Texture includes the use of more than just flat fabric, but knitted, woven or natural materials that have a tactile design and a unique aesthetic. Of course, outdoor products need to be tough, too, so designer furnishings are manufactured to a very high standard. Lillian says these two factors should be prerequisites for homeowners looking for soft furnishings this summer.
Two good examples highlighted by Lillian are the Flax range by Mulberi and Limon's Cape Cod collection. Both are created for outdoor living, and meet the twin requirements of being as tough as they are eye-catching.
It's an innovative imagination that's allowing Kiwi homes to make their outdoor areas an extension of their interiors. Even just 10 years ago, the technology to produce such impressive soft furnishings wasn't where it is today.
That's mostly because the needs of Kiwi families have changed slightly. "A decade ago, outdoor cushions and rugs were perhaps not a priority, whereas now, people are more aware that they can use these soft furnishings and embrace their own style throughout the home," explained Lillian.
She also highlighted two materials that have been made for surviving summers in the Land of the Long White Cloud – polypropylene and heatset polypropylene.
1) A word on polypropylene
Polypropylene fibres resist moisture, bacteria and the bleaching effects of the sun. "It's one of the most colourfast fibres," Lillian explains, "making it one of the few materials suitable for outdoor use
"Polypropylene resists water and moves any moisture to the top of the strand (yarn) where it is quickly evaporated."
2) Added toughness with heatset polypropylene
Polypropylene can also be treated to embody it with more of the characteristics homeowners find useful in a throw, cushion or rug, and heatset polypropylene is the finished product.
"Heat setting is a thermal treatment which gives the fibre stability, smoothness, extra volume and temperature resistance," Lillian continued.
"Polypropylene also doesn't create a static charge like many other synthetic fibres do. It's affordable and very ease to clean – you can simple hose it off and let it dry."
For more design inspiration around bringing the indoors outside, check out Furtex's impressive collection on the Archipro website.