Balancing Form and Function in Outdoor Furniture
The form and function of outdoor furniture is essential; it actually might be more important than the form and function of indoor furniture. Far fewer dangers exist when it comes to indoor furniture. Indoor furniture needs to be comfortable, durable, and fit your design scheme. However, there are no indoor rain storms, snow storms, and years of battering heat. If you’re looking for outdoor furniture, you have to find furniture that can withstand the most trying conditions, as well as thieves and vandals. If you manage all of that, the next step is to purchase furniture that looks good. It needs to be comfortable for people enjoying the park, waiting for the bus, or sitting outside a restaurant. So here are a few things street furniture goes through as well as some design requirements.
Weather is one of the biggest contributing factors of damage to street furniture in Melbourne. The furniture is at risk from the weather at all times. In Melbourne, the most common weather conditions consist of sweltering heat, strong winds, and rain. To deal with the amount of heat, the furniture needs to be made from materials that do not react negatively to heat. Metal furniture is great if it is under an awning or in the shade. However, if there is no awning or shade, the metal furniture can get hot very quickly. Wooden furniture, on the other hand, does not get as hot as metal furniture. Wood is more of an insulator and does not automatically reflect heat back. If you insist on metal furniture, look for something with a brushed or sandblasted finish that is not as reflective as polished steel.
Wooden furniture might be protected from the heat a bit better, but it has its own troubles. Wood is an absorbent material. Over the course of several rainstorms, wood can become waterlogged. Water in the wood weakens your furniture, as well as opens it up to pests. To avoid that, you need to make sure it is coated with a strong sealant and properly maintained.
The comfort of street furniture comes usually not from the materials themselves, but from the design. Indoor furniture tends to have cushions and footrests to make it comfortable. Street furniture has to be designed in a way that is ergonomical, since it would be a nightmare when attempting to clean cushions for outdoor furniture. Therefore, to make outdoor furniture comfortable even though it’s made of very firm materials, it would need to be designed to conform to the human body. Some types of furniture are more successful than others. If you’re looking for outdoor furniture for a business or a municipality, you should look for a company selling furniture with ergonomic designs.
Also look for a company that has been designing furniture for a while and providing them to important contractors. The makers of street furniture oftentimes survive based on their big contracts. If they have big contracts, they’re doing good work for their clients.