Outdoor Cushions Top Tips

Outdoor Cushions – Top Tips for that perfect look all year …

Perhaps we’re stating the obvious here but Outdoor Cushions should be the focal point for any type of outdoor furniture – whether it be a sofa set, dining set or simply a garden bench – they add the character and crowning detail.

They are crucial to the furniture’s success in your outdoor space and, we appreciate, you want them to remain that way.

What you don’t want is a set that look tired and worn after only six months of use or, even worse, a set that you retrieve from the shed after their winter break only to find they’re all mouldy and unusable.

So, we’ve put together your very own little checklist of what to and look for before and after you buy any piece of outdoor furniture that come with a set of cushions.

Sumptuous Outdoor Cushions on the Apple Day Bed

Sumptuous Outdoor Cushions on the Apple Day Bed …

Outdoor Cushions – before you buy …

Every retailer of outdoor furniture will tell you that their cushions are …

”… fine to be left outside all year round.”

However, as with anything you buy, outdoor cushions do not always do what the retailer says they do on the tin.

Therefore, you need to scrutinise the information on offer before you buy and do your research to avoid disappointment on, or months after, the delivery day.

The Fabrics:

A couple of things to remember here:

  1. There is a difference between water resistant and water repellent.
  2. Long words do not necessarily denote quality.

This is where search engines like Google come in very handy – take your time and put the long fabric names into the search bar to find out more details and be sure in your own mind that you really are buying the highest quality.

WE RECOMMEND:

Olefin Cushion Fabrics like those found on our Montana Range of Sofa Sets.

And, if a retailer advertises water repellent cushions they should really be able to back this up with videos and/or pictures that demonstrate this fact – take our Casablanca Range, for example.

The Fillings:

Again there are fillings and there are fillings when it comes to outdoor cushions.

And the fact is that the filling in any cushion that isn’t water repellent is going to get wet in the UK climate – probably on a regular basis.

So again listen to what the retailer has to say, whether it be verbally or in writing on a website or in a sales brochure, and then do a bit of your own digging to verify this.

WE RECOMMEND:

Look for those retailers who offer a resin fibre sandwich filling as these allow water to pass through and dry very quickly – all our outdoor cushions have a resin fibre filling for exactly this reason.

UK Fire Retardant Regulations:

This is a legal requirement for your safety and those around you but you’d be surprised how many retailers don’t adhere to this – so please do check and insist on this.

As a quick heads up, all our cushions do comply with UK Fire Retardant Regulations and this means that, the first time they get wet you may find a slight white residue appears on them – this is simply excess fire retardant solution, is perfectly normal, and can be removed by putting the covers through a light wash in the washing machine.

UV Stabilisers:

These are also a must really as they prevent the fabric colour dyes from fading in direct sunlight over time – there’s nothing worse than a tired, shabby looking cushion.

High Spec Outdoor Bench Cushions

High Spec Outdoor Bench Cushions …

Outdoor Cushions – after you buy …

Obviously, it is not a good idea to leave your outdoor cushions outside all year – the chances are you will not be using them over the winter period so it is definitely a good idea to have a proper place to store them.

Before you store them:

Please ensure that both the fabrics and the fillings are 100% dry – and we mean bone dry – before you store them away. Any moisture left in the fabric or filling is highly likely to cause rot to occur giving you that nasty shock when you come to use them the following season.

WE RECOMMEND:

Buying a Cushion Box.

However once again do check that these are suitably robust, inner lined and have some ventilation as well.

Of course, we also do a fantastic range of Teak and Rattan Outdoor Cushion Boxes!

Ventilated Teak Cushion Boxes

Ventilated Teak Cushion Boxes …

Alfie and Dave in the Poppies at Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Remembrance and Reflection at Chelsea Flower Show in 2016 …

You no doubt will have heard this hundreds of times before in literally every single thing you read about Chelsea Flower Show year in, year out but …

“Chelsea really was a spectacle this year!”

We have had a Trade Stand at the Chelsea Flower Show for the last four years and we can honestly say it hasn’t failed to impress more and more year on year.

And 2016 was no different.

It’s the highlight of the year for everyone who contributes to the event and preparations sure for all concerned sure as hell do start early.

The Road to Chelsea Flower Show in 2016 …

We had 120 square metres of Trade Stand to think about this year and planning started just after the Chelsea Flower Show in 2015, believe it or not.

