What are the key things to understand about outdoor furniture?
To know if the furniture you are purchasing is fit for purpose is relatively simple. “We call it the Three F’s,” Richard says. “Fabric, foam and frame.
“Buying outdoor furniture, especially in New Zealand where the climate is harsh and the sun severe, can be difficult if you don’t know about the materiality of what you are buying, which is why we always suggest people understand the Three F’s.”
Fabric If you are choosing an outdoor setting that has a fabric component, ensuring you choose the right material is critical. There are countless inexpensive options, and it’s often hard to tell the difference between a cheap copy of a quality fabric and the real deal. Generally, it’s only once the fabric has been purchased and spent a month or two outside that it becomes obvious whether it is quality or not.
“That’s where knowing the best brands is important. In New Zealand those brands are Sunbrella and Sunproof, brands we use for all our collections to ensure every piece meets the highest standards.”
Both of these fabrics are guaranteed for a minimum of five years in New Zealand against any fading, but generally will last in top condition for much longer.
Foam “Foam is important. If you’re not buying furniture that uses reticulated quick dry foam, you’ll want to be used to sodden pants! We’ve all done it; sat down and quickly realised there’s moisture seeping thick and fast through the cushion beneath us,” Richard says.
“Like everything, it’s often easy to be swayed by the low price tag of regular foam, but it is not fit for purpose outdoors. In comparison, quick dry foam, which is used in all our pieces, provides the same level of comfort but will not hold water.”
This also means after a heavy downpour, the cushions can be dry enough to sit on after as little as 15 minutes. Not days.
Quick dry foam has revolutionised outdoor furniture, not only because it doesn’t hold water, but also because there is no need to move cushions and fabric inside – quick dry foam is designed to be outside year round.