Now that summer is in full force, we’re all hoping to spend as much time as possible outdoors – including when we are at home.

One way to extend the amount of time we spend outside is to bring some of our living out of doors. In order to do this, you need to acquire furnishings, barbeques and other items that can be used outside. We’ve selected five of the most crucial pieces of furniture for you to use.

Outdoor tables (and chairs)

The most important piece of outdoor furniture is a table – with chairs if necessary. You need an item of furniture that will act as centre that everyone can congregate around outside. The table will fulfil this role. For the budget conscious, a picnic table (a wood table with seats built in) will do. Otherwise, choose a stainless steel or wooden dining set – there are many different styles available.

Benches

Like the idea of sitting under a tree in the shade this summer? Get a bench so you can recline in style. There are a variety of styles of bench – from traditional cast-iron or steel and wood ones, to more contemporary wicker and hardwood types. These pieces of outdoor furniture range in design from elaborate and whimsical to a more minimal style.

Hammocks and swing sets

Nothing says a lazy Kiwi summer like lying in a hammock reading a book. Many of us will remember lying in a net or fabric hammock when we were younger. Although these styles are still available, these days there are many more ‘up-market’ types of hammocks. You may like to choose a wicker hanging egg chair or a swing three seater – relax in style with your outdoor hanging furniture.

Umbrellas and heaters

In order to enjoy outdoor living, you need furnishings that make it comfortable to be outside – no matter the weather. For this reason, in the heat you need an umbrella to keep the sun off. Alternatively, in the cold (at night or during winter months) you need some sort of heat source. There are many heat sources to choose from – stainless steel gas heaters or chiminea (small fire pits with chimneys).

Loungers

Lying out in the sun is much more comfortable when you have a lounger to do it on. Whether it’s around the pool or just in the garden, a lounger is a vital piece of outdoor furniture for the summer months. Pick up a slick leather chair or an adjustable wooden lounger that moves all the way into a horizontal position for when you feel like a snooze.

The New Zealand summer is the best time of year weather-wise and it’s only natural that you would want to spend as much of it out of doors as possible. Whether it’s in your back yard or out on the deck pick up some outdoor furniture and get more out of that summer sun.

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