DEVELOPING STORY

Michael Cohen secretly taped Donald Trump in 2016

Outdoor furniture needs attention to keep it in shape


Now that the dog days of summer are (hopefully) behind us, Atlantans will be unwinding, dining and entertaining outdoors in droves. But before the relaxing begins, it’s worth examining how well the outdoor furniture weathered the summer heat and humidity.

While most materials used to create patio tables, chairs and recliners, as well as umbrellas, cushions and curtains, are strong enough to endure the elements, they also need some attention to keep them in top condition.

“Outdoor fabrics have become much more interesting, and we don’t want people to be afraid of them,” said Greg Martin, who co-owns the Westside outdoor furniture company, Kolo Collection, with his wife, Michelle Larrabee-Martin. “But nothing is bullet proof. If it gets wet and dirty, mold will grow.”

The first tactic to keeping outdoor fabrics fresh is to place them in a covered area. If they’re in the open, cover or bring them indoors when the weather is wet. “At least tip the cushions up so the water runs off,” said Martin. “But it’s better if they stay dry.”

Porch drapes and hardware should also be cleaned regularly to prevent mildew. The best option is to start with fabrics that can hold up to the weather. The Sunbrella line offers a range of outdoor materials treated to be fade- and water-resistant and easily cleaned with basic bleach.

Furniture also needs some attention. “When blowing off your outdoor space, blow off the furniture, too,” suggests Martin. “Wipe the loose dirt off regularly. If you stay ahead of it, you’ll be fine; otherwise, you’ll need to do more aggressive cleaning. And at least once a season, I get the furniture off my deck and scrub it down.”

Anna Brumby, head of her family’s Brumby Chair Company in Marietta, advises buyers of the firm’s iconic porch rockers to keep them covered if they’re in unprotected areas. “If they do get rained on, they can be wiped down with a mix of half water and half soap,” she said. “It’s also a good idea to spray them down with half water/half vinegar if you’re putting them away for the winter. That prevents mold from starting, especially if the rocker is stored in a place where there’s a lot of moisture.”

How well outdoor furniture holds up is also a factor of its makeup. While wood has long been a popular option, buyers will find other elements to choose from.

“Aluminum is one of our favorites,” said Martin. “Even if it gets scratched, it won’t rust. Coated aluminum, used in the Luxembourg chairs in the famous gardens in Paris, is very easy to maintain, won’t rust, and has a long life.”

Reclaimed materials can be turned into durable furniture. Turns out those ubiquitous plastic milk jugs make great chairs.

“You may have seen those Adirondack chairs in front of West Egg on the Westside or Empire State South in Midtown,” said Martin. “They’re heavy, durable and easy to clean. And the color extends all through, so if you scratch it, it’s less noticeable.”

Buyers who still want wood in their outdoor spaces often opt for teak, one of the most durable options. But more are now going for ipe, a South American hardwood with twice the density but a lower price tag than teak.

“Most of our customers know ipe as an interior or deck flooring,” said Martin. “It’s not quite as well known for furniture. But it’s very popular because of its strength; it holds up. And many think it has a richer look than teak, even though it will weather in the same way.”

Information about Kolo Collection is online at kolocollection.com. Details about Brumby rockers and other outdoor pieces is online at brumbyrocker.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Atlanta History Center: a lesson in swampy southern music
Atlanta History Center: a lesson in swampy southern music

The Swampers, the legendary rhythm section from FAME studios, were celebrated by rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd in their 1974 song “Sweet Home Alabama.” They not only played on 500 albums—75 of them gold and platinum—but they typified a sound that would draw the world to the tiny North Alabama crossroads called Muscle Shoals. The...
Faith calendar

Outdoor festival: Savory Sundays will be a community gathering of food trucks, games, live music and more. Free and open to all. 6-8 p.m. July 22. College Park First United Methodist Church’s parking lot, 3726 E. Main St., College Park. 404-766-6294, cpfirstumc.org. Guest preacher: The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor emeritus of Trinity United...
Atlanta History Center: a lesson in swampy southern music
Atlanta History Center: a lesson in swampy southern music

The Swampers, the legendary rhythm section from FAME studios, were celebrated by rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd in their 1974 song “Sweet Home Alabama.” They not only played on 500 albums—75 of them gold and platinum—but they typified a sound that would draw the world to the tiny North Alabama crossroads called Muscle Shoals. The...
The B-52s want fans to be prepared to dance at Chastain concert
The B-52s want fans to be prepared to dance at Chastain concert

No matter how many decades have passed, The B-52s will never lose the weird and quirky shades that define their music. The Athens-birthed band is still spritzing their live shows with color and dancing with abandon as they pump out late-‘70s cult hits “Rock Lobster” and “Planet Claire” and ‘80s radio regulars &ldquo...
Boy George and Culture Club will bridge old and new at Chastain concert
Boy George and Culture Club will bridge old and new at Chastain concert

If social media existed in the 1980s, Boy George would have been a frequent presence on your timelines. Between 1982 and 1986, the rainbow-bright frontman and the rest of Culture Club were as ubiquitous as a Kardashian at an NBA game, with hits including “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” “Time (Clock of the Heart)” and, what...
More Stories