When we talk about style here at Lazy Susan we’re talking about furniture design. Making patio furniture in a particular form such as a contemporary, mid-century modern, classical, country garden style, and so on.
Whilst the great Yves Saint Laurent was talking about clothing, his mantra of “fashion fades, style is eternal” is very much true with furniture too.
Fads come and go in our industry but stylish patio furniture, if made from the right materials, can sit in our gardens for 5+ years without ever looking out of fashion. The fast fashion stuff is usually quickly replaced or never used... Hands up who owns an egg chair they purchased during the pandemic that you never sit on?
Of course, be it fashion or style, both are incredibly complex and multifaceted concepts that can be difficult to define. Some might say that fashion is subjective, meaning that it is open to interpretation and can vary from one person's taste to another.
Style on the other hand is often seen as something more objective, meaning that the design of that piece of furniture is based on specific principles or guidelines. However, the terms are interchangeable.
We often say on this blog when talking about the criteria you need to consider when purchasing new patio furniture that style too is subjective.
And by that what we’re saying is that the furniture style you like is (and very much should) be influenced by personal taste and opinion. We like what we like and that is reflected in our homes and gardens.
If, for example, you have an ultra-modern home then it is fair to assume that you like contemporary furniture too. The “style” of our collection will probably not be to your taste nor would it probably fit with your home.
Not to make assumptions, of course, but to pair classically styled pieces with ultra-modern takes a serious designer's eye to pull off successfully. It can be done but takes some confidence. It’s much easier to work with the prevailing style of your property and your taste.
The point of this intro is to stress that of all the different decision-making criteria such as size, purpose, material, etc, the style of furniture is often the hardest to pin down. Certainly, the hardest to help people choose when they’re uncertain.
However, we are never one to shy away from a challenge and in this article, the team want to explore how you can choose the right style of Patio Furniture.
What are the different styles of patio furniture in the UK?
Our range whilst predominantly defined as traditional or classical, will often fit into several different style boxes too, and there are various styles in our collection that will suit different tastes and preferences.
We looked at the different types of furniture such as outdoor sofa sets, patio dining tables, sun loungers, etc in detail in last summer's ultimate guide to transforming your outdoor space with our patio furniture, and whilst we did touch on style, it was a bit of an overview.
This time we want to look at the popular design styles in a little more detail and see which sets and pieces in our collection work best to help create popular looks.
Hopefully, this will help us to create a sort of style guide moving forward too. If you want traditional, what are the right patio furniture types, materials, sets in our collection, etc. that work best to create that look?
This list is not conclusive, others may give these styles different names, we would also use them to refer to patio/garden design in general, and some of the styles crossover with one another, however, the predominant “styles” of patio furniture in the UK includes:
Traditional outdoor furniture will feature classical designs, intricate patterns and materials such as wrought iron and wood.
The furniture will be durable, and timeless, and it will bring a touch of elegance and sophistication to your garden.
Contemporary outdoor furniture focuses on clean lines, and minimalistic designs, and will utilise modern furniture materials like stainless steel and plastic resin.
It's known for its sleek, uncluttered forms and will bring a more minimalist, urban feel to your outdoor space.
3. Modern Classical
Whilst our collection fits into a number of these style categories, the modern classical is the hat which we feel fits best.
It refers to timeless outdoor furniture pieces that combine elements of traditional or classical design with contemporary materials and aesthetics.
These pieces are designed to provide the best of both, deliver durability, and style, and bring functional comfort to your garden, patio, or terrace.
The rustic outdoor look is typically associated with the use of natural materials like reclaimed timbers and natural wood stone.
Pieces will utilise raw and unprocessed materials, simple designs, and they should deliver an overall look that blends with the natural surroundings.
It is particularly popular for those who want to create a natural, cottage-style, or bring a laid-back log cabin-style ambience to their outdoor living areas.
The coastal or nautical style will often feature shades of blue, aqua, white, and soft pastels in materials in materials such as wood, rattan or a weather-resistant canvas.
