9 Outdoor Furniture Ideas for A Year Round Sanctuary

Outdoor living spaces have increasingly become a focal point for relaxation, entertainment, and family gatherings, even outside of those warmer months. So, it only makes sense for your alfresco and backyard to get the same amount of attention as your interiors do. We’re exploring a range of stylish outdoor furniture ideas that are sure to transform your space into an inviting oasis you’ll want to spend time in year round. 

Looking for even more outdoor furniture ideas? Explore our product library with hundreds of products for every space.

Image credit: Elizabeth WeyerMATI HQ 

Outdoor Furniture Ideas for Your Lifestyle

The quintessential Australian outdoor lifestyle is synonymous with laid-back afternoons, barbecues with friends, and serene evenings surrounded by nature. A prerequisite of this lifestyle is an outdoor space that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. The right outdoor furniture plays a crucial role in achieving this, offering comfort, durability, and style.

If you’re looking for more inspiration on your exterior project, check out 10 types of exterior wall cladding for every home.

Image credit: @houseonesixtwoThe Palm Co

Image credit: @houseonesixtwoThe Palm Co

1. Embracing Natural Materials in Outdoor Furniture

Natural materials are often at the forefront of outdoor furniture ideas. They seamlessly blend with the surrounding environment, adding a sense of tranquility to your outdoor space. Consider furniture made from quality wood, such as teak, for its natural resistance to weather and pests. Rattan and wicker pieces add classic character, while stone tables offer durability and a timeless appeal. 

We also love including gorgeous decor pieces, such as clay pots and linen cushions, which add luxury and a touch of chicness to your exterior space.

Image credit: @orton.hausThe Palm Co 

2. Comfort is Key in Outdoor Furniture

To truly bridge the gap between indoor luxury and outdoor living, comfort is key. Opt for plush, weather-resistant cushions and throws to add a touch of warmth and comfort to your outdoor seating. 

Image credit: @houseonesixtwoThe Palm Co

3. Using Lighting to Enhance Your Outdoor Space

The right lighting can completely transform your outdoor area into a magical evening retreat. From string lights draped across trees or pergolas to solar-powered lanterns dotting the garden, outdoor lighting adds ambiance, enhances safety, and extends the usability of your space into the night. Lighting can also be used to highlight architectural features, garden paths, or statement pieces of furniture, creating a captivating outdoor environment.

Looking for more exterior lighting inspiration? Explore our exterior wall lighting ideas.

Mood board created Louise Roche - Villa Styling by on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

Mood board created Villa Ta Lumi by on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

4. Space-Saving Outdoor Furniture Solutions 

Not everyone has the luxury of a large outdoor space, but this doesn't mean you have to compromise on style or functionality. Instead of opting for multiple different seating options or large sofas, we recommend placing armchairs with small side tables. This allows space for people to sit, while also moving freely around the area. Multi-functional furniture, such as storage benches, also offer clever solutions for tight spaces.

Image credit: HAAUS.Villa Styling 

5. Adding Colour and Texture through Decor

Incorporate personality into your outdoor space with colour and texture through decor. Brightly coloured cushions, textured outdoor rugs, and chic decor can transform a bland alfresco into a striking retreat. Plus, decor works to complete the look of your outdoor space. So, if you’re not looking to overhaul your alfresco, just adding an extra something can make a world of difference. For example, outdoor rugs define areas and add warmth, while decorative pillows provide comfort. Our only tip is to consider the natural landscape and the exterior of your home when choosing colours to ensure a harmonious blend.

Image credit: @elisehassey | Motel Molly 

Image credit: @elisehassey | Motel Molly 

6. Embracing the Outdoors Throughout the Seasons

Australia's diverse climate means outdoor spaces must be adaptable to everything from scorching summers to cooler winters. Integrating fire pits or outdoor fireplaces into your design can create a cosy atmosphere during the cooler months, encouraging year-round use of your outdoor space. Similarly, incorporating outdoor heaters or a covered area can protect against the elements, whether it’s the midday sun or an unexpected rain shower. These elements ensure your outdoor area is not just a seasonal space but a year-long extension of your home, perfect for any occasion or weather condition.

Explore exterior heating solutions and more in our product library.

Image credit: Elizabeth WeyerZou Build 

7. Innovative Shading Options

The Australian climate can be harsh throughout the year, so innovative shading solutions are perfect for ensuring your outdoor space can be used no matter the season. Umbrellas offer flexible shade, while retractable awnings provide adjustable protection for larger areas. 

Image credit: bask.el_solCoast Park Creative 

8. Modular Outdoor Furniture Ideas

Modular outdoor furniture sets are becoming increasingly popular among Australian homeowners for their versatility and adaptability. These sets allow you to rearrange components to suit different occasions, whether it's a cosy family dinner or a larger gathering. Look for modular sofas and extendable dining tables for flexible options.

Bring your dream exterior ideas to life using our mood board tool

Mood board created by The DIY Decorator on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

9. The Importance of Quality and Durability

When selecting outdoor furniture, the importance of quality and durability cannot be overstated. Australian weather can be harsh, with intense UV rays, heavy rain, and high humidity. Investing in high-quality, weather-resistant materials will ensure your furniture withstands the elements and remains beautiful for years to come. Look for UV-resistant fabrics, rust-proof metals, and waterproof finishes. 

Additionally, choosing furniture that requires minimal maintenance can save time and effort, making your outdoor living space a true haven of relaxation.

Image credit: Elizabeth WeyerZou Build

Creating an inviting outdoor space is about more than just selecting furniture; it's about creating an extension of your home that reflects your style and meets your needs. By embracing natural materials, investing in stylish, comfortable furniture, and considering your climate, you can design an outdoor oasis that not only enhances your home but also your lifestyle, year round.

Image credit: @mulberry_manorVilla Styling 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What kind of furniture is best for outdoors?

The best outdoor furniture is made from materials that can withstand the elements, such as rain, sun, and wind, without deteriorating quickly. These materials include:

Teak: Known for its durability and resistance to rot and pests, teak is a premium wood option that naturally weathers to a silver-grey patina but can also be treated to maintain its original colour.

Metal: Aluminium, steel, and wrought iron are popular choices. Aluminium is lightweight, rust-resistant, and requires minimal maintenance. Steel and wrought iron are heavier, making them ideal for windy locations, but they may need rust protection.

Polypropylene and Recycled Plastics: These materials are eco-friendly, colourful, and extremely durable, requiring very little maintenance.

What kind of outdoor furniture is more popular?

The popularity of outdoor furniture often depends on trends, climate, and personal preference. However, pieces made from natural materials, including teak, and iron tend to be among the most popular due to their durability, ease of maintenance, and versatility in design. We recommend choosing piece that are functional for your space and suit the style of your interiors and architecture.

Can you leave outdoor furniture in the sun?

Yes, you can leave outdoor furniture in the sun, but its longevity and appearance will depend on the material. UV-resistant materials like high-quality synthetic resin, teak, and powder-coated metals are designed to withstand sun exposure without significant damage. However, prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade fabrics and some materials over time. It's advisable to use UV-protective covers or finishes and consider shading options like umbrellas to extend the life of your outdoor furniture.