Dining under the stars, or relaxing on a lounger on your terrace or balcony? Singapore’s balmy tropical weather is perfect for alfresco living. Our handy guide will help you navigate the best outdoor furniture for your space.
The friendly staff at Harvey Norman Millenia Walk Flagship Superstore offer their tried and tested ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to buying the perfect outdoor furniture.
1. Measure your outdoor area
Be realistic about your outdoor space. In Singapore, balconies can be very small and will look cluttered with oversized sofas, tables and chairs. Think carefully about the way you’ll use your space: Do you need a dining table for frequent barbecues or would a small sofa set for sitting and reading be more efficient for you?
2. Keep it simple
The outdoor space should be considered one of the living rooms in your house, especially if it’s a balcony or patio. Follow the themes and styles in your interior when making your decisions. Natural and calm colours of off-white, light brown or gray will blend in with tropical plants, and can be spiced up seasonally with decorative pillows and flowers for a fresh, updated look.
3. Plan for the future
When choosing a design, keep your next move in mind. Modular sofas will give you flexibility when moving to a new living space. They’re also a fun and easy way to refresh and update the look of your sitting area by moving them around and changing the layout. Material choices like wood and metal can be easily mixed and matched together with your old and new pieces. Petite metallic designs can provide a more airy and open feel for a small space, but also adjust nicely for a nook in your future garden or patio.
4. Be prepared for maintenance
When choosing the material for your outdoor furniture, remember it will require maintenance and cleaning. Wood, like teak or eucalyptus, is expensive, but will last for years with proper maintenance. Yearly coating of protective oil or a water-based sealant will be necessary for longevity. Stainless steel will oxidise quickly in Singapore’s humid, tropical environment, and typically needs a lot of maintenance in the long run. Instead, invest in durable powder-coated aluminium or electro-polished stainless steel. Synthetic all-weather wicker sets are the most affordable option, easy to clean and reasonably durable. Most of the sets at Harvey Norman are also stackable for convenience and extra space.
5. Remember cushion care
Most outdoor cushions are treated to protect against sun, water and other stains. But if your outdoor space is not covered, make sure that your cushions are waterproof inside and out to avoid having to store cushions undercover during every little shower (and let’s face it, Singapore is a rainy city!)
Regular cleaning is required for all cushion covers. Check the labels to ensure they’re machine washable. A little drop of bleach in the washing machine helps remedy mouldy stains, but always carry out a spot test before using bleach. For more costly acrylic-coated cushions, a monthly rinse under water is enough maintenance so they’re a good easy-care option.
See our homes section for more decorating ideas in any part of the house.