With more and more real-estate developers in Singapore adopting the idea of eco-friendly residential homes, interest in outdoor bespoke furniture in Singapore has been on the rise. This is a welcome change for many who are excited that they’ll finally be able to enjoy the greenery and open-spaces that was not possible before.
Hotels and businesses have picked up on this trend and it’s very common to find their establishments featuring outdoor furniture for their patrons. From the outdoor furniture at resort swimming pools or home verandas, local carpenter workshops are responsible for a lot of this bespoke furniture in Singapore.
Rattan has been traditionally used for outdoor furniture for a good reason: it is cheap, lightweight, easy to work with and surprisingly strong. Pieces made by the best carpenters in Singapore are truly amazing works of art that will transform any outdoor setting they’re in.
Unfortunately, rattan is easily damaged by rain and sunlight. This cuts heavily into any benefits that might’ve come from its initial low cost due to high maintenance needs – varnish and frequent oiling is needed to protect rattan and keep it looking beautiful. Also, sand and dirt is attracted to the gaps in between the seams of its weaves, which takes some time to clean out properly.
For those who don’t want to bother with the hassle of real rattan they can get synthetic ones instead. Synthetic rattan is designed to withstand moisture and rain, and will not fade and dry up in the sun. Most consider synthetic rattan a lot less attractive but it depends on personal preferences.
Nevertheless, because of its seams rattan furniture needs to be fitted with cushions or covers to make it more comfortable.
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Everybody loves teak. Teak wood is a superb material for outdoor furniture. Aside from looking gorgeous, teak is a type hard wood and therefore is very durable and weather resistant. But while teak is quite pricey on the onset of purchase, its relatively low maintenance needs offsets the initial cost. You’ll also be glad to know that it’s easier to clean since it’s usually built by joining flat pieces together.
Like most hard woods, teak contains natural oils and tannin which protect it from moisture and destructive insects such as termites, and only needs periodic maintenance from time to time.
However, teak is a heavy wood. On one hand its weight means that it won’t shift about on the slightest touch, like if someone knocked into it or in strong wind. But it’s a pain to move about and even the smallest adjustments are just hard.
Another major downside to teak is that exposure to sunlight will cause it to change colour over time into a silvery grey. Although this change does not affect its strength and hardness, it does destroy the natural oil and tannin that protect it from rain and insects. Regular applications of teak sealant should prevent this.
So if you’re looking for truly unique furniture carpenter workshops have the tools and expertise to create such bespoke furniture in Singapore.
3. Woven Polyethylene
Made from synthetic polyethylene (plastic) that’s been woven over a lightweight frame, this pieces of woven synthetic furniture are an interesting choice. Woven polyethylene is unique in how it looks and feels. Its polyethylene mesh is surprisingly comfortable even without cushions or covers as its rubbery mesh’s elasticity bends and conforms to the shape of its user.
Woven polyethylene furniture is also lightweight but durable, which makes it easy to move around – and it is relatively inexpensive.
Woven polyethylene is super resistant to moisture and quite resistant to the harsh effects of the sun’s UV. Unfortunately, dirt and grime tends to accumulate along the polyethylene strands which is a real chore to get clean and sparkly again. It’s also a good idea to keep it out of the rain which can damage it.
4. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel furniture is highly regarded for its durability and looks. While not particularly cheap or expensive (a typical stainless steel chair costs $36), stainless steel furniture is sometimes built as a composite with aluminium and wrought iron to help reduce costs.
You have to agree that stainless steel looks really, really nice. Slap some wood or glass or fabric on and now you have a masterpiece that even Leonardo would envy. My favourite combinations are the stainless steel and glass types followed by the steel/wood varieties. Stainless steel is also completely recyclable so it’s pretty environmentally friendly, too.
Its biggest drawback? Weight. Stainless steel/glass combinations are particularly heavy. Glass and steel variations are particularly hefty, and you’ll need a crane (or a friend) if you’re planning to move it around.
But while stainless steel furniture is extremely durable and will withstand rain, sun, chemicals, rot, corrosion, staining and impacts – proper care and maintenance is still needed to keep it looking new. Strong chemicals can cause brown spots to form, which will need to be cleaned with a Scotch-Brite pad. Remember that stainless steel hates chlorine, so keep it far away from it!
5. Cushioned Furniture
Ah, it doesn’t take much creativity to figure out that soft cushions would make very nice outdoor furniture indeed. In fact cushions can be added to any other type of furniture. But yup, you guessed it – cushions and fabrics have a tendency to soak up moisture and rain, which then starts to get mouldy and smell and fester.
Cushioned furniture should be placed under sheltered verandas or any place where it isn’t directly exposed to the elements, especially rain. Damp cushions aren’t just uncomfortable but they encourage mold and germ to fester. Synthetic fabrics like polyester absorb less moisture and dry faster, but that doesn’t mean you can leave it in the rain, either.
If you’re feeling energetic you could always stow away the cushions somewhere dry and clean when not in use, or you could cover them with large water-proof sheets. Hmm, here’ an idea – perhaps you could challenge a carpenter to design and build you a piece bespoke furniture in Singapore that would address the nasty wetness of rain?