SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND – The beach house build is rapidly taking shape and I’m well down the track in terms of sourcing furniture and fabrics.
I’ve decided to use outdoor fabrics on all window seats as they’re situated under louvre windows in the bedrooms so get a lot of sun. The fabric is perfect as it is mould resistant and doesn’t fade under intense summer rays. It is also mould proof should it be subjected to wet bodies from the pool or beach. An added bonus is that it will wear well in a rental environment. In spite of its resilience, the textures are soft to touch and nothing like the outdoor fabrics of old which were stiff canvas with limited colours and no textural detail.
As for artwork, my client liked the idea of using photographs of local fauna, flora and seascapes. The artwork will add a personal flavour as the owner and his son have spent time taking photographs that typify the area and beaches they so enjoy. I plan to have these images blown up to large, over-sized prints and framed. I wanted to intersperse this artwork with texture so was delighted to find two large, shallow decorative woven baskets which I will use as art on the walls in one area upstairs.
I also found two lamps which are ideal in the main bedroom as they have an off white framework with a subtle timber detail. The height may be easily adjusted to allow for reading in bed.
Another find was an enormous hide with gorgeous hues of browns and cream – perfect in the main bedroom to offset the timber floors and introduce a layering of textures.
Next on “to do” list is to have the artwork printed and framed and the bathroom accessories positioned for fitting. I also need to find a floor rug and a standing lamp for the downstairs living area. I may decide to add a few large comfortable bean bags which could move between kids’ rooms and living areas.
Outdoor hooks are also on the agenda to allow a specific area for the drying of beach and pool towels rather than seeing them draped over the glass pool fence. There is a great outdoor shower which will wash off beach sand before guests enter the pool or house.
Why use an outdoor fabric?
Outdoor fabrics are dyed and treated so they can withstand sun and UV exposure and are therefore fade-resistant.
Untreated, natural fabrics fade very quickly in the sun.
Many outdoor fabrics are also mould and mildew-resistant, which is a great advantage if you live in wet or humid conditions. Outdoor fabrics are now available in a huge variety of colours, prints, and textures and are therefore easy to use in a good looking setting.
The fabrics are ideal for outdoor furniture upholstery, cushions, umbrellas, awnings, and BBQ covers. They can also be used on indoor furniture (as I am doing on my window seats covers). They withstand pets, young children, spills and stains.
Although many outdoor fabrics are resistant to mould and mildew, mildew can grow on dirt therefore it is important to regularly clean your fabric. Outdoor fabrics can be washed by hand in lukewarm water, or machine-washed in cold water. A mild detergent can help maintain the integrity of the fabric weave and finish that makes it durable. To increase the life of the fabric, it’s important to rinse well and thoroughly air-dry.