delightful spot in your home.