Occasionally, when I step out for some shopping, I end up just looking around in furniture stores-- just something I like to do. I have noticed that more and more space in these stores is being dedicated to outdoor furniture. This is rather new for me and I suppose for many of us around here, since specially designed outdoor furniture is not very popular or traditional around here.

While many houses around here do have sprawling gardens or backyards, this is still seen as a ‘good to have facility’, and not a ‘must have’ one. In comparison, outdoor furniture tends to be far more popular and common at independent houses in western countries, since having enough space in the front and in the back for a little garden is far more common.

I suppose the standard functions of a backyard garden are beautification and benefits in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables, but the carefully manicured lawn serves as an extension of the house, where the family and friends can spend time enjoying some fresh air. A small garden furniture set would at the very least consist of a table and chairs, often accompanied by a large umbrella to offer protection from the sun or rain. These tables make for a perfect barbecue setting or a picnic meal. In addition to the standard furniture, many people also get garden or patio heaters installed. As the name suggests, the patio heater helps you keep warm on a chilly evening or night. Just in case you are wondering, the terms garden furniture and patio furniture are interchangeable-- the patio is essentially a paved garden area. Although I have not had a lot of opportunity--or space--to use such outdoor furniture, I have known people use it in their gardens, and it always seems to serve an important purpose: as the centre of the garden where the grownups sit comfortably, while the pets and the children have fun playing.

sameeksha@skillspark.com

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