Guide to the best garden furniture books

We’ve looked at general gardening books in the past, but an area where it’s a little more tricky to find a good read is garden furniture. Trust Lazy Susan, there’s a wealth of material out there, you just have to look a little harder and possibly order online. And don’t be put off by the fact many of the books on garden furniture focus on design and self build, they can still offer inspiration and wealth of information on care and maintenance etc. Some new, some old, but all in all a very good collection in no particular order of Lazy Susan’s top garden furniture books…

Making Garden Furniture from Wood
by Anthony Hontoir

Guide to the best garden furniture books

Format: Paperback – Released 27/05/05

No garden is complete without sympathetic furniture. Using simplified woodworking techniques, this book covers fourteen pieces ranging from tables and chairs to bird houses and fencing: all are both useful and delightful additions to any garden. Projects ranging in difficulty for novice and experienced woodworkers to enjoy Advice on tools and materials Explanation of jointing techniques Clear step-by-step instructions for each project, with cutting lists Supported by over 160 colour photographs and line artwork. Anthony Hontoir is a highly experienced woodworker, particularly in making furniture. He is also a writer and photographer, and has regularly contributed to specialist woodworking magazines. This is his sixth book for The Crowood Press.

The Book of Garden Furniture
by Charles Thonger

Guide to the best garden furniture books

Format: Hardback – Released 20/08/08

Originally published in 1903 (yes that’s correct 1903, you could call this book somewhat of a classic. This book is basically a is a thorough source of information on garden structures. Among garden structures dealt with in the book are summer-houses, arbours, pergolas, bridges, and fencing of various descriptions. As these, strictly speaking, do not come under the general heading of garden furniture, it may be well to explain that, in order to prevent a cum-bersome and lengthy title, the author took the liberty of including them as such. You really have to love garden furniture as much as Lazy Susan for this one, but it really is a fascinating read. Here’s a little excerpt from the section on seats:

“The seat is the earliest form of garden furniture, and between the felled tree-stump, which served our ancestors as a convenient resting-place, and the elaborate structures which are to be seen in modern gardens, there are a great variety of styles—good, bad, and indifferent. Notwithstanding the progress which has been made in the decorative arts of this country during the last decade, the furniture intended for our gardens still retains its reputation for being hopelessly crude and inartistic. Especially so is this the case with the class which we are now considering, and of which William Robinson has said, ” It is rare to see a garden seat that is not an eyesore.” Why this should be so is somewhat difficult to understand, for neither in design nor construction is there any great difficulty to overcome. The fact that a large proportion of garden-seats are home-made proves that the fault must occur in the style adopted, rather than in the matter of workmanship.”

How to Build Classic Garden Furniture
by Danny Proulx

Guide to the best garden furniture books

Format: Paperback – Released 01/01/09

This step-by-step guide to making garden furniture contains 20 projects each accompanied by close-up photographs and alternatives for design, wood selection and finishing. The instructions are broken down into units and the materials lists only require standard tools and supplies. Each beautiful project is easy to build with full-colour illustrations, numbered steps, close-up photos and schematic drawings that break instructions down into small, workable units you can complete at your own pace. Best of all, each project requires only standard tools and materials and provides numerous alternatives for design, wood selection and finishing. Make your great outdoors even better with the functional beauty of this high-quality outdoor furniture you can build yourself.

Rustic Garden Furniture & Accessories: Making Chairs, Planters, Birdhouses, Gates and More
by Daniel Mack & Thomas Stender

Guide to the best garden furniture books

Format: Paperback – Released 01/09/07

Rustic woodworking is a technique that continues to attract both novice and experienced craftspeople. Through 30 attractive projects of varying difficulty, two experts in this traditional art teach the pleasures of working with sticks, twigs, and other found wood. No experience is required to construct many of the pieces, and illustrations and color photos provide help throughout. A woven twig birdhouse, beautiful diamond rose trellis, and the perennial favorite Adirondack chair: all the projects add decorative flair to a porch or deck. Also included are tips for working with bark, and advice on painting and other finishing methods. The various combinations of natural wood textures and curves will add sparkand comfort to any garden.

