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Q&A: Mobelli

Mobelli is synonymous with low-maintenance, yet stylish outdoor furniture. HL chatted to Alon Sachs, co-founder of Mobelli Outdoor Furniture, about which pieces to invest in first and how to keep your outdoor furniture looking its best. What are the best ways to clean your furniture without damaging it? Cleaning outdoor furniture is very important and is the only requirement, really, when owning Mobelli outdoor furniture. The best way to clean is with a mild soap solution, for example Sunlight Liquid soap mixed with water. With a cloth, a soft bristle brush or a scotch brite pad simply rub the furniture down. We use HDPE material on all of our woven furniture, which is highly resistant to acids (nothing really sticks to it!). Just avoid ammonia, as this will destroy wicker. When it comes to stainless steel furniture, clients near the coast may find a layer of what looks like rust. It comes off very easily with a scotch brite pad and soapy water. Never use a high pressure hose on fabric. It will destroy it. If you have outdoor cushions, we suggest that you rub them down every now and again. You can wash them, but don’t do this regularly as it can be challenging to put the foam back in the cover. Does the cleaning and maintenance of outdoor furniture differ depending on the region you live in (e.g. coastal, inland, mostly sunny)? The region you live in will determine the amount of cleaning you have to do. Living along the Indian ocean coast, specifically in high humidity areas such as KwaZulu-Natal, requires constant wash downs. Even the best stainless steel will rust if not maintained. Living by the ocean, wherever you are, means constant cleaning and maintenance of anything and everything you own. In windy areas, dust often settles on the cushions, making them dirty. It’s important to vacuum or plump out the cushions so that the dust does not ingrain itself on the cushion. Dust and dirt will eventually prevent the Teflon coating from doing its work properly and dirty cushions will not repel stains as easily. A cold water wash every now and again (six months to a year) keep them looking brand new. Can your outdoor furniture remain outside all year? All furniture should remain in the same place. If not, it's not truly outdoor furniture. Mobelli ensures that its furniture is made to be outside year round. We have a few climatic zones in South Africa, which means that the advice we give our customers varies from region to region. In Cape Town, it hardly rains in summer and we advise our customers to keep their cushions and furniture outside, regardless of occasional rainfall. Rather leave the cushions outside and clean them every now and then. In Joburg, where summer rainfall is common, we offer fabric options made with a new, high tech, outdoor leatherette that doesn't absorb water in the foam core. Your range of outdoor furniture is quite varied. What would you say are the essential outdoor furniture pieces for new homeowners or small outdoor spaces? How do you determine what is necessary? At Mobelli, every customer is asked about their needs straight away. Outdoor furniture can be broken down into the following main groups: outdoor dining, outdoor lounging, poolside and shade. Once we establish what the client’s needs are, we ask about the space in which they live and their entertaining style. We then show them a collection that suits their needs. The essential pieces to own are a comfortable dining table and dining chairs. It is important to get tables that don’t wobble and chairs that are comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. For more information about Mobelli's outdoor furniture range, visit Compiled by Astrid Sanders