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Choosing outdoor furniture for the Irish climate comes with its challenges. Frequent rainfall, freezing winds, sleet and even hail, are some weather events you could get during an average day during the Irish summer between those rare bouts of sunshine.
Once you’ve chosen the garden furniture that can withstand this barrage from the Atlantic, it will also be necessary to guard it against the elements through regular maintenance. The damp, humid, or frosty storage conditions during the winter months will also take its toll, especially if compelled to leave your furniture outside all year round.
Aluminum- based outdoor furniture is popular as it is a lightweight and durable material. It is rust-resistant and easy to maintain.
You might also spot aluminium garden furniture that has been treated with a powder-coated finish to protect it from the elements. Here’s an example:
The Athens Sofa Set is a beautiful rattan set which has a sturdy aluminum frame. For durability and safety it also includes weather resistant and fire retardant, 8cm spun polyester cushions. The table top is also made with a polywood.
You can also find this lightweight yet strong durable materials used in the latest trendiest outdoor furniture accessory- the Hanging Egg Chair . Egg chairs used to be made from natural rattan but now they can be woven using synthetic wicker/rattan and suspended in an aluminum/steel frame. They can boast a max loading weight of 120kg.
In addition to seating, you could also protect your furniture with a wide spanning parasol during intermittent showers. Consider a cantilevered style parasol in a 2.5-3mm or larger width to give you some decent coverage.
Here’s an example:
This overhang parasol is ideal for a large area or for shading a lounge set. It will provide both you and your furniture with UV protection. The showerproof fabric is also ideal for Irish summers.
POLYWOOD is a faux wood material used in durable outdoor or garden furniture sets. It is prized for its strength, durability, and resistance to moisture, insects, and UV rays making it the ideal finishing or surface material.
It is resistant to mold and mildew, and won't splinter or crack like traditional wood. Neither does it require any painting, staining, or waterproofing, making it.
It is made from HDPE which is short for “high-density polyethylene”.
This means it is made of a durable plastic that's widely used to make milk jugs, laundry detergent containers, bottle caps, etc. It can be recycled from millions of landfill-bound and ocean-bound plastic containers every year and transformed into a genuine POLYWOOD lumber lookalike.
Here’s an example:
The Polywood 6 Seater Rattan Dining Set is made up of rattan chairs that are hard wearing and a durable polywood table that is very easy to clean and maintain. It also includes a large rectangular parasol for added shade. Parasol dimensions are (H) 235 x (W) 200 x 300cm
Stainless steel has come a long way from the shiny metallic cheap looking table and chair cafe seats we associate with beach side cafes. Nevertheless this material is a strong and durable material that is resistant to rust and corrosion. It is easy to clean and maintain, making it a popular choice for outdoor furniture.
Nowadays it can be powder coated for a nicer finish and better protection. Here’s another example:
This set 2 seat and coffee table set is made from powder coated steel and a breathable textilene fabric forms the seat. The result is a comfortable, sturdy and stable set.
Instead of using natural wicker, it is common to see outdoor furniture made for this climate using resin wicker - a synthetic material that is made to look like natural wicker.
It is a perfect substitute for the demands of an Irish garden as it is resistant to moisture, is showerproof and can sustain UV rays, and temperature changes. Here’s an example:
The Madeira Seven Seat Dining and Lounge Set. This set seats up to seven people, with plush cushions on each seat for added comfort The set comprises a three seater sofa, two armchairs and two stools, along with a large glass table suitable for dining. Dining Table Size: 60cm x 124cm. Here you can see a black rattan finish with grey cushions.
The Sorrento dining sets are an ideal weatherproof option for any outdoor space with plenty of room for family and friends to gather. It also boasts textilene chairs - which are hardwearing and fast drying, making these perfect for a normally wet Irish summer! Although there is parasol included, the base is not included.
The Toomax Multibox Rattan Storage Box is a great example of a multipurpose solution not just as a form of weather resistant incidental seating. It can also help you store away furniture covering and conversely when it rains, you can put in soft furnishings such as blankets and cushions for added protection from the elements in a hurry.
Cast iron is a super heavy and sturdy material that is known for its durability, stability and classic look. It can be painted or finished to protect it from the elements.
It is often used to provide a fire resistant material base that is heavier enough not to be blown away by strong winds.
We also associate Cast Iron with Barbeque Sets and Braziers that can serve as an ideal party accessory to any patio or outdoor living area.
Hardwoods are a popular choice for wooden outdoor furniture for many reasons. It is a naturally dense species of wood that is resistant to water, decay, and insects. This is because it has a high oil content that will keep it naturally moistures and durably good-looking.
It can, however, be costly, and when you factor in the air miles from importing this from tropical habitats, it may not be the most sustainable option for some.
Regardless of the materials, you could extend the life of your outdoor furniture, by