This type of outdoor furniture embraces the be beside the seaside vibe, with emphasis on laid-back comfort and relaxation
It will combine nautical or maritime-inspired design elements such as stripes, anchors, seashells, ropes, and sailboat prints with a weathered, distressed, rustic finish.
Scandi-style patio furniture is characterised by its simple, minimalist design and use of natural materials.
It is often made by combining materials such as wood, metal, or rattan, but the overall aesthetic will focus on clean lines and geometric shape
Scandi-style pieces are designed to blend in with their natural surroundings, and it’s the perfect style to bring a sense of calm and tranquillity to your patio.
7. Mid-Century Modern
Inspired by the design aesthetics of the mid-20th century, mid-century modern outdoor furniture combines clean lines with organic shapes and will often incorporate materials such as moulded plastic resins and metal.
It has a retro but modern timeless appeal, with designs typically coming from the 40s to 60s period, and the iconic designers of the time such as Eames, Van der Rohe, Nelson, Jacobsen and Knoll.
Industrial outdoor furniture will typically employ materials such as steel and concrete, while the design will embrace a rugged and utilitarian look, often focussed on durability and functionality.
This style of furniture is robust, durable, and utilitarian, and it is commonly used in public outdoor spaces, or even commercial settings like restaurants and cafes.
Farmhouse-style outdoor furniture will incorporate distressed timbers, often in combination with other materials. It creates a cosy and inviting atmosphere, reminiscent of country living.
This furniture style is a part of the larger farmhouse design aesthetic, which draws inspiration from traditional rural farmhouses.
The result is a relaxed and homely ambience, that’s perfectly suited to those who appreciate the warmth and simplicity of rural living while enjoying their outdoor space.
Boho-style outdoor furniture, short for “bohemian", will feature a mix of colours, patterns, and materials.
It's eclectic and will often include other styles of furniture such as farmhouse, rustic and traditional paired with vibrant outdoor fabrics and comfortable cushions.
This style should promote a relaxed and free-spirited atmosphere.
Pieces will be unconventional and draw inspiration from various cultures, often incorporating elements from around the world to create a vibrant, free-spirited, and artistic finish.
Cottage-style is one of the big trends in our industry at the moment and it is a style of furniture that is inspired by the simplicity and rustic lifestyle of rural cottages.
Furniture should be made from natural materials, such as wood, wicker, and linen, and feature light and airy colours. It is often distressed or “antiqued”, and it will give your patio a lived-in and inviting feel.
It's a style that values simplicity, nostalgia, and a connection to nature, making it a popular choice for those looking to create a cosy and whimsical outdoor space.
Mediterranean-style patio furniture is inspired by the countries and regions that border the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain, Italy, Greece, and the south of France.
The style reflects the relaxed, sun-soaked, and outdoor-oriented lifestyles of these regions, with designs featuring a combination of classical and rustic elements, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for outdoor spaces.
Furniture will also often take inspiration from North Africa and pieces will feature wrought iron, mosaic patterns, and terracotta, to create a warm and inviting ambience.
The zen-inspired style from Asia is another type of outdoor furniture that will help to create a tranquil space.
It typically uses natural materials like bamboo, stone, and wood, and it is inspired by the diverse and rich design traditions of various Asian cultures, including Japan, China, Bali, and others.
The furniture should encapsulate serenity, balance, and harmony with furniture that focuses on natural materials, simple design, and functionality.
Anything goes with an eclectic style of outdoor furniture and it will blend various styles in this list to create a unique outdoor space
You can mix and match different materials, colours, and design styles to create a space that is personalised and unique to how you like to use your outdoor space and reflects your style.
You must strike a balance between variety and cohesion to create a harmonious eclectic look, but this style of furniture gives you the freedom to express creativity and bring a strong sense of individuality and character to your outdoor living area.
We looked at how to shop this style in our recent How to find and buy vintage garden furniture article and it is perfect for those looking to recreate a specific period or add quality pieces that can be up-cycled and repurposed.
