Buying the right garden furniture

Here in the UK, as soon as we get a glimpse of the sun, we like to get outside and enjoy our gardens. Whether it’s a spot of al fresco dining (a personal fave of mine, I must admit), entertaining friends and family or simply relaxing, there are so many reasons to invest in some lovely new garden furniture. Your garden can be your escape from the stresses of everyday life, so it makes sense to take time out to sit and plan how you want it to look.

Jill 4 Seater Rattan Wicker Cube Garden Furniture

Garden furniture shouldn’t be an impulse buy when you’re in the local garden centre picking a few plants up, it should be given the same care and consideration you’d give if you were purchasing a new sofa for the living room. After all, surely you want it to be as comfortable and stylish? When choosing furniture for your garden there are many things you need to consider and here at Lazy Susan we’re on hand to offer a few pointers.

And I know we are a little biased, but I don’t care how pleasant your garden is, it is not being enjoyed to its full extent if there is no where for visitors to sit and relax. Garden furniture is vital and fortunately for Lazy Susan very few gardeners are willing to sacrifice design for comfort, there is just so many styles to choose from, so it is pretty rare to find gardens bereft of garden furniture these days. And good garden furniture should really look good with just about any style of garden to be honest with you.

Gone are the days of a few mouldy looking plastic chairs, many gardens will now provide several different items of furniture so that people have the flexibility to enjoy the garden in different ways, from a more formal dining style setting to lounging on outdoor sofas. However, all this new choice makes that buying decision even more tricky. How do you decide which type of garden furniture is best for the outdoor space you have available?

The first thing we always tell those customers who are unsure of what they want and what they need, is simply start by deciding how the garden will be used? Are you looking to create a more formal setting or an informal area that’s perfect for relaxation? Some people like to entertain and the patio or decking area can work as an extra room a party (weather permitting). Other people just like to enjoy the peace and quiet of their gardens. Alternatively, the garden could even double up as an play area for young children. It is critical you purchase your new furniture with a clear idea of how you plan to use your space.

Garden furniture has a critical role to play if you want true outdoor living on your patio, in fact I’d go so far as to say it is the single most important element of outdoor décor. You want to make the most of your outdoor living space, especially, during the summer time, but how can you do that if there is no where comfortable to sit? Relaxing and unwinding in the garden or on your patio on a sunny weekend just can’t be beat. However, this can be made perfect with the right garden furniture. Your garden should be viewed as an extension of your home, whilst your garden furniture not only adds the comfort factor but it also helps in elevating the entire garden.

There are many choices of garden furniture from lightweight bistro furniture and sun loungers to outdoor sofas and large dining sets. And the best way to choose furniture is to figure out how you and your family enjoy using the garden or patio area, as well as how you entertain visitors. If you like to light the BBQ, kick back with a cold drink on a sunny day with friends, then you could choose lounge chairs, low tables, and create an area for guests to eat and mingle. However, if you have smaller family that enjoys just unwinding in the garden? Maybe fresh coffee and the morning papers are more your style, then how about an outdoor day bed or comfy 4 seater sofa set to create a more intimate seating may be just perfect! Whichever is your style, choose outdoor furniture that you will love to enjoy by yourself or with a large group.

Do you just want seating for a little quiet relaxation for two? How many people do you usually entertain and what type of entertaining do you enjoy doing in the garden? Do you need a large dining table with several chairs or just a simple 4 seater set with comfy chairs and a low table between them? What are your storage needs and where will you store your furniture during the winter? If you’d like to be able to move your seating inside when the summer is over, then something lightweight is essential. Alternatively, invest in good quality garden furniture covers to protect it.

Before you may fall in love with the garden furniture you’ve seen in your favourite home style magazine, think about what what type of materials work best with the UK climate and where you plan to position the furniture? For example, if it is going in a conservatory or a patio that is exposed to the sun all day, then you need furniture where the cushions can be removed so that they don’t fade in the sun. If you plan to leave it outside all year, then look at something like cedar wood garden furniture that will weather nicely over time and stand up to the British weather. Our weather is pretty unpredictable, so the safe choice is something like resin wicker that is lightweight, low maintenance and can stand up to the elements.

Purchasing new garden furniture can range in price from a couple of hundred pounds to over a thousand, so it is crucial you decide ahead of time the amount of money you want to spend and then stick to that figure. Consider waiting until the end of season sales and see if you can grab yourself a bargain You can also save alot of money by sticking to a clear maintenance plan or refreshing old furniture with a lick of paint or by replacing old cushions, parasols and other outdoor accessories rather than replacing the furniture itself.

Think about where your furniture will be placed. Does the space get a lot of direct sunshine? Will the furniture be sitting on grass or on a hard surface such as a brick patio or deck? The answers to these questions will help you establish if you need an parasol or if you need light weight furniture that can sit on soft grass without sinking and damaging your lawn too much. Are there any views from your garden or patio that you want to enjoy? Will your garden furniture be close to the house or at the other end of the garden? Garden furniture that is close to the house needs to work the architectural style of your home, while outdoor furniture further away, leaves a little more freedom to play with different styles.

Carefully measure the space that you’re planning to fill with garden furniture and before you go out or click buy, go home with the furniture measurements and use chalk to mark out the dimensions or use cutouts of your furniture dimensions to double check it all fits and works with the space. Think about placement, look at traffic flow to see if you can still easily move around the space, and don’t forget about the fact that chairs need to be pulled away from the table in order for people to sit down. If you are working with a small space, then consider a bar or bistro style table rather than a full-sized dining table and if you want to go with a traditional dining table, then consider armless chairs or chairs that fit under the table such as the Lazy Susan Jill range shown above.

Determine the pieces of garden furniture you want to buy and carefully choose the right accessories. Purchase good quality pillows and cushions. Make sure you have a place to store them when you’re not using them. Look for pillows that have UV colour fade protection, as well as polyester fibers that are quick to dry and will allow air to filter through. Go with an parasol that’s a lighter, neutral colour and its less likely to fade by the end of the summer!

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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