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Outdoor furniture buying guide

how to choose your outdoor furniture.

Your garden can be anything you want it to be – from a place for the kids to play to somewhere to catch some rays to somewhere to entertain – so deciding which furniture will work best for you is tricky. Luckily, our outdoor furniture guide is packed full of information designed to help you choose your outdoor furniture. Not only that, but you’ll also find advice on styling and caring for it once you own it too.

Jump to:

Function

Position

Size

Style

Type

Care

Finishing touches

 

Function

The first thing you should think about, before even considering a purchase, is what you want to do in your outdoor space. Whether you’ve got a tiny balcony, a concrete yard or a huge garden, there are loads of options! So you need to consider what you (yes, you) want to use your space for, from al fresco eating and soaking up the sun to moments in the sun with your morning coffee.

Having trouble figuring it out? The easiest way is to simply go in to your garden and picture yourself using it. Are you surrounded by friends and family or is it a natural haven of contemplation? This visualisation will help you determine whether you need a traditional dining table and chairs, a lounge set, a bistro set or a pair of sun loungers.

 

Position

Once you’ve decided how you want to use your garden, next you’ll decide where in your garden will work best for your chosen activities. For most, this will be easy – there might be only one area that works like a patio or decking, but for others you might have more choice.

If your vibe is a coffee with sunrise, then take note of the spot that gets those tentative morning rays – that’s where your bistro table will do. Likewise for evening dining, look for the area that gets drenched in hazy sun at seven pm.   

Do you have enough space in those spots, as well as hard, flat ground (i.e. patio or decking)? If not, a bit of landscaping may be in order for the long run.

 

Size

There’s nothing worse than your garden furniture arriving and then finding that it just doesn’t fit in the space. So make sure you do your due diligence and measure up the space you have to work with. You’ll need to leave at least 30cm between each piece of furniture, and at least 76cm around a dining table to make sure that it’s usable.

 

Style

When it comes to style, your outdoor living space should reflect your garden and your house. If you have a period property and a country garden, then you may want to go with wrought iron furniture or traditional style wooden furniture to suit your home.

If you have more of a contemporary feel to your home and garden, then more modern shapes and styles might work. For instance a string style chair will complement both spaces.

Not sure what style to go for? Try creating a mood board, either on paper or using an online tool, to put your outdoor space together with different styles of garden furniture.  

 

Type

Dining sets

A traditional dining table and chairs, but for outdoor use!  

Lounge sets

Like taking your living room outdoors, lounge sets usually include a sofa, chairs and a coffee table. Ideal for catching up with friends or keeping an eye on the kids. Shop lounge sets.

Sun loungers

Want to simply soak up the sun? Sun loungers are the one. Perfect for closing your eyes and imagining you’re on holiday. Just don’t forget the sun screen! Shop sun loungers.

Bistro sets

For a more intimate dining experience, go for a bistro set. Usually consisting of two chairs and a side table, they’re perfect for taking in the garden over coffee with a loved one. Shop bistro sets.

 

Care

The right care and maintenance will help keep your garden furniture looking good and functioning well for years to come. Furniture that contains PE (polyethylene) and powder-coated metal is super durable and weather resistance, so the only maintenance it will need is a clean once at the beginning of summer, once at the end, and then whenever it needs it in between.

Wooden furniture may need more maintenance, including applying oil to the wood to keep it supple.

When summer’s over, store or cover your outdoor furniture. Whatever the material, keeping the rain off it will mean that it will look better for longer – though it’s not a necessary step.

 

Finishing touches

You’ve decided on what you want to use your garden for, and bought your garden furniture – now for the fun part, the finishing touches!

Outdoor rugs

Outdoor rugs are a great way to add pattern and colour to your outdoor space, as well as something a little softer and warmer underfoot than decking or slabs. It’s especially great for renters or those on a budget as it’s a quick, easy and reversible way to inject a bit of style into your space. 

Outdoor cushions

Add comfort and style with outdoor cushions. Just like an indoor sofa or chair – your outdoor seating looks incomplete without cushions! Plus they mean that everyone’s comfort levels are seen to without fuss. Shop outdoor cushions.

Throws

Snuggle in as the sun goes down with a cosy throw. Adding extra layers of comfort, they’re ideal for wrapping yourself up in with a hot or cold drink, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space for longer. Shop throws

 

shop outdoor.