This style of furniture embodies the design trends, materials, and craftsmanship of its era and is often sought after for its timeless appeal.
The furniture itself can come in various styles, materials, and designs, depending on the specific period it represents, but popular in the UK at the moment are classic cast iron pieces from the likes of Coalbrookdale from the late 1800s.
16. French Chic
French-style outdoor furniture is known for its elegance, sophistication, and attention to detail, and is another area we touched on in our What is French garden style? article.
Much like their garden design, the furniture itself is often characterised by its use of high-quality materials, such as metal, teak, and woven rattans, as well as its intricate designs and ornate finishes.
French-style outdoor furniture can be found in a variety of different styles, from the classic Louis XIV and Louis XV periods to the more modern and contemporary designs of the likes of Philippe Starck and Jean Nouvel.
Modern or traditional, it will exude a timeless beauty, that combines the elegance of traditional French design with the practicality of modern outdoor living.
Last on our list is the ever-popular Victorian style of outdoor furniture that still resonates and endures in our homes and gardens today.
Victorian-style patio furniture is inspired by the design aesthetics of the Victorian era, which spans from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Known for their ornate, elaborate, and highly decorative designs, the pieces are romantic and opulent and feature intricate detailing.
It can be found in a variety of different forms, including garden tables, garden chairs, garden benches, gazebos, and swing seats. Much of our collection draws on the ergonomic forms and latticework of the era to create a sense of nostalgia, elegance, and romance, reminiscent of the opulence of the Victorian era.
The choice of outdoor furniture style you choose will come down to personal preference, the overall design of your outdoor space, and the level of function, comfort and durability you desire.
We will now take a closer look at how you can select the right style for your outdoor space and needs.
How do you choose the best outdoor furniture style for your outdoor space?
Choosing the right style of garden furniture depends on several factors, including your taste, the overall design of your outdoor space, and your budget.
Here are some of the basic steps you can apply to help you make the right choice:
Measure the space
We’ll keep this brief as it's a subject that’s well covered on here but we always say when buying patio furniture you should start by measuring your outdoor area to determine the available space for furniture. Consider the size of the free space (leaving room for the space to flow and function when in situ) on your patio, deck, or garden. Take note of any architectural features, such as the style of your home, garden, or structures such as pergolas, fountains, etc. that can influence the style of your furniture.
What’s the purpose
Consider how you plan to use your outdoor space. Do you want a dining area, a lounge area, or a combination of both? Think about the number of people you typically entertain or accommodate in your outdoor area. Think about which style fits with how you use it. For example, if you like it more laid back then maybe rustic or boho pieces would fit best or if you like to enjoy a family meal outside in the summer, then maybe a classical or modern classical set would be the best solution.
Pick your style
Try and match the style of your patio furniture pieces with the overall design of your home and the wider outdoor space. Choosing the right style involves a combination of your style, the practical requirements of your outdoor living space, and the functionality you need. It is also important to take your time, do a little research, and make informed decisions to create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing spot you can spend time in.
Choose a suitable material
The material you like can also have a big impact on the style of furniture. Different materials offer various aesthetics and require different levels of maintenance. For example, wood is natural and elegant but will require regular staining or sealing to keep it weatherproof. Metal furniture on the other hand is super low maintenance, durable and weather resistant but can get hot in the sun. Rattan on the other hand can be modern or traditional but will deliver comfort with some basic upkeep.
Think about comfort
You'll spend more time using it if your patio furniture is comfortable to sit or lie on. You can relax and enjoy yourself more when you're comfortable, so look for styles with an ergonomic design, constructed from high-quality materials, cushions, seats and tables at the right height, armrests, and good back support. Look for pieces or sets that are designed to enhance the overall outdoor experience and make your patio a comfortable extension of your home's living space.
Focus on functionality
Style is important but the perfect patio furniture should also be functional. Look to purchase pieces or sets that are both comfortable and that fit with what you like to do. It should be designed to meet your specific needs and provide you with a space to relax, entertain, and enjoy your outdoor space. Good style should not only look good, and fit with and in the space, but it should also be practical.
