Monthly Archives: May 2014

Maintaining your outdoor furniture

Maintaining your outdoor furniture:

Outdoor furniture can turn an outdoor area into a living paradise. Well cared for furniture will allow for your family and friends to enjoy the outdoors for many years to come. However the weather can be unkind to furniture and can leave it looking dull or drab. If your furniture is starting to become affected by the weather demons keep reading this blog for some great ideas and tips to help restore the look and keep it looking brand new.


Cushion Care

All fabrics will fade when exposed to the sun, including outdoor fabrics. The fabric will often fade rapidly in Australia’s harsh UV climate. Accordingly, it is most important to keep cushions inside when they are not being used, or ensure they are covered with a waterproof outdoor furniture cover. We are happy to supply custom made furniture covers to help care for your outdoor furniture. Another alternative is to place the cushions in a well sealed cushion box. A cushion box not only protects your cushions when not in use but also allows for extra storage within your outdoor area.


Outdoor Furniture Covers

As mentioned above, the best way to take care of your outdoor furniture is to simply cover it.  Custom made, fitted covers in acrylic or polyester waterproof material are readily available and easy to put on and take off.  If you are unable to justify the cost of custom-made covers and are not so concerned over the look of the covered furniture, tarpaulins with eyelets and ropes can be used. Here at Outdoor Living Direct we can help you with your cover request. Don’t let your beautiful new outdoor lounge or dining setting become a victim of the elements – call us today! Our custom furniture covers can be made to order for outdoor furniture; BBQs; and just about anything else you can think of. Speak to one of our friendly team or email us at to find out how we can tailor a cover for you. Hand made, by a local Melbourne supplier, from top-quality UV-resistant yarn-dyed 250g/M2 500 denier waterproof fabric; our covers are a permanent solution to a common problem. All our covers also come with a 2 year comprehensive warranty.


Caring for your timber furniture

If possible store your timber outdoor furniture inside during periods when it is not being used. This will prolong the life of your furniture and reduce the necessity for treatment of the timber. The natural expansion and contraction of the wood due to changes in temperature and humidity can lead to structural damage, so keeping the furniture in a more regulated and insulated environment will prolong the life of the product.

Moisture is the other enemy of timber furniture, causing it to rot and warp.  If possible keep the furniture off damp surfaces like grass and soil, and when cleaning your outdoor area it is wise to remove the furniture first.  Proximity to soil can also attract termites and other pests that can quickly destroy the timber.

Timber ages gracefully, maintaining both structural integrity (it is very resistant to rot and warping) and appearance, requiring only periodical cleaning and oiling in order to maintain its attractive surface colour and grain.

If untreated, timber will weather to a silvery grey, which many people prefer if they are aiming to achieve a rustic or seaside look to their outdoor area. If on the other hand you wish to retain the rich, dark character of your timber you will need to clean and oil it periodically. Here at Outdoor Living Direct we have a wide range of timber products. Check them out here today!

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Caring for your rattan furniture

One of the advantages of PE rattan is its low maintenance.  To clean PE rattan, simply brush down the rattan using a soft brush to remove loose dirt, dust, leaves, twigs or spider webs! Remember to brush in all the little nooks to remove any loose dirt which may have been sitting there a while. Avoid using chemical cleaners. Instead, wipe down the rattan regularly using a cloth and mild soapy water, then rinse off using a bucket or hose.  Make sure you remove the cushions first!

Australia’s harsh environment will ultimately damage anything that is left exposed to the sun for long periods, including buildings, cars and furniture. In extreme conditions, PE rattan can start to deteriorate and will become brittle in as little as 2 years, if it is constantly exposed to the sun. We strongly recommend that your rattan furniture is either covered, or stored out of the sun when not in use. We are able to supply custom made covers for all outdoor products – please contact customer service for a quotation.

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Mould is also another element to be wary of. A naturally occuring organism that has the ability to grow on any surface where there is constant moisture.

Our outdoor cushions are weather-resistant and can take a light soaking, but if they are constantly wet and out of the sun, mould will develop, as it does on any surface that is kept damp and out of sunlight. This mould can be removed with mould remover, however it will return unless the fabric is kept in a dry environment.

Outdoor cushions generally come with a water-repellent finish; however you can increase and maintain this finish by using a fabric protector such as Scotchgard.

Wipe up any spills immediately before they get a chance to soak into the fabric and the cushion itself.

Most outdoor cushion covers can be removed and hand washed.

