Living on St. Croix, we spend a lot of time outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Having outdoor living spaces are an important factor for many of our clients when they shop for a home. This month, we spoke with Pat Sellegren, owner of Sweet Lime Furnishings, about outdoor furniture:
Christie: Please tell us more about outdoor furniture that will make the most of an outdoor space.
Pat: Let’s talk about style first. Style leads to material. There was a period of time when the options in outdoor furniture was very limited. That is not the case anymore. You can find everything from very traditional to the most contemporary look. Good furniture, whether it’s indoor or outdoor furniture, is an investment, and you have to think about it that way.
Unfinished teak is an extremely durable product. If kept out of direct sunlight and under cover, you won’t have to do much to it to keep it in excellent condition, or you can seal it. If you like the gray weathered look, it’s easy to achieve. If it’s aged, it can be brought back simply by using a teak cleaner.
There are many all weather wicker products. These products are extremely durable, and will last indefinitely. Triconville (triconville.com) is a wonderful manufacturer and their wicker products comes in a number of different weaves. A rod weave is where the it’s rounded. it also comes in flat weaves, sort of like rattan. You want to think about the frame under it, as well. A welded aluminum frame is not going to deteriorate like a steel frame. Steel frames can be riveted instead of welded, so that the rivets could pop out. If the wicker is not high-quality, it’s going to start deteriorating in in just a few years in this environment.
People think of natural rattan as being fragile, but it’s not if you take care of it. It’s not your best choice for outside unless it’s under the cover of a patio or gallery.
Polywood (polywood.com), is a brand name for recycled high density durable polyethylene plastic. It offers a 20 year warranty. It’s available in many colors, and is virtually maintenance free. There are any number of styles, from contemporary to traditional, rockers, bar height tables, counter height tables and chairs, and dining height.
There are beautiful outdoor fabrics to compliment your outdoor furniture. We recommend Sunbrella canvas on cushions (sunbrella.com). They can be taken off and washed in the washing machine on cold. Even the colors can be bleached, hung out to dry, and put back on. But, not all of their new pattern fabrics can be bleached. The fabric is extremely durable and does not rot, fade, or mildew. If the cushions are dirty, the dirt will attract mildew. It’s so nice to be able to wash it, and have it hold up literally for years. Sunbrella fabrics are comfortable to sit on without that harsh scratchy feeling. We even recommend it for indoors. It’s very easy to have a cushion recovered, so don’t think of this as only for new furniture.
Be sure to check out Sweet Lime Furnishings beautiful website: sweetlimefurnishings.com