How to take colour outside
Outdoor furniture is not a frequent purchase, and if made from quality materials it can last for many years. But this longevity makes it an important decision.
As always the best advice is to talk to someone who works with colour on a regular basis, as they can introduce you to possibilities and combinations you may not have previously thought of and help you understand what you love and what you don’t.
But if you’re keen on going it alone, here are some things to consider when introducing colour to compliment, anchor or accent your outdoor space.
Take time to consider the area that will be surrounding the furniture and ask yourself: what is the colour and style of the house? Will the furniture sit on grass, wooden deck, brick courtyard or tiled patio? Is it going to live in an urban cityscape or lush garden, near a beach, pond or swimming pool?
Will other objects share space with the furniture and play into its colour scheme, like planters of different sizes, colours and shapes, a bird bath or water feature, even a piece of artwork? Do you want the focus to fall on the furniture or other objects in the space?
And what foliage, flowers or even fruit will be nearby that you could highlight or echo? On the spectrum of pastels to primary colours, how can you reflect key elements in the environment? Do you want to harmonise or contrast?
Whether indoors or out, all design should set the tone for what that space is going to be used for. If this is an area in which you intend to regularly entertain, bold colour choices will work well, creating an energised vibe; or if quiet reflection is your objective, use harmonious light and dark variations of one colour for a relaxing retreat.
Subtle colours that reflect the environment can be a successful starting point. Choose a table that reflects the natural palette of New Zealand’s landscapes, soft greens, earthy tones, sandy neutrals or stormy greys. Then add chairs in colours that enhance the hues of flowering plants or key focus within the garden. To keep the whole setting cohesive, include at least one chair in the neutral table colour.
Outdoor cushions and rugs, chair pads, fabric hanging chairs, patio umbrella covers; these days there are multiple opportunities for an injection of colour and pattern in soft furnishings. Built off a neutral base this is a safe way to venture into bolder, brighter colours, and may scratch your colour itch. Best of all, they can be changed regularly for a fresh new look.
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Today you can also find outdoor furniture in almost any colour imaginable, so if you want to be bold and vibrant choose whatever makes you happy. Just avoid following the latest colour trend unless you absolutely love it.
Remember fads come and go, but well-chosen outdoor furniture will last for years!
If you’re thinking of sprucing up your outdoor space, or any other renovating projects, then visit the Auckland Home Show, 5 – 9 September 2018 at ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, to get free expert advice from more than 500 leading industry experts and suppliers. See www.aucklandhomeshow.co.nz for more info!