By Roger and Judith Lewis
THE DISTINCTION between living in a house and living outside of your house is rapidly becoming more blurred.
In northern European climates, there has been a move towards reclaiming a piece of the garden area by building conservatories, thus adding an extra room to the house and enjoying more of the garden.
Many designers in our part of the world are cleverly bringing the garden into the home, by designing an atrium into the house build.
In both cases, the distinction between inside and out is being blurred by an explosion in the furniture manufacturing business. And, by furniture, I mean everything from kitchens to bedrooms! There are well-known kitchen appliance manufacturers, who are now marketing their stainless steel cookers, hobs, fridges, and sinks as ‘outdoor kitchens’.
The distinction between sophistication in the indoor kitchen and the run-of-the-mill charcoal barbecue outside has now disappeared and the modern gas barbeque is as competent a cooking machine as the indoor gas cooker, and a lot more fun.
The dining room has always tended to be catered for outside by a grey and usually warped table, with a couple of attached benches. But now, we see tables and chairs, which look equally as elegant inside as outside and some owners use them in this way. When the weather’s lovely and warm, take the dining table outside. If it is aluminium, it will not suffer! How clever!
Let’s look now at bedrooms. A few years ago, outdoor furniture was a bench, table and chairs and a lounger or two, but now we have ‘day beds’, single and double! We now have love seats, where the happy couple can relax in the sun within touching distance! We have hammocks that actually encourage you to sleep outside.
So, wherever you look these days we are becoming more and more eager to make the living experience much more flexible than it was in the past.
Clearly, when you buy equipment and furnishings for the outside, they must be designed specifically to withstand the climatic conditions, to which they are being subjected. Likewise, outdoor furniture bought for use indoors must be made of materials that look good in both areas and in a style that will make you proud, wherever you place it.
Just two words of advice. Caveat emptor, which is Latin for “let the buyer beware”. As with any expensive purchase, it’s important to be guided by an established and reputable supplier. ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’ has never been more true.
Roger and Judith Lewis have a business called House2House that buys and sells high quality furniture.