Early summer is a good time to maintain the wooden outdoor furniture purchased for the patio or summer cottage. Design Stories’ new column seeks answers to questions that puzzle design lovers around the world.
PREPARING HOMES, summer cottages and terraces for the summer season is in full swing. For many, planning their summer interior dreams and making them come true is the best part of the year.
Many of our customers have new outdoor furniture on their shopping list. Customer Service is more than happy to help with matters related to materials, size, or product care. The choice of summer furniture and textiles for outdoor use depends on considerations of durability, ease of care and esthetics. With the right care and storage, products will last from one summer to the next.
Design Stories’ column brings up popular questions by our customers, and in the best case, the answers will be helpful and inspiring for others as well. Miina Lindblad from Finnish Design Shop’s Customer Service provides answers to the questions.
1. How should Skagerak's teak outdoor furniture be maintained?
“Teak is a popular material for outdoor furniture on account of its hardness and weather resistance. It is also the preferred material for use in boats, for the same reasons. Teak naturally contains a lot of oils, and with proper care and regular treatment the surfaces will last for years.
For after-dinner cleaning, for example, the surfaces can be wiped with a dry cloth. If there are many stains or they have been absorbed into the material, it is recommended to use a wood detergent and a soft brush. After brushing with the detergent, the surface should be rinsed with clean water and allowed to dry. These instructions also apply to occasional general cleaning.
“The teak surfaces will last for years with proper care and regular treatment.”
When a teak surface is not treated, it becomes covered with a patina and changes over time to a silvery gray. If you want to keep the beautiful original shade of Skagerak teak furniture, the wood should be treated regularly with a suitable furniture oil. Suitable furniture oils are available in hardware stores, or you can order Skagerak’s maintenance package directly from our Customer Service. Teak can be used in all weathers, all year round. An unheated interior, such as a basement or garage, is recommended for storage during the winter.”
2. What kind of rugs are suitable for terraces?
“Rugs placed on the terrace should be able to withstand rain and sun. Another very important feature is ease of cleaning. These products can be found in Finnish Design Shop's outdoor textiles category.
Pappelina's rugs are a great choice for a terrace. They are made of phthalate-free PVC cord and are resistant to rain and UV radiation, without losing their color. They are also well suited for the kitchen, hallway or even a children’s room in addition to outdoor use. The best feature of these rugs is their ease of care. The warp yarn of the rug is made of polyester, so no part of it absorbs moisture or dirt. Most stains can be removed by wiping with a wet cloth, and can even be washed in a washing machine at low temperature without spinning. The rug can also be washed in the shower or gently washed with a pressure washer. For the most difficult stains, purified gasoline or chlorite can be used. Washing with a hard brush is not recommended, however, as it can easily break the fabric. For dog owners, the product is a great choice because of its ease of care. It has also been found to withstand snow and frost without any changes in shape or color.
“Pappelina's rugs are resistant to rain and UV radiation, without losing their color.”
Ferm Living’s Way rug is also a good choice for both indoor and outdoor use. The rug is made from recycled plastic bottles, and withstands heavy wear. Despite the surprising choice of material, the rug is comfortably soft and feels just like a regular cotton rug underfoot. It can be washed by hand or in a washing machine at low temperature.”
3. Which portable lighting fixture would also be suitable for a summer cabin and outdoor use?
“Rechargeable LED lights are well suited for use at summer cabins. A single charge provides light for up to a day, and you can take cordless lights with you anywhere.
Popular choices include Fatboy’s Bolleke and Fermob’s Balad lamps. A few hours of charging provides light for many hours, depending on the model and brightness level. The lights can conveniently be carried anywhere. Both are also suitable for outdoor use, as the safety rating is IP44 or IP55. As such, even occasional humidity will not be a problem. The lamps can be hung on a hook or even on a tree as part of a festive table setting for darkening summer evenings. But before that, let’s enjoy bright and hopefully warm summer nights!”
Miina Lindblad works as a design sales representative in Finnish Design Shop’s Customer Service team. Her design treasures include a self-designed lamp based on an old spinning wheel, and underneath it, her latest acquisition, Artek’s Trienna table.
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Text: Miina Lindblad Illustration: Evi Rinkinen