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Outdoor elegance

Unless you have a vast outdoor area, choosing furniture to relax in outside does require some careful planning.

Measure your alfresco area carefully then, either on a piece of paper or using a drawing program, plot the dimensions. Then go online and do some research as to the styles of dining settings, lounge settings and recliners that are available.

Look for settings made from hardwearing, weatherproof materials that are low maintenance. Lightweight is a bonus too as that makes it easier to move the pieces around. When you find furniture that you like, note the measurements and use your paper map or online drawing to place them in situ to make sure they’ll fit comfortably into the space. If your space is small, you may be better off looking at modular settings.

If possible, it’s better to go to the shop and examine the settings you like. This will give you a better feel for the quality and you can test any cushions for comfort.

Once your outdoor room is furnished, make sure there’s plenty of shade. A portable outdoor umbrella on a base gives you flexibility as the sun moves. There is a cantilevered umbrella available with a base that has wheels so you can easily re-position your umbrella. Better yet, the weight of the base is achieved by filling it with water, so if you really want to lighten the load, you empty out the water while you move it.