Finding the right garden furniture for your home is your ticket to sunny afternoons relaxing with a book, alfresco dinners with friends and hours of outdoor exploration with little ones. We'll take you through the process of choosing furnishings to match your space and style, as well as how to keep them safe from wet weather in the winter months.
First things first: measure the space where your new furniture will live. Make sure you leave ample room for people to comfortably walk around it – especially if it's a table and chairs. No one likes to breathe in and shuffle sideways to their seat.
Next, try to think about who is going to use the furniture the most. If you plan on hosting big family BBQs it would be wise to go for something heavy-duty, like a steel frame dining set. Alternatively, if you want to relax with a few friends and read the Sunday papers over coffee or a glass of wine, a rattan outdoor sofa will be absolute bliss.
Wooden garden furniture is a classic style found in homes up and down the country. Usually, it's made from a hardwood such as teak or acacia, which will weather and change colour over time. Teak ages particularly well due to the high oil content and straight grain and will turn from a light brown into a refined silver grey over the years.
Robust and hardy, metal garden furniture comes in all shapes and sizes. It's easy to care for as it is usually powder-coated or painted, which also means you can find a huge range of colours. Metal garden furniture is usually made from steel or aluminium. Steel is generally stronger and more hardwearing, while aluminum is lighter and rust-resistant.
Rattan garden furniture is a popular weaved design. The resin-coated plastic strands are water-resistant, UV-resistant and won't get mouldy, thanks to the high-quality coating. It's also very lightweight and can be exceptionally comfy if paired with thick cushions.
The most basic and most affordable option for any garden, plastic furniture is lightweight and easy to clean but won't last as long as the other materials. It's a mess-resistant option for homes which host frequent children's tea parties and teddy bear picnics.
Most garden furniture is designed to be left outside and, as such, it can withstand most of the elements. Metal, rattan and plastic furniture looks after itself and only needs to be cleaned with a sponge and hot soapy water every few weeks.
Restoring wooden furniture
Wooden outdoor furniture does require more protection, as it's much more sensitive to the elements. Rain can seep into the wood fibres and cause the shape to distort slightly, while long exposure to the sun will cause any stain or wax to peel and crack. Keep it in tip top condition for longer by restoring it annually with these simple steps:
- Carefully sand down the surface of the furniture, starting with a rough grade to smooth out any noticeable imperfections, then a finer grade to achieve a smooth finish
- Apply a fresh coat of varnish or stain using an old paintbrush. More than one coat will give you extra protection, but be sure to re-sand it between each one
Top tip: Don't use a pressure washer to clean wooden furniture, as it can damage the timber.
When winter rolls back around it's advisable to put your outdoor seating and patio furniture into storage so it stays protected when it’s not in use. You have a range of options here. For heavy furniture that’s difficult to move around, waterproof covers are the solution – be sure to remove any loose cushions or throws, too. Lighter furniture can be stored in a garage or shed, as long as you stack it carefully.
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Style your outdoor space to the max with fun accessories. Check out our range of cushions and throws and make your space as comfy and cosy as possible. Pick up a parasol if you prefer to hide in the shade on extra hot days, or add a few outdoor heaters to the ensemble to help you stay outside into the wee hours of the summer nights. Adding a couple of sun loungers to the lawn will give you an extra excuse to soak up the rays and will help you to doze off as you lay back in your glorious revamped garden.
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