The arrival of summer each year is a stark reminder for me that I never put any effort into styling my outdoor area at home. Over the years, apartment living has meant that I’ve had to work with small balconies or even the odd sunroom that isn’t technically outside, but sort of feels like it is. Limited space and complete laziness on my part meant that outdoor furniture – aside from near-broken pieces passed down from old housemates – has not really been a part of my living experience for a while.
But my new abode finally has a modestly-sized patio, so I decided it was time to put some thought into how it looks.
When searching for outdoor furniture pieces I looked through Facebook Marketplace, Bunnings, Ikea and even stores like Kmart. I wasn’t overly impressed by what I saw. Then I was offered a chance to review an outdoor sofa from sustainable furniture brand Outer.
For this Real Life Review, I gave Outer’s three-seat Wicker Outdoor Sofa a try. Considering it’s an eco-friendly piece that fits nicely in the outdoor living trend that people are loving right now, it wasn’t a hard sell to get me to test it out.
Here are the full details of the sofa, before we dive into the nitty-gritty. (The below is via Outer’s website.)
- Overall Dimensions: 261.7 W x 94 D x 73.7 H cm
- Back Height: 40.6 cm
- Seat Height: 40.6 cm
- Leg Height (wicker): 17.8 cm
- Seat Depth: 73.7 cm
- The patented OuterShell® seat cover quickly rolls out and over the cushions to protect from everyday dirt, debris and morning dew.
- The frame is a high strength aluminium-magnesium alloy that is powder-coated for enhanced weather resistance. Each chair can support up to 400 pounds.
- Environmentally responsible, the all-weather wicker is 30% recycled and 100% recyclable. It is handwoven using a special technique by master artisans that results in a beautiful, yet durable, weave.
- UV lightfast rating of 2000 hours.
- The legs are made from polished stainless steel that will never rust.
- Outer’s modular design makes rearranging for any outdoor setting, activity, or occasion easy. Your chairs can be arranged and rearranged for an unlimited number of settings.
Real Life Review: Outer Furniture’s eco-friendly Wicker Outdoor Sofa
What was good?
Setting up the sofa was incredibly easy. I was surprised at how light the sections were, which made moving them around a breeze. I put the outdoor furniture piece together with the help of my roommate in under 30 minutes, but I honestly think I could have done it solo if I had needed to.
Each section was individually boxed and came with its own little tool kit – all you really need to do is attach the four legs to the base, connect the sections of the sofa (if you want to) and place the cushions on the seat. Sorted.
I chose the ‘fog grey’ fabric seats as I thought this would be easier to keep clean. But more than just being practical and eco-friendly, the final result looks incredibly stylish. I was blown away by how great the sofa looked.
I chose to arrange the seats so the armrest pieces made a loveseat and the armless chair sits on its own, and I’m a little bit obsessed with the whole set-up.
Importantly, it’s also comfortable to sit on. It’s a firm but cosy seat and the back cushions offer a lot of support. I like to sit out on the sofa and eat my lunch on sunny days now.
And bonus, the armrests are thick enough that you can pop a small plate or glass on there if you don’t have a table nearby (I don’t).
My patio is covered so the weather isn’t a huge concern, but regardless, the seat covers only take a few seconds to pull down which means you don’t have to fuss around with taking the cushions off and running inside every time the skies turn grey.
Then, of course, the fact that the sofa is made from 30 per cent recycled materials and is graded as 100 per cent recyclable is pretty damn appealing, too.
What was not so good?
I don’t have many negative points to highlight here, I’ll be honest. The sofa can feel a little chunky if you have a smaller space, so that may be something to consider when choosing outdoor furniture, but that’s just a personal preference thing.
Aside from that, I will say the pricing may be a deterrent for some people as it is a little costly. The three-seater is priced at $4,550 but considering it’s a sustainable brand and that the wicker is hand-woven and weather protected, I can’t say I was expecting a low price-point here.
The Wicker Outdoor Sofa verdict:
On the whole, I have to say I have been incredibly impressed by not only the experience of setting up this outdoor sofa but by how beautiful it looks and how comfortable it feels.
Yes, it’s on the more expensive side, but if you can afford to invest in a piece of furniture that won’t just make your backyard look beautiful, but contributes to sustainability too, I really think it’s worth considering.