1. Stylish outdoor furniture

A garden or pool area isn’t complete without the necessary furniture that makes it cool, comfortable and an extension of the home. PM Hobby’s Elaine Mercieca explains “our upscale range of outdoor furniture – which includes sofas, sunbeds, loungers and tables – is coated with aluminum, making it resistant to the elements, so you needn’t worry about corrosion or rust. It’s also really light to carry. The range comes in white, so it blends perfectly with a modern home.”

There’s also the resin range, made from resin and reinforced with fiberglass, which is ideal for smaller budgets, and also a lot more versatile. “It’s a much more colourful range, as each model is available in around four colours. This range is robust and carries the CATAS tested certification, which is a mark of quality. This range can also be used as indoor furniture.”

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2. Glorious gazebos

“Gazebos can be as simple or as sophisticated as the client wants them to be. A DIY enthusiast can buy all the raw materials, in this case laminated beams, and construct it,” says Elaine. “Laminated beams are available in various sizes, ranging from a slim beam of 80x140mm up to a chunky 200x320mm. Gazebos can be finished in varies wood stains, such as the Cuprinol Garden Shades, which include traditional wood tones and vibrant colours. Alternatively, one can order the gazebo according to the desired specs and have it ready cut and finished. The possibilities are endless!”

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3. Some TLC for outdoor wooden furniture you already have

Knowing how unforgivingly hot Maltese summers are, it’s important to care for wooden garden furniture to ensure its longevity. Elaine says that the best way to do this is by applying specialised products designed to keep the wood hydrated and looking like new. “Such products include preservers and furniture oil which keep the wood healthy and bring out its natural colour. Alternatively, you could change its look with a wood stain, like a rich teak colour or a dark walnut – there’s a colour for every traditional wood!” If a radical change is what you’re after, Elaine recommends staining the wood in a vibrant summer colour such as blue, pink or misty green.

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4. Decking

What’s an outdoor space without fine decking?! Elaine explains the three options available for outdoor decking: standard solid decking, thermo decking and composite (artificial) decking. “People love solid decking because of the feeling and look of real wood, however, it requires love and care to keep it healthy and hydrated. Various wood types can be used, but the most common and budget option is larch wood, while solid teak tends to be more expensive due to the wood's richness and scarcity.”

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Thermo decking is solid ash timber that is put through a thermal process, similar to baking, to give the wood a full body colour. “The main benefit of this is that scratches are less visible and it does not require application of wood preservers against insects, but still requires oil to keep looking rich.”

And then there’s composite decking, which Elaine says is maintenance free, durable and highly resistant to abrasions, chlorine, weather elements and fire. “It is also environmentally friendly as it is 100 per cent recyclable and made from 50 per cent natural fibre, called rice husk, from the re-use of by-products of grain growing.”

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5. Artificial turf

Perfect for livening up an outdoor area and for giving your garden a more polished look, artificial turf blends well with decked spaces, providing a balance between greenery and wood. “Being a soft surface, it’s also ideal for a play area for children. It’s available from PM Hobby in carpet form by the metre, and can be cut to any custom shape or size. The turf backing also allows water to drain. Price varies according to turf thickness and its resemblance to real grass.”

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