Creating a backyard sanctuary not only extends your living space, it improves the quality of your everyday life.

Imagine enjoying your first espresso in the morning sun, plunging into a comfortable outdoor chair for an after-work catch-up, or firing up the barbie for a lazy brunch or weekend lunch with friends, while they relax on your well-furnished deck or balcony.

A stylish, outdoor area really is an essential to taking advantage of our perfect climate and relaxed lifestyle, as well as getting extra time and space to chill out.

What you should know before you choose outdoor furniture

Every dream backyard deserves the perfect pieces to complement the size of the outdoor living area and dazzle with good looks, rain or shine.

As well as choosing designs that reflect contemporary and international styling, like the Replica Adirondack-style chairs – based on a plank-style chair first designed in New York state – look for versatility; sturdy, well-built frames; and extra comfort delivered by deep seat foam cushions.

If the size of your outdoor area means space is at a premium, choose clever pieces that pack more into every centimetre, like hard-wearing, heavyweight fabrics; or the ability to fold away or stack, like the 11-piece Nobby dining setting.

Pictured: Nobby 11 piece Outdoor Dining Package

Is wicker outdoor furniture right for you?

Wicker furniture is so on-trend right now and it’s easy to see why. Effortlessly stylish, it blends easily with other pieces for a perfectly co-ordinated look – and you can take the credit.

It’s also easy to clean – natural wicker can be vacuumed, while synthetic wicker can be quickly hosed.

Look for the latest designs that combine both function and glamour. The Lacy setting, with two wicker chairs and a glass side table, has a natural-looking beauty that is made for afternoons on the patio.

The hardy, synthetic wicker of many modern outdoor furniture pieces also means they can withstand the elements without losing their appeal.

Pictured: Miami Wicker Collection

Is timber outdoor furniture right for you?

Timber furniture is a firm favourite if you want a traditional and classic look. Browse the Instagram accounts of style-setters and you’re sure to see it featured heavily in outdoor entertaining areas.

Now you can combine the look of timber with green credentials – acacia wood is sustainable because it grows in abundance in many parts of the world. It’s also a very dense hardwood that is attractive and long-wearing. In the Lillian Collection lounge setting, high quality acacia timber is paired with deep seat foam for extra comfort.

Add a high-density PU coating to timber furniture and you have fade-free UV protection, a style-saver in our climate.

Want to save the planet and still enjoy the rugged good looks of timber? Weathergrain, made from recycled plastics, gets extra green ticks and is easy-to-maintain.

Pictured: Lillian 4 piece lounge

Is aluminium outdoor furniture right for you?

Outdoor types who like to switch up settings from intimate dinners to fun-in-the-sun pool parties, will find aluminium furniture easy to store and move.

It’s also ideal for areas with high humidity, rainfall, or splashing, because it’s rust-resistant. Even better, aluminium needs very little maintenance other than an occasional wash with soapy water.

If you’re chasing a tan, or the sun, a stylish aluminium sun lounge such as the Amari, is the perfect poolside partner. Just add your favourite drink and get ready to binge the latest show on your iPad or smart tablet.

Pictured: Mornington Lounge/Dining Setting

Mix and match outdoor furniture to design your own setting?

Everyone wants a unique look that expresses their personal style, without trying too hard. The trick is to combine outdoor furniture pieces in a way that looks relaxed but coordinated.

You might choose two different settings that are the same colour, or pick up a colour used in the furniture, with an accent cushion, to unify the look.

If you want to combine materials – timber, aluminium and wicker – you can, using what stylists call the “rule of three”. Simply put that means repeating the use of the material three times throughout your grouping.

Pictured: Lyla and Skyla Chairs

Final considerations:

  • Neutral colours are still popular choices across all types of material, while charcoal is a great accent and grounding colour.
  • Low-slung sofas suit long, lazy days
  • Lightweight aluminium outdoor furniture is increasingly popular with those who want to create big impact in small spaces.
  • Outdoor cushions in summery colours and patterns
  • Placement of furniture around your garden is made simple with a choice of attractive, hard-wearing materials and space-saving options
  • Covering your outdoor furniture extends the life and good looks of your favourite pieces

This article was originally published by AMart

Helen Hawkes

Helen Hawkes is a journalist who writes compelling print and digital content across business and finance, health and lifestyle, real estate and interiors. Her content clients have ranged from American Express and the University of NSW to Maserati and 9Honey. She is fluent in cross-platform storytelling, brand tone of voice, content strategy and stakeholder management.