Our recent comprehensive guide to the perfect garden table and chairs article is a great overview of how to choose which material, type, style, shape, size, number of garden chairs, price and retailer is best for your needs and outdoor space.
Of all of those criteria listed, purchasing the wrong size is probably the mistake we see people make most often, so we want to put that right today and help you choose the right size garden table set.
And whilst buying a garden table set that is too big for a patio or balcony is probably the most common, we also see many people buying sets that are just too small for the space they have or their needs.
We want to look in detail at why scale and proportion are important, how to go about measuring for a Garden Table Set from Lazy Susan and hopefully help you make a purchase that will live at the heart of your garden for many summers to come.
How do you choose the right size garden table set?
Choosing the right size garden table set comes down primarily to the amount of free outdoor space you have, be that on a patio, a terrace, a balcony or just on your garden lawn.
That free space will be what dictates the size of set you can buy, however, there are a number of other factors other than the space you have available that need to be considered to ensure you get the “right” size:
- Free Space
We will start with the obvious and that is simply measuring the area where you want to place the garden table to determine the maximum size that you can accommodate. It is vital you also ensure that there is enough space around the table for garden chairs (both space to pull them out and sit comfortably) and for people to then still move around the space safely.
- Seating Capacity
After calculating the free space you need to think about how many people you want to accommodate at your garden table. If you frequently host large gatherings, then (space permitting) go for one of our larger 6 to 10-seater tables. For smaller groups or more intimate settings, a simple bistro-style or 4-seater garden table will suffice.
- Table Shape
The shape of the table is something we looked at in more detail in our recent How to buy the right type of outdoor table set article but it can have a big impact on the size and seating capacity. For example, a circular table has a smaller footprint than the equivalent-seater square table but a square can be pushed up against a wall. Look at the different shapes and see which will best fit and function in the free space you have.
- Table Use
Think about how you like to use your outdoor space as this will have a significant bearing on the size (and therefore type) of garden table set that is right for your need. If you prefer a more casual, relaxed space, then a smaller 4-seater table might be more suitable. If you plan to use your patio table for outdoor dining, then a larger 8-seater table will cover all bases.
Setting a budget is a wise move as it can be easy to overspend. However, it will also need to be factored into your ultimate purchase decision in terms of the size (and quality) of the garden table set you choose. Larger dining-style tables made from durable materials such as cast aluminium will always cost more than smaller bistro-style tables in less robust or higher-maintenance materials such as rattan or wood.
How do you measure for a new garden table set?
Armed with answers to the criteria above, we are confident you will make the right purchase.
The starting point to choosing the right size garden table set is always measuring - making sure you have the free space needed for that sit to not only look good but function when in situ.
If you are unsure which size of Lazy Susan table will fit, carefully measure the free space on your patio or in your garden where you want to put it.
The key is to make sure that when the set is in situ, there is still enough room for you to safely and comfortably move around the space.
At Lazy Susan we refer to this as “working space” and it will give you enough additional space around the table to sit, pull out chairs, and walk around safely.
Our garden table sizes vary, so you must measure carefully and check the dimensions for the set you like to ensure it fits.
If we take our best-selling June 6-Seater Garden Table Set, then the dimensions of the table are shown above and we will walk you through the process of calculating if it will fit.
The table below lists all of the various shapes and sizes of garden table sets in our range.
Each set is sold with our recommended number of garden chairs that you can fit around the table with plenty of elbow room for you, your family and any guests to sit comfortably.
For our June, it is a 150 x 95cm oval garden table that you can purchase as a set with 4 or 6 garden chairs.
Any more than 6 chairs and things would get a little cramped, so if you need more, we would advise you to step up to our Catherine, Olivia, Gloria or Rosemary 8-seater oval sets.
Now, of course, this is just a guide, you can always squeeze additional people around if the need arises. This is simply the best fit and it gives each person sitting at the table plenty of wiggle room.