Consider the ongoing care and maintenance
Consider the level of maintenance you're willing to undertake. Some materials, like wood, may require more care than others. Look for furniture that is made from materials that fit with the style you like or want to achieve and that are durable and easy to keep clean and maintain. You want your outdoor space to be inviting and hassle-free to spend time in.
Set a budget and stick to it
You never want to purchase new patio furniture on impulse. Do a little research and set yourself a budget. Quality and longevity often come with a higher price tag, but they will offer better value for money in the long run.
How to choose the right style of patio furniture for your tastes?
Choosing the right style for your specific patio furniture needs and tastes will also involve considering a variety of factors, including your personal preference, the style of your home, your outdoor space, and how you intend to use it.
Here are some further steps that can help you marry your tastes with your home and garden to make the right purchase decision when choosing patio furniture:
Identify your style preferences
Hopefully, if you were unsure at the start of this article, you’re closer to identifying your personal style preferences. Do you lean towards contemporary, traditional, rustic, eclectic, or another style? Consider the existing interior design of your property. Aligning your patio furniture style with the interior of your home can create a sense of continuity and good flow.
Assess your outdoor living space
Take a closer look at your wider outdoor space too, and factor in size, layout, and the architectural features on the outside of your home and any neighbouring properties. This will help you determine the best style match as well as the type of set and how you can best layout the outdoor living area.
Consider the climate
The local climate is probably what will have the biggest impact on your choice of material. For example, if you get a lot of rain or you live close to the sea, then you might be best picking materials like cast aluminium, teak, or an all-weather poly-rattan that can best withstand moisture.
Look at colour options
The colour of the patio furniture can have as much impact on the style as the actual designs and patterns you like. You can choose colours that complement your outdoor surroundings or create a specific mood. For example, in our collection, even our more traditional pieces can be given a more modern twist in our cool slate grey or a chic French feel in our romantic white finish.
Shop around and do your research to find a style that works. Look for inspiration on websites, in style magazines, on social media, or by seeing what family, friends and neighbours have done in their outdoor spaces to see what fits and resonates best with you.
If you’re still uncertain about which style of patio furniture is right for you, then ask an expert. The team at Lazy Susan are always happy to help or you can seek advice from a garden designer, interior designer or furniture specialist such as us who can provide a fresh perspective and some guidance on what could work in your garden.
Ultimately, the right style of patio furniture is a reflection of your taste and how you like or envision using your outdoor living space.
Taking all the factors above into account and carefully considering your preferences will help you choose patio furniture that aligns with any of the styles we’ve listed, but ultimately you’re looking for furniture that will enhance your outdoor living space and experience.
How can you achieve the different styles with our garden furniture collection?
Here at Lazy Susan, we have a comprehensive range of classically styled garden furniture that can be utilised to achieve several different looks.
We want to now look a little closer at how you can achieve many of the styles above with specific sets from our collection.
Some, such as the Scandinavian look or Industrial style just can’t be done, so we are simply focussing on the 12 of the 18 styles that we think you can easily achieve or recreate with our furniture.
We have also used customer photos that have been sent to us for our Do Some Good campaign to best illustrate how to get the different styles in question:
Key Style Features: Classic Design, Ornate Details, Rich Materials, Neutral Colours, Cushioned Seating, Formal Symmetry, Classic Patterns, Curved Lines, Classic Silhouettes, Decorative Accessories, Classic Table Shapes, Formal Seating.
Maybe the look that is easiest to recreate with the style on offer in our collection.
If you want a style of patio furniture that’s designed to bring a touch of refinement and luxury to your outdoor space, then our 6-seater June Garden Table in Antique Bronze with upgraded Rose Garden Chairs (pictured above) is one of our best-selling sets.
