With Singapore’s blazing sun, torrential rain and subsequent blanket of humidity, you’ll need to choose your outdoor furniture materials carefully if you want to enjoy it for years to come. As the team from Arete Culture points out, selecting the appropriate type is all-important.
What are your top tips for choosing outdoor furniture materials?
The first thing is to determine what sort of outdoor space you have. Is it sheltered? Is it an alfresco area? Or do you have blinds to block out monsoon rains?
Then, consider how you want to use the space. It’s best to design for your lifestyle! If you have kids or pets, then limit breakables and flammables, or look for pieces with rounded edges.
If you regularly reconfigure the space, you’ll want to choose lighter materials such as rattan or synthetic wicker over heavier teaks.
What material is durable for uncovered outdoor spaces?
Since the furniture will be unprotected from the elements, ensure the material is resistant to mould and rust. Opt for synthetic materials such as a UV all-weather resin wicker, like our synthetic wicker Ami set, or the Hutton chair, which is great for smaller spaces and easily wiped down with a damp cloth.
What materials do you recommend for covered areas?
You can choose from synthetic materials, or look at sustainable natural materials like abaca, water hyacinth or kubu. Abaca is harvested from hemp palms, then twisted and rolled into a strong rope; water hyacinth reeds are harvested from waterways and braided into long ropes; and kubu is a fast-growing hard vine from the rattan family. Our outdoor sets made from these different materials are all woven over solid wood frames for extra durability. In particular, we recommend our Bergamo set or Rio chair.
What materials for outdoor furniture work well for those living near the sea?
Choose stainless steel or aluminium pieces to prevent rust from developing. Avoid wrought iron furniture! You can also consider resin wicker.
Our UV all-weather resin wicker sets are made from synthetic polymer resin with a UV inhibitor that protects wicker from breaking down. It’s then woven over anodised aluminium so it’s extra strong, UV-proof, and waterproof. Our Cassandra set in all-weather resin wicker is a favourite.
Teak also works well for covered outdoor areas near the sea. We recommend our custom dining table made with stainless steel frames and a protected teak or glass top. The Henrik is an Arete Culture space-saving favourite, which features a circular cocktail table with four seats that tuck under.
How should we take care of teak furniture?
Teak is versatile but does need to be looked after. The wood greys naturally, so we recommend cleaning every three to six months with a teak cleaner or wood soap. If you have teak outdoors in the sun, oil it every three to six months with orange oil or sunshield to prevent the wood from drying out.
Spruce Up Your Space
Tips from Arete Culture on making your outdoor area pop: • Bring in organic materials by using plants and flowers (even faux items work well). • Opt for sun-proof, outdoorfriendly cushions and seat covers. We offer sunproof fabrics and can also customise seat cushions for your pieces. • For larger areas, tie the space together with an outdoor rug, which is easy to clean and a simple way of adding a splash of colour.
Want more home inspiration? See our home decor section!
This article first appeared in the November 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!