|Dahlias, take time to smell the flowers as you relax in your Andalucian Garden.|
With spring arriving so early, summer lasting until late October and winter that is short and sweet, home and business owners in Andalucia often spend more quality time outside than in. Whether they are basking in the sun by day or entertaining under the stars by night, the finishing touch of stylish outdoor furniture will be an intrinsic part of any Mediterranean design and lifestyle.
Exterior life is a natural extension to our daily living space so comfort, practicality and style have become important to increase our enjoyment of the garden, balconies and terraces. Much time and money can often be spent on creating a smart garden, with quality plants, barbecue area and swimming pool, while stylish furnishings can sometimes be woefully forgotten.
Long gone are the days of plastic green or white sets of tables, chairs and recliners. Today’s favoured materials are combinations of stainless steel, pvc, glass and aluminium. Upholstery and cushions are durable and UV-resistant, often with a PVC coating.
Garden furniture of all quality and cost is easily available in many places in Andalucia today. Try your local garden centre, large DIY shops, more exclusive home design and decoration shops. Also try department stores like the Corte Ingl és, or even hypermarkets such as Carrefour, Alcampo or Erosky.
Here are some inspirational options available on your doorstep:
Teak has become a staple favourite for garden furniture over the past few years. Popular for its sheer durability and smart appearance, it is one of the hardest woods available. There is no need to worry about depleting the forests as today teak is supplied from sustainable forests with strict reforestation programmes in operation.
The durability of teak is a main advantage and its easy care nature, simply requires a minimum of one annual treatment of teak oil to maintain its deep, rich colour. Soft cushions made with your choice of UV-resistant fabric allow comfort on this very hard wood. Teak tables and chairs in numerous styles are available in all garden furniture shops, but remember to seek out matching pergolas, decking and trellises.
A good selection can be found today and teak furniture is plantation teak, pre-oiled and kiln dried and very reasonably prices.
Pine is the more economical and lighter option to teak. Pine is extremely strong and is especially cultivated in carefully controlled, almost polar conditions so that its growth is controlled to a slow pace. This creates wood of optimum density and strength. The wood is then treated to withstand all weather conditions. However, unlike teak, it will need to be kept indoors during any prolonged rainy spells. This pine is also environmentally friendly, being grown in renewable forests in Switzertland.
Fibres combine to produce a modern less traditional alternative to wood or iron and is the latest craze. Not only are designs cutting-edge today, they are all-weather proof and amazingly light, comfortable and practical. These materials provide a welcome alternative to less practical older styles and are available in numerous styles and combinations.
Moroccan mosaic is popular for use on table tops, particularly in Andalucia, due to its close proximity to Morocco and obvious Moorish influences to be found everywhere. It is handmade and often set within your choice of weather-proofed iron bases, made to order and it combines well with all types and colours of chairs and accessories. Sets are also available ready made from most garden furniture suppliers.
Furnishings are of an elaborate Italian design and are noted for their great strength and lightness owing to the natural volcanic stone they are made from. Volcanic lava furniture is completely weatherproof and is also resistant to the strongest of cleaning products. It combines well with aluminium and cane.
Rattan and Cane
Furniture can be used successfully as an interesting combination with wood or iron furnishings. True, unadulterated rattan is scarce. This is carefully treated, dried and varnished for maximum durability. It is as hardy as the wood and aluminium alternatives, while being ideal for covered terraces and prized for its comfort and relative softness. An added advantage is that it is normally light enough to be brought in from open areas when necessary.
Oriental water hyacinth
Oriental water hyacinth is a very attractive alternative to rattan. Being treated similarly to rattan, it also favours covered terraces and combines well with other materials, particularly wood.
Are very popular and are slowly replacing the use of rattan and cane, often replicating it. Synthetic fibres provide high quality, easy care, weatherproof options while providing very convincing copies of the “real thing”. They are completely water and UV-resistant and can be washed easily with normal household cleaning products. These are often combined with teak and aluminium, adding a smart and contemporary look to the traditional concept. Designs can be traditional or with cleaner lines to produce a more modern effect.
If it’s still plastic you want, perhaps you would like something a little different from the norm.? Lacquered resin webbing is often added to plastic to provide an interesting detail. Chairs and recliners can always be dressed up with some very attractive UV-resist cushions that are also widely available locally.