Looking for elegance and timelessness of classic design, then our Alice 4-seater Set in Antique Bronze with Kate Chairs (above) will bring a touch of sophistication in our slate finish to your outdoor living area.
Key Style Features: Natural Materials, Weathered, Distressed, Rough-Hewn Design, Earthy Colour Palettes, Timber Furniture, Functional Simplicity, Handcrafted, Artisanal, Vintage, Antique, Cosy Textiles, Fire Pits, Natural Accents.
Whilst the rustic look is often associated with natural materials like reclaimed timber and stone, our pieces have a simple form and finish that can easily blend with the natural surroundings of your garden.
Rustic style patio furniture should create a warm and welcoming outdoor environment with a strong connection to the natural world as the customer has done in the photo above of our 6-seater Catherine Oval Table in Antique Bronze paired with Stone Seat Pad Cushions and a 2.5m Stone Parasol.
The simplicity of our June in Antique Bronze brings a real sense of laid-back rustic informality to any outdoor living space above.
Key Style Features: Light/Airy Colours, Natural Materials, Weathered Finishes, Nautical and Beach-Inspired Accents, Lightweight/Airy Design, Comfortable Cushions, Woven Textures, Adirondack Chairs, Outdoor Rugs, Beach Umbrellas and Parasols, Casual Accessories.
Again, whilst our collection isn’t coastal in style, it can be used as part of a coastal theme. All our furniture is coated with a protective finish that will prevent the furniture from weathering in the unforgiving sea air.
You can easily create a serene and casual atmosphere that brings the feeling of the beach or the seaside to your outdoor space and our 6-seater Joyce in White (pictured above) is the perfect starting point to create this look.
If you want a relaxed, breezy, and beach-inspired environment where they can enjoy the outdoors by the coast, then our 8-seater Olivia in Antique Bronze paired with our large 2.7m Parasol in Stone (above) brings a real nautical feel to this stunning beachside balcony.
4. Modern Classical
Key Style Features: Classic Design Elements, High-Quality Materials, Neutral Colours, Cushioned Seating, Decorative Accents, Durable Fabrics, Antique or Vintage Look, Functionality, Versatility, Minimalist Approach.
As a team, we were on the fence about including this one but we think our range, whilst maybe not strictly modern classical in look, it is in terms of construction and ethos.
We take a style that is traditional in a material that creates furniture fit for the modern garden.
Modern Classical should offer a timeless and sophisticated outdoor feel that blends classical beauty with modern comfort and functionality, and we think the photo above of our London Rose Bistro Set in this beautiful city-style backyard is the perfect example.
Our 10-seater Victoria Garden Table is another excellent choice for those who appreciate the elegance of traditional design but want to create a refined and inviting outdoor living space like the stunning riverside patio above.
Key Style Features: Rustic Materials, Simple Designs, Neutral Colours, Distressed Finishes, Comfort, Mixed Textures, Farmhouse Decorative, Vintage Accessories.
Farmhouse-style patio furniture is popular for its relaxed and homely ambience, so a range such as our Emily 4-seater Set in Slate is perfectly suited to creating a cosy and inviting outdoor space outside this traditional stone cottage.
If you appreciate the warmth and simplicity of rural living, then our popular 6-seater June in Slate (above) is another great option to bring that countryside feeling onto your patio.
Key Style Features: Mix of Patterns, Different Textures, Natural Materials, Handmade, Comfortable Seating, Layered Accessories, Global/Cultural Influences, Lots of Greenery, Artistic Decor, Vintage, Eclectic.
Boho-style furniture is all about self-expression and creativity.
The customer above has set our London Rose Bistro Set in the perfect boho setting with a fab mix-and-match style that embraces the perfectly imperfect look.
Our garden benches such as the Jasmine (above) can also bring that vibrance to your outdoor space and help create a look that reflects your individuality and worldly interests.
Key Style Features: Natural Materials, Vintage, Antique Pieces, Soft Colours, Floral/Gingham Patterns, Comfortable Seating, Handmade/Crafted Elements, Metal Accents, Cosy Accessories, Potted Plants, Country Garden Decor.
