Alfresco living can be dirty business
One of the hottest architectural trends going right now is the addition of indoor/outdoor living spaces. I’m not talking about dedicated outdoor kitchen areas, or an outdoor bar or a BBQ patio. Those were yesterday’s “must haves.” I am referring to indoor living spaces that flow seamlessly from the interior of the home through giant wall openings to the world outside.
It’s called Alfresco living and it requires well-designed spaces both inside and out, operable glass walls, and specialized furnishings that can stand up to the rigors of the outdoors.
Specialized furnishing required
Furniture for the exterior environment has to be durable. Strong enough to handle being dragged around by the gardener or chewed on by dogs. Heavy duty structural components made of teak or stainless steel are necessary. Outdoor fabrics must be comfortable yet tough and sun/water/salt/chlorine resistant like those made here by Couverture. Because of this, high quality outdoor furniture that is made for a long life outside is a big investment.
Invest in quality
Just how big an investment are we talking? High quality teak chaise lounges can run anywhere from $1500-$3500 each. Dining table sets $5000-$10000. I like the quality of the teak furnishings sold here. Such investments should be made carefully and with some reasonable amount of research. See how to buy outdoor furniture here.
Don’t make any investment in good outdoor furniture unless you are also prepared to spend whatever it takes to maintain it properly. If you don’t intend to maintain your outdoor furniture, then save your money and just go on vacation. Treating good teak poorly is a waste of money and worse, it is a waste of environmentally sensitive resources. You need to take care of it.
Proper maintenance of fine outdoor furniture includes maintaining the finishes (teak wood or metal), cleaning and storing the cushions and fabric elements, then installing covers over the wood, metal or fabric framework of any furnishings left outside during the off seasons.
Covers for off-season protection
Nice covers breathe, shed rain, shield the sun, protect from hail and ice damage, and the finest covers, like these from Couverture, look marvelous. They provide the functional and visual confirmation of “being buttoned up.” Protecting the furniture with covers reduces the frequency of having to clean and reapply finishes, thus cutting costs and extending the useful life of the furniture. Once on, blow leaves and dust off the covers once a week. Run them through the washer when you’re ready to place them back into storage.
Custom covers vs generic
I like the Couverture covers because they custom make them to fit your furniture just the way you want. Quite often, the furniture even looks BETTER when under their wraps. I also like the people at Couverture because they are friendly, know their business and I can talk to the owner any time. You can customize your covers for many options including: color, type of fabric, double stitched seams, padding, weighting (to keep them looking tight), shape (do you want the chaise lounges covered when flat, or when propped up?) and to have elastic or zippered closures
Custom covers provide great protection for your outdoor furniture, which is a good way to make sure you get the most out of your investment in Alfresco living. Plus, you’ll look good even during the off season! If your old cushions have been used as dog bed or otherwise seen better days, Couverture can also provide new cushions to match.
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