The table above lists the approximate floor space we recommend for each of the garden table sets in our collection.
Again, this is just a guide as garden table sizes, patios, garden shapes, etc all vary, so measure carefully, measure again, check the dimensions and make sure it will fit and function when in situ.
If you are unsure if the space will still function when the garden table set is in situ, take our dimensions and mark it out with some washable “sidewalk” chalk on your patio or with some old bits of cardboard.
The diagram below shows recommended floor for our June set is illustrated in the diagram below.
Measure the length and width of the outdoor space you have free for the garden table set and factor in any obstructions such as steps or large planters.
If you then subtract 150 cm from both the length and width of the free space (to allow for the ‘working space’ and Garden Chairs), that is the max size of table we would recommend you purchase.
As stated above, every patio is different, so it is important to factor in items you don’t want to or can’t move such as planters, BBQs, fire pits, walls, steps, etc and measure from the other pieces of outdoor furniture such as a sofa, different shapes of patio/decking, etc.
The measurement you need must be completely free space where the table and chairs can be placed and moved in and out, that is why the chalk mark method is a great way to see if it’ll work.
If we again take our June Garden Table as an example
- Garden Table
The table is 150 cm long by 95 cm wide.
- Garden Chairs
Add onto that 75 cm for the Garden Chairs and 75 cm of Working Space and you need free space on a patio or in your garden of 300 cm by 245 cm for that set to work.
Before making a purchase with us, double-check the measurements to make sure it will fit in your desired spot. And it goes without saying, if you have any questions or concerns, please speak to our Customer Service Team.
How to get the right garden table set scale and proportion
When we talk about size, as well as choosing a set that fits and functions in the space we are also referring to the scale and proportion, key principles of good patio and garden design.
Just because you have X amount of free space, it doesn’t mean you have to fill it with that max size of garden table.
Scale and proportion are both important components in patio and garden design and, whilst closely related, they refer to different aspects of your outdoor space.
We define them with regard to garden furniture as follows:
In garden design, scale refers to the relationship between different elements and the overall size of your garden or patio area, etc. It involves considering the proportion and size of various elements such as plants, structures, and features in relation to each other and to the size of the space. The goal of designing with scale in mind is to create a harmonious and balanced garden that feels cohesive and natural.
Proportion is the principle of taking those scaled elements and arranging them in your garden in relation to their size, shape, and colour to create balance and harmony. Good proportion will ensure that the size of the garden table set and all the other things in your garden features are in harmony with the overall scale of the garden space. Proportion is essential to achieving good balance, harmony, and coherence in your garden. A garden designed with good proportion feels comfortable and has a natural flow, making it more visually appealing and inviting.
Good scale is about making sure that everything in your garden looks appropriately sized and in balance. For example, a large outdoor dining set could overwhelm a small patio, while a bistro table set on a large patio could look a little lost.
Achieving good scale will make your garden feel pulled together and well-designed.
Proportion, on the other hand, refers to the relationship between different elements in the space. Making sure that the various parts of a design look balanced and harmonious. For example, a small garden table next to a large planter can look awkward.
Good proportions will help create a sense of visual order and comfort.
Both scale and proportion are important components of patio and garden design when looking to buy the right size Garden Table Set that will improve both looks and functionality.
How to decide what size garden table set to buy
As we often say when helping customers choose, much of this is just a rule of thumb, a guide to help, but only you can decide what you think will fit and function best.
The key is to try and visualise what the set will look like when in place.
The chalk method is great for this or if you’re looking at a larger patio or garden design makeover, then could even use one of the many garden design apps such as iScape or myGarden to help make a more informed decision, get a better feel for how it will all fit and flow.
Start by carefully measuring the free space where the set will go, decide how many seats you need, think about which table shape will work best in terms of the space you have and how you like to use it, set yourself a budget, and that should help you decide which size set is right for you.
If you have any photos of your new Lazy Susan Garden Table Set in your outdoor space, then we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or email them to us at [email protected].