By Daniela Sperotto

Collin Moodley, managing director of Trumpex Holdings SA, talks patio trends and furnishings.

The patio space has transformed into an oasis of reality, with much emphasis being placed on style and design. Home owners have now traded their entertaining room of choice from the living room for the outdoor patio space.

The patio of today has moved away from having just a simple picnic table, and is now furnished with a sleek, comfortable and luxurious seating plan, which normally incorporates a lounge and dining setting.

First and foremost, home owners need to consider whether the furniture that they are interested in purchasing is meant for outdoor use or for outdoor covered use.

More often than not, most furniture available is better suited for covered use and will not withstand direct exposure to the elements. Rattan furniture made from organic fibres and constructed from a wooden frame is most suitable for outdoor use, provided they are used strictly undercover.

However furniture constructed from an aluminium frame and woven with resin wicker can be used for all-weather outdoor use. Understanding these differences is fundamental for when you are making an informed decision about the choice of furniture to be bought.

Heavily influenced by fashion, trend and design, patio furniture is normally replaced approximately every five years, as the lifespan of the furniture is largely dependent on market trends, design and the quality of the materials used.

So it is essential for the cost of the furniture to be weighed up against the lifespan of the design. As a home owner, you certainly would not want to spend a fortune on patio furniture only to discover that it looks dated after a few years.

Seeing to your patio as you would to any other room and decorating it aimed at comfort is imperative in enhancing its welcoming and overall appeal.

Add touches of colour and accessories that will be both functional and fun to enjoy outdoors. Choose a mix of stripes, checks, florals and polka dots; scatter pillows to achieve a warm, inviting feel; use scented jar candles and colourful fresh flowers to create a romantic mood; or even add a stainless steel gas heater for those cold winter nights ensuring your area can be used all year round.

The patio must create a welcoming atmosphere that blends with the architecture of the home and the natural landscape.

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