Have you moved from Johannesburg or anywhere inland? Renovating or re-decorating your new home?
Here are a few things you should probably know about specifying materials on the coast:
Everything rusts, it’s only a matter of time... so where before you could use any material under the sun, such as chrome or wrought iron for your light fittings or balustrades or even furniture, you will now have to use a good quality stainless steel or specially engineered plastics.
This is a great material to use in abundance to bring in views and give the illusion of spaciousness, but remember that there is the element of the salty sea breeze , that is a constant factor. Remember this when specifying glass, weigh up the options in terms of required look versus constant cleaning required.
When selecting fabrics for curtains and upholstery remember that inland there is much less moisture in the air than on the coast – natural textiles such as silk, cottons and linens absorb this moisture and can literally move dependent on the moisture content in the air, for this reason you should select poly -cotton blends or 100% polyester fabrics to be safe. There are amazing polyester fabrics on the market that appear natural, allowing you to not have to sacrifice on the desired look but be safe in terms of constant look and maintenance.
There is nothing as amazing as wood, but due to varying conditions it can crack if subjected to the elements. Make sure that if you are putting in solid wooden flooring (or engineered) the flooring is delivered to site to rest and acclimatise to the specific area before it is installed. Furniture manufacturers at the coast are usually aware of the nature of wood and will order their timber in advance for this reason and only manufacture once the timber has settled.
The above mentioned are just a few points to take into consideration when delving into this subject, but it is essential to do research and planning beforehand. There are many items made from suitable materials that are weather resistant and easily maintainable; such as poly-wicker outdoor woven furniture with a range of mold, soil and water repellent fabrics used for the cushions, as well as ranges of contemporary concrete furniture.
Is by far the most important factor that contributes to the life of any product or finish on the cast (and in general), no matter how good the quality of the product if it is not maintained properly it will not last. Examples of this are cleaning of all metals with a surface cleaner – leaving a protective layer that will protect the product, or having curtains washed or dry cleaned regularly, or airing out and putting humidity removers in apartments that are only used for holidays.
Dale Dennis (B-Tech Interior Design, TUT)