At first glance, choosing new garden furniture appears to be a simple task, right? Walk into your local garden centre, pick up a solid table and chair set and job done?
Not quite. Your garden is your precious escape from the stresses of everyday life, so it really does pay to take time to sit and carefully plan how you want your garden to look.
When choosing furniture for your garden there are many things you need to consider and take into account. I’ve boiled these down into what I believe are the 6 essential things you absolutely need to bear in mind when choosing these vital elements to your outdoor comfort.
1. Take account of the size of your garden
No matter how small or large your garden is, there are many different styles that you can choose to fit that will look great in your garden. It may seem like common sense, but choosing inappropriately sized furniture for your garden size is a typical mistake I see time and time again. For example, if your garden is a tidy, compact affair, you’ll really suffer if all available space is taken up by a large table and chairs you’re unable to fold away.
2. Consider what will you be using your garden for
Will your garden be primarily for you to sit and read the morning papers while eating your breakfast? Or a place for family to eat together on warm summer evenings? Or even a space to entertain friends with lavish parties and barbecues? However you’ll be using your garden, it pays to have a clear idea of this in mind before spending your hard-earned cash on garden furniture.
3. Have an idea of what kind of material you’d like your furniture to be
Wooden garden furniture is very popular and can last many years but requires regular maintenance and needs to be treated at least once a year.
Plastic is durable but could fade and scratch quite easily. It can easily look cheap and tacky very quickly.
Metal is not so versatile and could rust if left outside through the winter. However, metal is very popular and can look great for many years if cared for properly.
Aluminium is an extremely durable material designed to withstand cold winters. Frames are usually made out of aluminum and then rattan is hand-woven around the frame.
Rattan furniture is extremely low maintenance. Not only does it look great in the garden, but also works very well indoors in conservatories.
To complement your furniture you may want to add some pillows. Remember though, you’ll need to store them properly. It’s not advisable to leave pillows out all night as they will fade and start to look shabby. Look out for pillows with material that can be washed in the washing machine.
4. Consider your available storage space
British weather is extremely unpredictable so it’s important to take into account whether your garden furniture will survive for long periods in the open. You may have room to store your furniture in your shed or garage. However, depending on the size of the furniture you choose, it may be easier and more practical to keep them outdoors with covers over them to protect them.
Rattan especially can be left outside through the winter and will not rust, making it an ideal choice for those with little to no storage space.
5. Shop according to your budget
Your budget is your ultimate guide and you should have a very clear idea of how much you intend to spend before heading out to the store. But remember: you get what you pay for! Sometimes it’s worth spending that little bit extra because it will likely last longer.
6. Think about where in the garden your furniture will go
You may want to buy a table for your patio or decking area, but think about the space you have and how much room you will be left with once you’ve added chairs and other assorted sundries. Do you have a balcony? If this is the case, a small table and two chairs may be all you need. If your garden has a sun-trap then think about investing in an umbrella to shade you when the sun is at its hottest.
There you have it. 6 essential considerations to make when buying new furniture for your garden. It’s mostly common sense, it’s true! However, you’d be surprised at how many people skip this advice and are left with garden furniture that is inconvenient, gets in the way or is hard to store. Follow these 6 simple tips and look forward to enjoying many a happy hour living outdoors.