New Cottage Style: Decorating Ideas for Casual, Comfortable Living
by Better Homes & Gardens

Guide to the best garden furniture books

Format: Hardcover – Released 28/02/05

This title breaks cottage-style decorating into what they call ‘do-able increments’. Tip boxes throughout the book inspire readers. It is illustrated with 300 full-colour photos. The aim is to help you turn any home into a vacation-style getaway. If you want to get away – every day – this is a must-have decorating book. “Cottage” is defined as a usually small vacation home, but this inspiring and practical decorating book gives you the tools and inspiration to make your own cottage dreams materialize -right now and wherever you live. What’s your dream? A cottage by the water? A lace-curtained farmhouse? A little house in the big woods? Or how about a room that surrounds you with the fresh colors of a garden walk – all year long? Well, you can have it! Better Homes and Gardens Cottage Style includes more than 200 lush color photos to get your imagination going. In addition to a room-by-room decorating guide, special sections break cottage style into the dreamy basics – fabrics, furnishings, colors, walls, windows, and floors – that you can mix and match to create your own personal decorating schemes. Along the way, you’ll enjoy and learn from cottage decorating makeover tips and simple project ideas. Why wait to own or visit that lake house or cabin you’ve been dreaming of when you can decorate to turn your home into a getaway cottage you can enjoy every day? Decorating ideas to achieve a cottage look that’s clean, simple, and light. New and remodeled homes that incorporate cottage style via architectural features and easy decorating choices. Secrets to creating harmony and simplicity with paint, furniture, fabrics, and accessories. Examples of projects in the country, the woods, suburbia, and oceanfront locations. Practical ideas and decorating techniques to create a comfortable getaway look. Effective color schemes that achieve a serene palette.

Painted Garden Furniture Projects
Areta Bingham (Author)

Guide to the best garden furniture books

Format: Paperback – Released 22/04/04

The furniture in your garden can provide as much colour, beauty, and imagination as the flowers they complement. Just tole-paint your tables, chairs, planters, birdbaths, birdhouses, benches, and storage cabinets with these 19 different designs accompanied by their own patterns and instructions for applying them to a variety of projects. The projects feature a thoughtful use of colour that enhances the realistic style of the motifs, which include morning glories, poppies, berries and autumn leaves, and folk-art designs, as well as gilded antiques, chic looks, and faux tile. A rustic birdhouse features delicate purple blossoms, while a cabinet hutch has a scattering of painted leaves in autumn hues. Tiny vines, leaves, and berries adorn a shelf made of twigs. Each piece captures nature in all its beauty.

Yard and Garden Furniture
Bill Hylton

Guide to the best garden furniture books

Format: Paperback – Released 31/12/00

Whether a homeowner prefers the sleek lines of an Adirondack chair and table, or the sturdy scissors of a family picnic table, ‘Yard & Garden Furniture’ has a project to suit his or her tastes and needs. There are twenty projects in all, each with a complete parts list, cutting plans, exploded assembly views, and step-by-step how-to photos. For novice woodworkers, there are simple projects such as a planted bench and basic garden bench. But the book also includes more challenging pieces, including deck chairs and a porch rocker. This book always stands out for its clear instruction and comprehensive approach. Whether a homeowner prefers the sleek lines of an Adirondack chair and table, or the sturdy scissors of a family picnic table, Yard & Garden Furniture has a project to suit his or her tastes and needs. There are twenty projects in all, each with a complete parts list, cutting plans, exploded assembly views, and step-by-step how-to photos. For novice woodworkers, there are simple projects such as a planted bench and basic garden bench. But the book also includes more challenging pieces, including deck chairs and a porch rocker.

Patio Furniture: Ideas And Tips For Decorating, Wood Or Aluminum, Bar Chairs, Poolside And Backyard Furniture And Some Buying Advice
Silvia Shortings (Author)

Guide to the best garden furniture books

Format: Amazon Kindle

Only available on Amazon Kindle, but this is probably the pick of the bunch as far as Lazy Susan in concerned. And while we don’t always agree with the author, it is definitely the definitive book on all aspects of garden furniture, and we love it. This has to be our favourite extract and Lazy Susan can’t argue with the author on this one (in fact we could of wrote this ourselves)…

“Patio furniture is often the ‘afterthought’ in a patio design. Ideally, however, your design plans should incorporate basic ideas about patio furniture. A well-coordinated look is possible only if the patio itself, the patio awning or canopy, and the patio furniture complement one another. You have a diverse range of choices available. One of the most popular is cast aluminium. As long as you stay clear of tubular framing, these furniture pieces are extremely functional on a patio. In spite of fairly lightweight and easy to move about, solid cast aluminium chairs are sturdy enough to withstand the wind and weather to a large extent. In contrast to wrought iron sets, cast aluminium patio furniture won’t rust. It is preferable to buy furniture with welded joints. If bolts are used, they should be stainless steel or aluminium. A solidly crafted aluminium chair, that is powder coated, will withstand years of weather extremes, and family fun. Just make sure that you follow the maintenance instructions to the letter, or you may find that you have voided your warranty! Usually all your aluminium patio furniture asks for, is to be spruced up with a bit of water, to which a gentle detergent has been added. This is often followed by a light coating of car wax as a sealant.”

About Lazy Susan

About Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan is a small family business that specialise exclusively in wicker, rattan and metal garden furniture, specifically cast aluminium. Visit www.lazysusanfurniture.co.uk to find out more and view our complete product range.

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