We knew we needed to pull out all the stops particularly as a visit from the Queen was due as a part of her birthday celebrations.

After much deliberation we decided on a Chelsea Mews theme for our Trade Stand in 2016 and so the planning began in earnest.

It’s by far the most complicated stand build of the many shows we do each year meaning we needed a full week before the show for the set-up.

The pictures below give you an idea of the effort we put …

setup-4 chelsea-7 chelsea-8 stand-2

LET THE SHOW BEGIN!

After arranging over £2000 worth of flowers and using enough construction materials to build a permanent garden building we’re finally ready to put in the real work as the proceedings begin.

And things get off to a flying start on Press Day when The Telegraph pounce on Alfie The Union Jack Cooler just as our very own Debs is reaching for the fizz …

Debs and Alfie in The Telegraph news feed

Debs and Alfie in The Telegraph news feed … (image courtesy of REX).

And this sets the scene for the rest of the show as swathes of people descend on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and subsequently our Trade Stand as well.

The atmosphere is electric throughout with a buzz quite simply unlike any other – at times the 120 square metres of space we had was literally bursting at the seams as people took time to rest their weary feet the various pieces of luxury garden furniture available …

And guess who’s back?!

For the fourth year running it was great to see Dave the Chelsea Pensioner again.

He’s certainly become a regular highlight on our stand at Chelsea Flower Show over the years and it’s always great to see him with his charm for the ladies and general sociable nature.

Dave the Chelsea Pensioner in the Apple Day Bed with the ladies

Dave the Chelsea Pensioner in the Apple Day Bed with the ladies!

And it really was a special moment to see him and Alfie entertaining an audience in the 326,000 poppies laid out on the main thorough fair that leads up to the hospital itself.

An audience in the poppies with Dave and Alfie

An audience in the poppies with Dave and Alfie …

Thanks a lot Dave – you really are a diamond! See you next year.

But of course, the Chelsea Flower Show certainly isn’t just about us …

At the end of the day it’s the world’s most prestigious flower show and the true spectacle are the many horticultural exhibits each year.

This year we got in early and managed to get loads of fabulous pictures on the Sunday as the various designers were putting the finishing touches to their exhibits.

We include a small selection below but you can view the full spectacle that got a great reaction on our Facebook Page.

show-garden-5 show-garden-4 show-garden-3 show-garden-2 show-garden-1

Many thanks to Bizzy from our Showroom in Warwickshire for taking the time out to snap these fantastic images!

Chelsea Show Gardens in the News in 2016 …

BBC News …

Not only do they broadcast live from the show each evening but they also run some great news features that sum up the atmosphere and theme of the event each year.

One of our favourites from the BBC News Feed this year was, ‘Chelsea Flower Show: Maths, medicine and ‘a little madness’ which included the show garden by Matthew Wilson – ‘Gods Own Country – A Garden for Yorkshire’ …

maths, medicine and a little madness at Chelsea Flower Show 2016

the, ‘contemplative area – based on inspiration from York Minster’s East Window, which is the largest single expanse of medieval stained glass in Britain.’

The Telegraph:

It would be impossible to highlight all the vat swathe of news that they report in any given year but one of our favourites this year was their piece on the M&G Garden that combine the ‘ancient and modern’ so effectively.

M & G Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2016

M & G Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2016 – image courtesy of The Daily Telegraph …

Cultivate Design

Interview Spotlight with Jennifer Huckstep …

Grand Designs Live really was a great event this year with one of the highlights being Jennifer Huckstep’s garden exhibit that won her Grand Designs Garden Designer of the year – an amazing achievement particularly when you consider that issues pre-show nearly led to Jennifer throwing in the towel and not exhibiting at all!

Just goes to show that perseverance really does pay off!

We followed up with Jennifer back at her garden design practice – Cultivate Design – after the event and were lucky enough to be able to get an interview spotlight with her.

Jennifer Huckstep – Grand Designs Live Garden Designer of the Year 2016 says …

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RHS Cardiff 2016

Four Stars & Breaking Records at RHS Cardiff …

In many ways we wish RHS Cardiff Flower Show was longer than three days.

Because it’s an absolute belter of a show – Bute Park is a stunning location in the shadow of the famous Cardiff Castle and the crowds are always on the ball and up for some fun. Whether it rains or shines, RHS Cardiff is a success regardless.

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