Choosing the Best Outdoor Furniture

Choosing the Best Outdoor Furniture

Make sure your garden is ready for the long, hot summer by updating your space

Garden furniture is one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to your outdoor space as it sets the tone and finishes the theme of the garden off as well as dictating how you will interact with space.

Before selecting any furniture, you need to decide how you want to use the space- is it sunbathing, lounging, formal dining or a day bed?

You need to work out your dimensions of the piece you want to buy- for example, it’s tempting to buy the biggest lounge you can see as it caters for more people and just looks so inviting. However you need to consider the space around the furniture for movement as well as the scale and proportion of the piece in the space you have.

Budget is the next consideration when selecting and I always suggest spending the most money you can to gain the highest quality available. Life as a piece of outdoor furniture is very tough, the UV light is strong, the weather is harsh and you get moved around a lot so quality should be high on the list.

Material choice and colour are the final considerations when selecting and your garden theme may dictate they style of furniture you go for.

If you have a traditional formal garden you’re more likely to go for timber or stone furniture over brightly coloured plastic or synthetic wicker which may be more suited to a modern space.

Timber is a great choice for outdoor furniture, and my favourite is teak as it’s a renewable material that can either age with grace to a silvery finish or with a bit of maintenance be oiled to give a sleeker appearance.

When choosing timber items look for an FSC stamp to authenticate that it has been farmed from a renewable source.

Synthetic wicker is a versatile product that comes in various colours and weaves that suit a variety of garden styles. I always think the thick strands of weave look the best and last the longest.

Ensure your frame is aluminium to make the furniture lightweight and long lasting.

Due to popularity of this style of furniture the market is flooded with cheap versions so buyer beware and remember you get what you pay for.

Stone is a lovely way to create natural pieces of furniture perfect for a rustic garden. It’s hard-wearing and extremely low maintenance, but not so easy to move around! It can also be a touch cold on the bottom so adding cushions will help insulate and add a pop of colour that can be changed with the trends.

When selecting cushions for a bench or lounge, try to purchase all weather cushions that have been protected from the UV. To maintain the colour, have quick-dry foam as there will be a time when you leave them outside or sit on them after a dip in the pool. If possible, get all-weather fabrics that can be left outside as they have a water proof coating.

Even with all the advances in technology I suggest housing outdoor cushions in waterproof containers or inside if possible as this will greatly prolong their life.

Source: Charlie Albone, Quest News