Cottage-style patio furniture such as our Mia 4-seater Set in Slate will give you that tranquil and idyllic outdoor environment where you can eat, relax and enjoy nature.
It's a style that values simplicity, nostalgia, and a connection to the natural world, so our June Set in Antique Bronze is always a popular choice for those who appreciate a rustic and whimsical feel on their patio.
Key Style Features: Dark Metals, Tiles, Mosaic Details, Natural Materials, Comfortable Cushions, Shade, Earthy Colour Palette, Arches/Curves, Outdoor Dining Sets, Pergolas, Terracotta Planters, Decorative Accessories.
We just love this style, and whilst we often think of our furniture as being traditionally British, we export a lot to France and Spain in particular.
Mediterranean-style patio furniture is known for its inviting and warm ambience, so our Eve Bistro Set in White paired with 2 extra Rose Garden Chairs is well-suited for intimate spaces where you want to create a relaxing and leisurely atmosphere.
It's a style that combines classical elegance with rustic charm and our Rosemary 8-seater Set (pictured above) perfectly reflects the beauty of the Med's outdoor dining culture.
Key Style Features: Mix of Styles, Unconventional Pairings, Individual Expression, Colour Variety, Art, Texture, Repurposed and Up-cycled, Vintage Pieces, Balance, Cohesion, Layered Decor.
Eclectic-style furniture will bring out your creativity and allow for a dynamic and ever-evolving interior or outdoor space.
Our Alice 4-seater Set in White is an excellent choice for those looking to mix different styles and infuse their living areas with a sense of individuality and character as our customer has done in the photo above.
It's important to bring a little harmony too and our Olivia 8-seater Table in Slate is the perfect foil for the floral cushions and modern aluminium pergola in this customer photograph.
Key Style Features: Vintage Designs, Vintage Materials, Durability, Craftsmanship, Retro Patterns, Iconic Pieces, Aging and Patina, Limited Availability.
Vintage patio furniture can be a wonderful addition to your outdoor space but it can be expensive to buy and/or expensive to restore.
The alternative is to fake it with sets like our Olivia 8-seater Set in Antique Bronze (above) that encapsulate the charm of a bygone era to bring a unique and nostalgic touch to this stunning converted old coach house.
Our elegant Eve Bistro Set in White embodies the design trends, materials, and craftsmanship of the past and, whilst it is sought after for its nostalgic or timeless appeal, it is all wrapped up in a modern maintenance-free package.
11. French Chic
Key Style Features: Metalwork, Classic Design, Antique, Vintage Appeal, Neutral Colours, Cushions, Chaise Longes and Sun Loungers, Bistro Sets, Garden Benches, Pergolas and Arbors, Romantic Atmosphere, Stylish Accessories.
French-style outdoor furniture is known for its timeless beauty, and our Tulip Bistro Set in Slate combines the elegance of traditional French design with the practicality of modern outdoor living.
If you want to bring a little romance and the classic charm of French garden design to your outdoor space, then our June 4-seater Set in White is another very popular choice.
Key Style Features: Ornate Metalwork, Elaborate Designs, Curved Shapes, Cushioned Seating, Dark Woods, Patio Umbrellas, Vintage Accessories, Rich Colours, Vintage Floral Patterns, Afternoon Tea, Etiquette, Elegance.
Victorian-style patio furniture aims to create a sense of nostalgia, elegance, and romance, reminiscent of the era.
Our Ivy Bistro Set in Slate is ideal for those who appreciate the intricacy and ornate details of this period. The floral motifs are in keeping with the period's fascination with nature and the outdoors and the chair back is a popular shape from the era.
The furniture is characterised by curved lines and ornate metalwork, and our Catherine 8-seater Set in Slate features stunning latticework and scrollwork to recreate that sense of movement that the Victorians so loved.
If you have any photos of your Lazy Susan Patio Furniture looking stylish in your outdoor living area, 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 Upload Here.