From the comfort of the air conditioned inside - outside is so pretty, spacious and full of fresh air adventures. When warm weather rolls in, cooped up residents start spending time out and about, slathering themselves in sunscreen and bug spray and plunking ping pong balls into red solo cups of warm beer. So how do property teams dust off the outdoor furniture to accommodate these warm weathered activities?
Outdoor amenity spaces don’t have to dominate the entire CapEx budget - but they often look like they do. Who doesn’t want to enjoy a poolside lounger that feels upscale and relaxed. But small design details, like hanging bistro lights on pergolas or branding cornhole boards can help refresh the space.
The design and upkeep of any outdoor amenity space is a big responsibility for the property management team. Weather is no friend to FF&E, and yet - with the help of commercial designers that understand the importance of finish and fabric selections, procuring for outdoor spaces doesn't have to be an annual event.
Question of the day: Will your outdoor amenity furniture live beyond the summer? Below are 3 design tips that will ensure your outdoor furniture thrives for many summers to come.
1. Fabrics & Finishes
Outdoor spaces demand both style and durability. Design is critical, but those designs must last through the heavy use and rigorous weather that outdoor spaces require. Fabrics and finishes come in a variety of colors, textures, prints, and brands but not all fabrics and finishes are engineered to the specific challenges of high traffic, open-air environments. Interior Designers work with their vendors to bring beautiful, soft and durable textiles to busy outdoor spaces.
2. Clean and Durable
Although high-quality outdoor furniture won’t grow mold, it can still get dirty. Making sure the furniture is easy to clean is key in keeping the maintenance staff happy. Any dirt or grime that gets on the surface can easily be wiped off with a wet cloth or sprayed down with a standard garden hose.
All outdoor furniture should be stored in an upright position to allow for proper water drainage. Storing furniture upside-down may cause water to accumulate (and in the wintertime, freeze) inside the frame, causing serious structural damage that is not usually covered by warranty.
When procuring FF&E, know your warranties!. Better yet, keep a physical file of warranty information. Full warranties are uncommon with commercial furniture. They are an unlimited product performance guarantee that effectively lasts forever. It’s like a no questions asked policy - which won’t fly in a housing environment.
Limited Warranty are subject to manufacturer determined limits - like a 10-year limited warranty. For example, the standard aluminum frame on a pool lounger has a 5 year warranty - which would cover things like the finish peeling or blistering off. Within the 5 years, the manufacturer would replace, repair, or refinish the frame in the original color and style. Think of how much time and money would be saved at Turn if warranties were engaged!
Outdoor amenity spaces and FF&E can be a beast to manage if you don’t have the right guidance at the procurement stage. If you’re not sure how to budget, design, or refresh your outdoor amenity space, consider consulting with Mood Interior Designs.