How to choose the right garden furniture

When it comes to buying new garden furniture, one of the key pieces of information that should influence your ultimate decision, is the location. The same is true for both interior design and garden design. But while consumers will carefully measure the space in a living room before buying a new sofa, time and again we meet people who’ve purchased a patio set on impulse or because it was on sale at the local DIY superstore, only to find that the furniture is too big for their patio.

So, when it comes to garden furniture, before you buy, think location. You don’t want to spend a large sum of money only to find that your newly purchased garden furniture doesn’t ‘fit’ with your garden or style of home or you just don’t have the space for it. Homeowners need to first think about the choices involved, do some research, and make the purchase confident that the furniture will take pride of place on your patio for many summers to come.

At Lazy Susan, we like to advise our customers to think about what the garden furniture will be used for and the space they have available for it. Before you even start thinking about the type of material or style of garden furniture you want, get the tape measure out and think about how you plan to use your new garden furniture. Ask yourself who’ll be using the furniture on a regular basis?

For example, if you’re lucky enough to have a nice large patio, and you like to get the BBQ out for friends and family, then you need a large dining style table with plenty of seats (pictured above). However, if its all about relaxation, then think about a low sofa set with coffee table (as shown below).

Fleur Rattan Sofa Garden Furniture Set

Fleur Rattan Sofa Set by Lazy Susan

Buying the right size garden furniture

So back to that aforementioned tape measure… It is very important you measure the space you have available on your patio or in your garden for your new garden furniture to sit. Take the dimensions of the garden furniture and work out if it will fit. And if you’re going for an outdoor dining set, then don’t just go off the table size. Think about the seating area around the table. You need to have enough room so that people can pull the chairs out, sit comfortably, and move around the table freely.

In our webshop we give clear dimensions for all our pieces. However, in terms of the space requirements of a dining set, we recommend that as a general rule of thumb, you should allow for at least 75cm either side of the table for a chair to be pulled out. The majority of garden dining style chairs in the UK are of a similar size, so this rule doesn’t just apply to our furniture too.

The diagram below illustrates this with an 8 seater garden 210 x 150cm oval table set as the example. However, the 75cm rule applies to all sizes and shapes of table:

Lazy Susan Dimensions for a 210 x 150cm Garden Table

Lazy Susan Dimensions for a 210 x 150cm Garden Table

What shape of garden furniture is best?

The nature of a garden dining table is such that it tends to define your patio. In terms of shape, style, and size, it forms a key part of the garden. It dictates the style of your outdoor space, you can take a simple stone patio or timber decked area, add a piece of garden furniture and set the tone for the rest of that space, or the whole garden for that matter. It will split your patio or deck into different walkways, and essentially form the spine of your patio, while at the same time, defining the nature of any interactions that take place there.

To decide the shape of garden table for your garden/patio, the general rule we follow is to base that decision on the shape of your patio, deck, wherever the garden furniture set will sit. For example, if you have a circular block set patio such as I have, then you’ll want a round table that will complement those curves. Or you may have a square timber deck that would be better suited to a rectangular or squared set.

Another aspect you need to take into account is the space limitations of the area. A circular or oval shaped table takes up a little less space than a similarly sized square or rectangular table. Basically because the curve means that there’s no corners that jut out into the ‘free’ space. A square or rectangular table on the other hand is not as easy to move around when situated centrally on a patio, however, it can be pushed against a wall or into a corner, therefore allowing you to save some space.

Just take a little time to think about it, mock up in paper or cardboard the footprint/dimensions of the garden furniture and lay them out to get a better feel of how they’ll work in the space.

Buying the right type of garden furniture for your outdoor space

The key to buying the right garden furniture is in the understanding of the nature of your outdoor space, and the purpose of the new furniture, before actually going out and selecting new pieces.

At Lazy Susan we blog a lot about the different types of garden furniture, the latest styles etc, but the most important part of what we do is helping people choose the right garden furniture and making sure it lasts. Our customer reviews over on the web shop are testament to that.

As the garden and patio become an increasingly important part of the home, with as much care and consideration placed on the design as say the living room, acquiring the right garden furniture becomes paramount. Consumers expect stylish garden furniture that can withstand everything the British weather can throw at it.

It is always worth taking the time to do a little research before buying any big purchase, and garden furniture is no different. It has a big impact on outside space, creates a statement, you want to select the right pieces from the get-go. Yes want style, the perfect form, to work with your home/garden/patio, you want to enjoy using it, but most importantly you want longevity. It needs to stand up to elements, and look good for many years to come.

There’s some big decisions to make when it comes to your garden furniture. Size, style, number of pieces, what pieces, type of material etc, the list goes on. I’d recommended going online when it comes to actually buying new garden furniture, do a little research and don’t just limit yourself to what’s available in the local garden centre. Choosing the right garden furniture for your outdoor space is a decision that requires a little thought and careful planning.

Buying the right design and material is also important. The weather in the UK is not the best. Even in summer, if we’re lucky enough to get one, the rain can fall. The best types of garden furniture will not only work in harmony with the materials already present in your garden, but they will function well. They’ll stand up to the elements and not rust, warp, or fade.

There are many different garden furniture materials available online and in UK stores… From timber, to metal, and rattan to name a few. Only you can decide which type of material will compliment and fit in with your garden. We are a little biased at Lazy Susan, but the benefit of buying cast aluminium garden furniture is that it is extremely durable and virtually maintenance free. Plus cast aluminium garden furniture can be left outdoors all year round.

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