The Great Outdoors

Increasingly, homeowners are indulging their passion for the great outdoors. And expansive acreage is not a requirement. A table for two tucked on a balcony is an ideal perch for al fresco dining. A hammock slung on a porch is perfect for reading or napping.

Some upholstered furniture looks as if it would be at home inside the house, says Frank Lutz, owner of Oceanside Casual Furniture in Rehoboth Beach and Fenwick Island. Frames might be sheathed in synthetics that have the look and feel of real wicker. All-weather fabrics have evolved from stiff and utilitarian to soft and indulgent.

“We are selling a lot of sectional sofas, as comfortable as any furniture you would have in your living room,” Lutz says. “People love the feeling of being outdoors and the deck, the patio, the screened porch are important parts of their home.”

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Furniture crafted from 100-percent recycled plastic is especially appealing because it is environmentally friendly and also can stand up to the elements. Adirondack chairs crafted from polypropylene weigh much less than wood seating and are easy to move—and no worries about splinters.

“It’s made from plastic bottles and milk containers, with stainless steel hardware,” Lutz says. “No sanding, no painting and no maintenance, except for cleaning.”

Tall citronella torches will keep the bugs at bay in your open-air sanctuary and also provide mood lighting.

“Light the torches or the candles about 20 minutes before you go outside,” he advises. “It won’t eliminate mosquitoes but it helps a lot.”

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