Tag Archives: outdoor settings

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..

..one 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!

Sandra’s Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

Sandra’s Gorgeous Backyard Makeover

Contemplating a new outdoor entertaining area but don’t know where to start?

You could do a lot worse than look at Sandra’s fantastic new courtyard for inspiration.

Frustrated with the cramped and claustrophobic feel of the old courtyard, Sandra and her husband James decided it was time to go out with the old and in with the new!  This bold makeover took them the best part of a year, started from the ground up, and left little untouched.  It began by turning some of their garden bed area into living space, followed with some attractive new paving, was punctuated with a new water feature, and then finished with a well chosen set of furniture that complements the area impeccably, and provides a wonderfully liveable space that the whole family enjoys.

Sandra's Outdoor Living Area 1

For Sandra and James, this backyard remodelling was a long time in the making:

“My husband and I are retired and purchased our unit about 15 years ago.  The courtyard was never designed professionally and was rather small with large garden beds taking up valuable space. It was looking tired and needed a complete makeover.”

Growing weary of such a cramped courtyard, they both decided it was finally time to completely remodel the area:

“We redesigned the area ourselves with new paving and a water feature as the main focus.”

With the new paving in place, their space issues were sorted, and it was time for some furniture!  After all, what’s an outdoor entertaining area without somewhere to sit, relax, converse, and enjoy some finger food or refreshments?

“After visiting Outdoor Living Direct we knew exactly what outdoor furniture to buy to enhance the area.”

Sandra's Outdoor Living Area 2

Having worked out what the space needed, their shopping list included a pod chair, a swivel chair, outdoor tables, and a sofa set:

“The Hanging Pod was placed in the corner near the water feature and a Cupcake in the other corner, which complemented each other while being different. We then added small outdoor tables and a three piece lounge which made the courtyard perfect.”

It turns out that this stunning new space has some very wide cross-generational appeal, as Sandra and James are far from the only fans in the family:

“We also purchased a sun rocker chair which the grandkids love.”

Sandra's Outdoor Living Area 3

So what does Sandra have to say about shopping at Outdoor Living Direct?

“Over the past few months we have purchased from Outdoor Living Direct – Cupcake, Pod, 2 small tables and a beautiful outdoor 3 piece lounge together with a variety of cushions and features. You have also supplied weather covers for most of the items.”

“These items have complemented our Backyard Makeover which we have been working on for nearly 12 months.”

“We shopped around but always came back to you for variety, quality and price.”

“Thanks again for your great service and extensive range of outdoor furniture.”

Sandra's Outdoor Living Area 4

Thank you very much Sandra for showing us the stunning work you’ve done with your backyard, for taking us with you into the story behind it, and for your permission to share it with our readers!  It looks amazing and we wish you all the best for all the many splendid mornings, afternoons and evenings to be enjoyed in this spectacular outdoor space.

Have you done anything special with your outdoor area lately?  Feel like showing off something you’ve done with our furniture?  Feel free to get in touch with us at customerservice@outdoorlivingdirect.com.au to have a chat about featuring your outdoor entertaining area on our website!

What the Right Outdoor Setting can do for Your Lifestyle

What the Right Outdoor Setting can do for Your Lifestyle

An outdoor dining set consists of a table and some chairs, typically built from wicker, timber, aluminium, or steel.  This forms the very heart of your outdoor dining area.  These tables and chairs that form your outdoor setting, however, are really just a means to an end: chances are, what you’re really looking forward to most are not these attractive, matching objects, but the new experiences that will come from having them.  Here are a few of the things you can look forward to when you make this investment in your home and your lifestyle:

Entertain Guests Outside

As the weather warms up and the days become longer, the temptation to spend more time outside can become harder and harder to resist.  So why fight it?  Outdoor entertaining can add a whole new dimension to social events.  The outdoors can add a whole new relaxed, informal, and convivial atmosphere to a dinner party, without at all diminishing the sense of occasion.  Even when you’re not serving food at a party, having an outdoor setting means you have the perfect area to add some decoration, such as some cuttings from the garden.  Your guests have an area to put their drink down or just to sit down and hang out.  Those less planned events when you have friends or relatives over for an impromptu meal, a couple of drinks, or just a cuppa can also be a great time to relax outside.  And then there’s the grand tradition of the great Aussie barbecue: can there be a better way to round off a long weekend in summer?


Spend Time Together as a Family

If you have children of a certain age then you might be finding it difficult to get their noses out of the television or the computer.  The stresses and busyness of being adult life can also take their toll on the family mealtime.  Nevertheless, academic research has underlined the importance of eating together as a family.  The benefits go beyond nutrition – shared mealtimes mean shared conversation, fostering closer family ties.  In the long run, children who eat with their family more often have a better chance of learning healthy eating habits, are at lower risk of developing alcoholism or other substance abuse problems, and tend to perform better academically than do children who regularly eat alone or away from home.

Eating outside can be a great way to tear everyone away from television and computer screens so that you all talk to each other.  It also adds a sense of novelty and fun to dinnertime that the kids will love.  Time pressures and fast-paced 21st century lifestyles mean many families buy take-out food now and then, but even then there’s no need to do without the shared dining experience when you have a place for the family to eat together outdoors.

Get More for Your Home at Auction

As Yahoo!7 recently reported, adding an outdoor dining area to your home can be a great way to improve its value.  It’s not hard to see how this works!  When prospective buyers see a fabulous outdoor setting on your backyard or balcony, even the most hardnosed bidder will find it hard not to picture themselves enjoying a nice meal or a cheeky beverage as the sun starts to set on a warm, relaxing evening.  This makes your home a more desirable place, and the more that people can see themselves living there, the more inclined they’re going to be to bid harder against each other.  By nudging the price up when the hammer goes down, your outdoor setting could end up paying for itself.

Tip: If it’s too much of a pain in the neck to consult with your neighbours or the local council to get approval to extend your roof or awnings, you can consider shading your outdoor setting with one of our centre pole or side pole umbrellas.

Click here to view our complete range of outdoor settings.