For any other information on the general cleaning and maintenance of your outdor furniture feel free to call us on 1300 067 138, visit our care page on our website or email us at


Many Bothans Died to Bring us These Decorating Tips

Star Wars 4th May

Many Bothans Died to Bring us These Decorating Tips

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.. of the greatest stories ever known was told.  An epic tale of good and evil, of struggle and triumph, of duty and sacrifice, of corruption and redemption, of tyranny and rebellion, of loyalty and betrayal, of spaceships and asteroids, of friendship and rivalry, of monsters and robots, of heros and scoundrels, of love and lasers, of ancient mysteries and consistently poor marksmanship.

The first Star Wars film screened 37 years ago, and since then the epic space trilogy has delighted audiences across generations and throughout the world.  Star Wars references are deeply embedded in popular culture and indeed even into the English language itself.  Casual references to the themes and characters of the films permeate daily life, and are made with the assumption that every listener will understand.  Quotes from the films are now an inextricable part of the lexicon: we’d all speak very differently without phrases like “Evil empire”, “May the force be with you”, “Laugh it up, fuzzball!”, “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy” and “Do or do not, there is no try”.  The cultural impact of these three films is almost too vast to measure.

(Let’s not mention the prequels.)

Over the decades, one burning question has long frustrated fans and critics alike: how would the inhabitants of the Star Wars universe have furnished their outdoor entertaining areas?  For far too long, this question has been met with no reply.  We’re here to change that.  May the 4th is Star Wars Day, and here on the Outdoor Living Direct blog, we’re bringing the noise!

Of course, no single configuration of outdoor furniture can be ideal for all locations in the Star Wars universe.  The grand scope of the franchise takes in a extraordinary range of landscapes and climate conditions, from the arid to the frozen to the verdant to the waterlogged.  Here’s our guide to outdoor decorating in some of these areas:


Tatooine is an old planet on the Outer Rim territories and consists largely of dry sandy deserts.  It is depicted as a desolate and often lawless frontier backwater, peopled by criminals, nomads and moisture farmers.  Tatooine’s apparent isolation makes it a tempting refuge for those anxious to avoid prying eyes.  For this reason the planet is home to several key characters in the Star Wars saga, including Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Jabba the Hutt.

Tatooine orbits two suns, Tatoo I and Tatoo II.  This abundance of sunlight, combined with the lack of any appreciable tree cover on most of the planet, means that the shade provided by a good solid outdoor umbrella is essential to a comfortable entertaining area.  Cantilever umbrellas provide a less cluttered shaded area by keeping the pole out of the way to the side, and for this reason they should be at the very top of the shopping list for any Tatooine homeowner planning on remodelling the backyard.

Once you’ve got your shade sorted, it’s time to start looking for the ideal outdoor setting.  The rattan on our Grange 7 piece dining setting is UV resistant.  This is particularly useful on a planet with two suns.  This will round out the perfect area for the tired moisture farmer looking for somewhere to enjoy some blue milk while taking refuge from the harsh rays of double noon on Tatooine.


Dagobah is an outer rim planet in the Dagobah System teeming with lifeforms, but totally devoid of any cities or technology.  It was home to Jedi Master Yoda during his exile, after he discovered the system as one of 37 that had been deleted from the Jedi Archives.

Dagobah is a swampy, dank, muddy and humid place.  There’s barely a dry spot of ground on it.  It’s densely wooded though, and that means you have plenty of trees to hang a hammock from.  Hammocks don’t only provide an unbeatably comfy place to recline, they also keep you out of the warm stagnant water below.  This gives you a little bit of distance from all the leeches and pathogens it might be playing host to.  Back here on planet Earth, hammocks have been used for much the same reason by troops serving in jungle areas.

It’s also important to keep the moisture in mind when choosing an outdoor dining table for such an environment.  Our Consuela dining table is constructed from heavy gauge, high grade 304 stainless steel and a beautifully varnished plantation teak top, and is impervious to rust, rot or mildew, making it ideal for outdoor entertaining on Dagobah.

The Forest Moon of Endor

The Forest Moon of Endor, also known as the Sanctuary Moon, is the outermost of nine moons orbiting the gas planet Endor.  As per its name, much of the moon’s surface is densely wooded with massive pine and redwood forests.  It was chosen by the Galactic Empire as the location to construct the second Death Star battlestation.  This forest moon is populated by many forms of sentient life, including the Ewoks, who are famous for their role in the Battle of Endor, a crucial point in the downfall of the Galactic Empire.

Endor is a temperate, comfortable place, with dense tree cover to provide generous protection from the elements.  This makes it an ideal location to entertain outdoors.  Timber lounge settings make for an obvious choice of material to match the surrounding environment – our Burke 3 piece setting is built from 100% plantation hardwood and comes in a honey finish to complement the Forest Moon perfectly.

We trust you will use these decorating tips only for good, and will not be tempted by the dark side of the force.

May the 4th be with you!