5 Tips for Choosing Garden Furniture

Wednesday 26th June 2019

Lazy summer evenings in the garden or patio make for some of the fondest memories. There’s nothing better than making the most of your outdoor space with some suitable garden furniture, and enjoying relaxing outside in the warm summer air.

With the huge range of garden furniture available, it can be a daunting task to determine which is right for you. Follow our tips below to help you choose. 

This is number 1 on our list for a reason! Low quality garden furniture simply won’t last. It might be usable for one or two summers, but by the time the third year rolls around it may be rusty and tatty. See below for some information on common types of materials used to produce garden furniture.

Aluminium, plastic and PVC
The advantage of these materials is that they are lightweight, rust proof, require very little weather treating, and are relatively inexpensive. Being lightweight, however, they may be less durable and more likely to break or bend if roughly handled. 

Steel & Iron
The advantage here is the sturdiness of these materials. Steel & iron will make for heavy duty, sturdy furniture, but will rust if not treated, weatherproofed or painted periodically. 

Rattan & wicker
Garden furniture made from these materials looks fantastic, is usually very comfortable and is relatively lightweight making it easy to manoeuvre. Wicker & rattan last surprisingly well outdoors in the rain, especially when treated with a resin finish, but they may require weather proofing every few years to keep them in tip top shape. 

Wooden furniture looks great and is generally very sturdy and comfortable, however regular treatment is required to ensure protection from the weather. 

Don’t sacrifice comfort for utility! Many people tend to think of garden furniture in terms of hard, durable surfaces which will last in the weather. Yes, typically the frames of the furniture are hard, but many sets come with attachable cushions, some of which can even be left out during the rain. 

Cushions and pillows make all the difference to the comfort of your furniture, so make sure to ask in store if these are included. If not, then you can always buy cushions that fit - just make sure that either they are weather resistant, or bring them indoors after use if not.

It pays to to try out the furniture before buying - so make sure to take a seat in whichever set you are considering before making a purchase. Ideally sit down in the seat for a few minutes so that you can really get a feel for the level of comfort. 

Before choosing your furniture, make sure to think through what type you need. If you’re planning on enjoying dinner parties in the garden then the obvious choice is a dining table and chairs. However, if you’re more interested in hosting drinks or cocktail parties then some comfortable seats, small tables for setting drinks on, and a fire pit or chimnea may be a better option. 

Also make sure to take measurements of the space you have to work with. Use a tape measure to determine what size of a set you need, and bring the tape measure along to the shop with you just in case you might need it.

Pay attention to the area that the furniture will be in. Will it be on grass? Light wood decking? Dark grey composite decking? The colour, texture and general aesthetic of the area you choose to place your furniture will, in large part, determine which style of furniture will look best. 

Just like you would do with your inside space, make sure that the colours & textures compliment each-other, and don’t forget - you can always add more colour later with cushions, throws and accessories. 

There are lots of cheap furniture sets available from budget & discount shops. Similarly, there are lots of very expensive sets available from higher end shops. Of course, generally price is an indicator of quality, but don’t assume this to be the case. 

Some determiners of price include materials used, brand, design, durability etc. Some sets may be twice the price of others simply because they are sold under a well known brand. 

Generally speaking however, the old adage is true: you get what you pay for. Cheap sets will usually be made from cheap materials, or will not have been weather treated. The key things to look out for are materials, weatherproofing, durability and functionality. If the set you’re looking at ticks all these boxes then you’ll know it’s worth paying a bit extra for. The design of the set should also be considered - if it is an especially beautiful or unique design that you really love, then this may justify the extra cost. 

We hope these tips have been useful in your search for the perfect garden furniture. If you enjoyed reading it then please share it with a friend. 

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