Photograph above, John Lewis outdoor Anyday range.
Article by Nicole Swengley
Stepping out to enjoy the summer’s warmth on your own private balcony is one of many advantages at a Weston home. It’s easy to create a seamless indoor-outdoor transition with weather-resistant cushions and rugs, folding furniture and portable outdoor lamps. All affordably priced, they look as good indoors as outside.
Go bright on your balcony with a yellow or light-blue metal two-seater, £129, from John Lewis Anyday range. Combine this stylish, durable design with matching chairs, £158 per pair (single, £79) and round table, £59. Or choose a modern update on classic rattan: Salsa two-seater, £165, employs a polyweave construction over a powder-coated steel frame and looks fabulous in Two Tone Yellow (also available in Natural or Avocado) with a set of Salsa chairs, £189 per pair.
Folding furniture also comes in eye-catching colours these days. Check out Camden bistro chairs in yellow, flame or blue powder-coated steel from John Lewis Anyday range. Store neatly on wall-pegs or use indoors with a matching table, £119.
Fancy a wooden director’s chair? Habitat has the classic, folding design, £60, with water-resistant fabric back/ seat and lightweight, FSC-certified eucalyptus frame (habitat.co.uk). Renewable wood is also championed by the Futon Company (futoncompany.co.uk) with the solid Walnut folding stool, £45, doubling as a seat or side-table. Its Naples chairs, £85 per pair, have ash seats and metal frames, folding to a slim 6cm depth. Add a matching Naples Bistro folding table, £55, for serving drinks.
Cocktail hour calls for a weather-resistant John Lewis Garden Bar set (pair of tall bar seats plus table). Chic designs include steel-framed Salsa, £279, with polyweave seats and Metal Garden Bar set, £349, in cool cream or baked clay.
Rugs and cushions
Outdoor rugs, often made from recycled materials, have proved hugely popular since their introduction a few years ago. One eyecatcher is Habitat’s daisy-like, circular brown rug, £40, with water-resistant coating and non-slip backing. Another is Aztec, from £50, in John Lewis Anyday range while the striped Two Step Indoor Outdoor rug, £160, is sustainably made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
Create a boho ambience with comfortable, water-resistant floor cushions. Habitat’s well-padded, Palm Print design, £25, has a cotton cover with button detail and carrying handles while the circular Benito pouffe, £120 at John Lewis, is perfect for lounge lizards, either indoors or outside.
Colourful outdoor cushions add zing and comfort to metal furniture. Vibrant designs at Marks & Spencer include circular Citrus Fruit, £12.50, and Tropical Print seat cushions, £25 per pair (marksandspencer.com). Habitat’s Streetwize water-resistant scatter cushions, four-pack £40, have removable, machine-washable covers; nor will lively prints like Botanical Leaf fade in bright sunshine.
John Lewis also has an excellent choice of cushions with water-repellent finishes such as Palm Grove, £10, and Fan Leaf, £12. Whisk out an armful at the first rays – from a bold, blue/white deckchair stripe, £12, tropical Seaplant, £15 and Vejaro Coral, £18, to painterly Ink Floral and Watercolour Leaf, £15.
Add a magical glow to balconies with lanterns, candleholders and portable lamps. You’ll find all types of outdoor lighting at John Lewis. NOMA 400 solar LED string lights, £38.99, work 365 nights a year through all weathers with a dusk sensor and a timer offering six hours of solar light nightly.
Newgarden Rocket 20 outdoor touch lamp, £35, offers three levels of light intensity with a rechargeable battery lasting between four and 20 hours depending on light levels. Also from Newgarden is Lola Slim 30 wireless outdoor table lamp, £50, for indoor or outdoor use. Its touch-control offers dimmable lighting from a rechargeable battery with 40 hours of life.
Nordlux wood-handled Strap to Go battery-powered lamp, £90, has a built-in LED charged via a USB port. At SCP (scp.co.uk) the PC portable battery-powered table light, £99, designed by Pierre Charpin for Hay, is made from robust ABS plastic with a scratch and water-resistant finish. Available in various colours, its LED bulb provides a choice of dimmable downlighting or ambient light with 10 hours use from a full battery.