Not a question that comes up too often but one that does get asked – Can I put an ordinary table in garden? Now this got me thinking about the opposite of that – Can I put a garden table in my home? I suppose the honest answer to both is you can do whatever you think works and looks good.
However, back to the indoor table outside. This is something a good family friend of mine had been doing for a number of years. Dragging his wooden kitchen table and benches out into the garden. Now it had a picnic table look to it but it was most definitely not painted/protected from the elements, as he found out the hard way. But as crazy as this all may sound, his reasoning was (even for me) quite hard to argue against.
He was only an occasional garden user. They had limited space, and between work and the British weather, just didn’t feel the need to spend the money on a specific outdoor set. That ordinary kitchen table served him well for a number of years. Until he left it out one evening and the heavens opened. The table dried out but it stained it and many of the planks delaminated.
The advantage of having a good friend who works for an outdoor furniture company is that I was able to sort him a great deal on one of our modern sets that we had on clearance. It was just what he was looking for and, he’d never go back to that kitchen table, which after years of being dragged outside has been set to the great skip in the sky. It was way beyond any sort of repair.
So, can you put an ordinary table in garden?
This did get me thinking though…
Whilst it probably isn’t best to take pieces designed and constructed for inside the home, outside, the other way around sort of makes a little more sense.
Indoor pieces are often heavier as they’re not designed to be moved around. Outdoor pieces are often substantial so they won’t blow over, but take our cast aluminium, it is light enough that it is easier to pick up and move than a indoor dining table.
Our modern sets have actually proven to be quite a popular indoor item too. I’ve seen several customer photos to back this claim up and included a handful in this post. Many of our sets also get purchased for use in conservatories, orangeries, garden rooms and summer rooms etc. I suppose these are all still what we would consider inside spaces but they benefit greatly for a little outdoor styling.
To use (and yes I admit a little overused) a media ‘buzz’ phrase, these spaces benefit from ‘bringing the outside in’. It is a space where you can blur the lines between the inside of your home and the garden. They are rooms we use much like our garden, on days when the weather doesn’t permit us to actually use the garden. Lots of light, lots of planting, furniture that looks just at home on the patio etc.
In the UK that is more often than not at the moment too. As I sit and type this on a Monday in mid August, it is chucking it down. Torrential with warnings for thunder and lightning. Last week it was close to 30 degrees and glorious sunshine. This summer we seem to have flip flopped from heatwave to torrential rain with very little in-between.
Anyway, I digress… The point I was trying to make was that their has definitely been a shift in recent years to furniture pieces that look just as at home inside your property as they do outside. And vice versa. Outdoor furniture now takes its cues from indoor pieces, more of us our designing our outdoor spaces much like we would the inside of our home. Treating patios like a room, sectioning them into different functions, using soft furnishings such as garden rugs, throws and cushions to add real style and comfort.
This goes the the other way too. We’ve definitely taken the inside outside in many ways. The garden sofa, outdoor rug, outdoor kitchens etc, our patios are being designed much like any room inside the home with pieces that take their style cues from interior furniture and accessories. We want our outdoor spaces to function on a number of different levels, to be useable, be it for dining, relaxation or play etc.
Now, I’m not saying you could take our furniture and place in in your dining room. For me, it just wouldn’t ‘fit’. However, any room where the boundaries are a little blurred (or where you want to blur them) it can make an impact.
The type of rooms I mentioned above, kitchens that open up directly onto the patio etc. Paired with planting to bring a touch of the garden into that space. Outdoor pieces are designed and constructed to stand up to the elements, so they’re not going to have any issues standing up to the rigours of life in a family home.
In terms of that initial question of “can I put an ordinary table in garden?”, my answer to that one would have to be a no. Not advised I’m afraid. I suppose if you have a garden party planned and it is a one off for a few hours, then OK, but as a long term solution, definitely not.
For a starter, I can’t think of many indoor pieces that would work in an outdoor setting? However, they simply aren’t designed for it. The materials much of our indoor pieces are constructed from are easily damaged and imagine if your indoor sofa got caught in a sudden downpour?
An outdoor sofa on the other hand – many of which are now designed to look like their indoor cousins but constructed from outdoor specific fabrics – that works. If we jump back to those transitional spaces in our homes though, that’s a different story, indoor pieces function just as they were intended.