Finding the perfect garden furniture to suit your outdoor space will help you make the most of the warmer months and extend your interior style to the great outdoors, making your entire home feel bigger and brighter. This useful buying guide covers everything from garden size and intended use to garden furniture materials and styles, making it an excellent companion on your search for the perfect garden furniture for you
“Taking the time to get really clear on how you want the space to feel and how you will use it before thinking about the elements you want to include will help you to create a coherent design for space.”
VICTORIA WADE, GARDEN DESIGNER
Think about how you want to use your garden
Garden designer Victoria Wade believes in the power of visualisation - when planning your outdoor space and choosing furniture for it. We recommend picturing yourself in your garden and focusing on how it feels - is it a social place where you host friends at a bar, around the outdoor kitchen, or is it a haven where you can escape for a while, and can you accommodate both? This will give you a clear picture of the outdoor furniture you need; it is the whole family around a dining set, a bistro set catching up with a friend, or are you reclined on a sun lounger in the late afternoon sun?
Where to position garden furniture?
“Imagine savouring your morning coffee in the sunshine and enjoying a few moments of calm before starting your day. To start with you’re going to want to find a lovely, sheltered spot in your garden (probably not too far from the house) that catches the morning sun.”
VICTORIA WADE, GARDEN DESIGNER
Once you know what moments you want to enjoy in your garden, think about the space you have to work with to position your garden furniture for those moments. Take note of the pattern of the sun at different times of the day and you will find the natural places will emerge; an area that receives plenty of early evening sun would be ideal for an outdoor dining set - choose a dining table with an integrated fire pit to gain extra hours socialising outside because you can stay put for longer without catching a chill.
Wherever you decide to place your garden furniture, make sure you have taken legroom into account. Our outdoor furniture sets have a “footprint” measurement, which takes ideal legroom into account and is a great help when deciding on which dining or lounge set to buy.
Which material to choose for your garden furniture
WEATHER READY WOODEN SETS
Wooden furniture is a timeless choice and acacia and eucalyptus are both perfect hardwoods for outdoor furniture and come with their own unique and attractive grains. Garden furniture with simple style and wooden frames such as the Cape Corner Set favoured by @hygge_for_home are ideal for creating a Scandinavian style outdoor.
METAL FRAMED GARDEN FURNITURE
Depending on the design, metal furniture can stamp a vintage look or a sleek contemporary style on your outdoor space. Metal framed furniture is relatively low maintenance and if dark in tone can set off tropical greenery beautifully. A pleasing contrast coupled with wood, contemporary sets with metal frames are ideal for creating an Industrial style outdoor.
FAUX RATTAN OUTDOOR SETS
Made of durable, low-maintenance polyethylene (PE), the undulating weave of faux rattan flows elegantly with the natural landscape and so adds rustic country charm. Choose a set that couples faux rattan with hardwood or an aluminium frame to reimagine the traditional look for a modern setting, ideal for creating a Country Classic or a Modern Rustic look.
WOVEN ROPE DESIGNS
Crafted using strong, low-maintenance and water-repellent marine-grade rope, choose these designs to create a soft, romantic look that doesn't bear too heavily on your space, as the rope lattice weave lets light shine through. Woven rope designs are ideal for creating a romantic Scandinavian style outdoor.
Find the right furniture to suit your space
GARDEN FURNITURE FOR SMALL GARDENS
Defining areas with your furniture works well when the outside area is limited - but it is important not to overcrowd small gardens. Large corner sets or hanging chairs might suit your needs over several smaller pieces when the area is compact; decide how you will use the space and whether you need a table to eat outside. Connect to the inside of your home by taking your indoor style out and by utilising accessories like mirrors, it will help keep the space open. Tall planters and plants offer excellent privacy screens for patios.
GARDEN FURNITURE FOR SMALL GARDENS
We do not recommend putting our garden sets directly onto grass, but if your garden doesn’t have a level, paved area and you’re not planning to put one in, make sure you have a viable spot that is dry and level, where your outdoor furniture can sit without sinking or sitting at an angle. Since grass and soil retain moisture and will rot the feet of your furniture, faux rattan and aluminium frames will be your best choice, but always remember to take your outdoor furniture off the grass overnight.
THE RIGHT FURNITURE FOR YOUR PATIO
As patios and courtyards are level, paved areas, garden furniture in wood, metal and faux rattan is suitable as long as it’s cared for properly. The size of your patio and how you see yourself enjoying the space will then dictate to you whether you furnish it with a few sun loungers or a compact outdoor kitchen and dining set.
OUTDOOR DESIGNS FOR YOUR BALCONY
Foldaway outdoor furniture creates a versatile balcony because it can be stowed neatly, choose a foldaway double deckchair for lounging in the day and a folding bistro set for sun-soaked snacks and intimate evening dining, choose single deck chairs to use as extra seating for guests and a foldaway tray table or two on which to rest drinks.
GARDEN SETS FOR OUTDOOR GATHERINGS
Keep your large garden gatherings feeling social and versatile with modular and corner lounge sets, they will guarantee that your gathering flows from start to finish, with all guests feeling comfortable and included. If your gatherings are likely to go on into the night, a modular lounge set with an integrated gas-fuelled fire pit will provide the perfect point around which everyone can congregate to warm up and toast their host.
Garden furniture style ideas
OUTDOOR DINING SETS
Ideal for spontaneously moving family dinner outside on a warm weekday evening, or gathering around with a few friends on a weekend, our outdoor dining sets come in materials to suit any style. Bench seating is versatile and feels more sociable, whereas dining chairs will allow everyone to sit back and relax comfortably after a delicious meal, choose bar furniture to keep the party going straight through from cocktails to food and back again.
LOUNGE SET IDEAS
If you’re hoping to transform your garden for informal entertaining as an extension of your living room, a modular lounge set will provide you with the kind of relaxed, versatile style that you need. Available in a variety of materials to suit any style, all lounge sets come with removable UV resistant outdoor cushions; some even have luxurious reclining seats, and integrated gas-fuelled firepits to take your outdoor living comfortably from day to night.
BISTRO SETS FOR EVERY SPACE
Create an intimate atmosphere for your alfresco dining, whether it’s an early morning coffee or an evening meal, with a bistro set. Available in a variety of materials, these two-seater arrangements are an ideal solution for smaller gardens or balconies, or for positioning in a secluded corner of a larger garden.
THE OPTION OF A HANGING CHAIR
Perfect for those who wish for their garden to be a quiet retreat from daily life, hanging chairs are great for small gardens and create an important focal point to zone a large garden. Enjoy a little alone time curled up in a single hanging chair with a good book or dose with a loved one in two and three-seater models.
VERSATILE FOLDING GARDEN FURNITURE
The ultimate in stylish and space-conscious garden furniture, foldaway pieces are great for when you don’t have room for a permanent set. Deck chairs are a brilliant alternative to sun loungers while folding tables and chairs will allow you to invite a few extra people to your garden gatherings through the summer.