Over the past year, our gardens have become an even more invaluable asset than they ever were before. Providing respite and relaxation in a time of confusion, the U.K.’s 23 million gardens[i] have allowed people to maintain their mental health, keep fit, reduce stress, appreciate nature and grow their own food over the terrifying coronavirus pandemic. [ii]
But just because lockdown is at an end, it doesn’t mean that we have to stop appreciating our gardens! We have some of the best garden furniture ideas that will encourage your family to continue spending time outside and reap all the healthy benefits that you don’t want to lose out on now we’re not all stuck at home. With garden seating ideas, ways to make the most of a small space, how mismatched furniture can make a statement and some modern garden furniture tips, here are the best garden furniture ideas to boost your space.
Style Out The Seating
How you design the seating area of your garden can determine how you will use the outdoor space and how often. Coming up with unique garden seating ideas that will create an inviting environment and that you will enjoy spending time in will make your garden look and feel more exciting – and it doesn’t have to be too difficult.
When choosing your garden seating, start by considering the atmosphere you want to create. If you want your garden to have more of a relaxed vibe, for example, sun loungers and swing chairs would be great options. On the other hand, if you want to encourage conversation and host social gatherings, try curved sofas and chairs for a lovely, intimate atmosphere, or bar stools are suitable for a more open environment. Choose pieces that match your house’s aesthetic and your garden to create a harmonious, relaxing space.
Make The Most of A Small Space
Having a small garden doesn’t mean you have to cut back on style. On the contrary, you can make a small outdoor space even more stylish than a big one with the right mindset! When furniture shopping, look out for compact folding tables and chairs that can be easily pulled out and put away again, and incorporate storage solutions into your furniture choices. Small storage benches that can seat a few people and keep your garden tools or other pieces of furniture will allow you and your guests to sit comfortably in an uncluttered garden.
Try A Gazebo
For a great modern addition to any garden, try adding a gazebo. Perfect for providing shelter and privacy all year round, a gazebo can fit into any size garden, with freestanding and pop-up options that will cater to any needs. Whether you want to cover a hot tub, a BBQ, a seating area, or plan to host a few parties through the year, a stylish gazebo fills many needs. Add a heater as the months get colder to encourage you to go out and enjoy the great outdoors, no matter the weather.
Try Metal Furniture For A Modern Twist
Staying on trend is just as important in your garden as it is inside the house. Opting for contemporary garden furniture like slim, metal pieces that fit seamlessly into any garden style will provide a relaxed, European feel and stay perfectly chic in each coming season. Go for a casual, modern approach in the rest of your design and try some of these other modern garden furniture ideas:
- Concrete furniture pieces
- Outdoor rugs on patios
- Large mirrors outdoors
- Fire pits
- Fairy lights
- Decorative details – throw cushions, delicate hangings etc.
- Wrought-iron seating
Add Splashes of Colour
To make your garden design pop, add pieces of colourful furniture among plain or pale colours. Coloured chairs around a simple table is an excellent example of colour use in garden furniture, and it can draw the eye and brighten up your garden. Incorporating your garden flowers is also a great way to do this. Plant an array of beautiful, bright flowers around your furniture to create an eye-popping installation that will make you feel closer to nature every time you set foot outdoors.
Create A Focal Point
Adding a focal point – one large structure that draws the eye and completes the harmony of the space – will bring in a centre of interest and anchor your garden. Structures and statues like a summer house, a sculpture, decking, a pond, a fountain, a fire feature or a decorative potted plant make great focal points no matter the size of a garden. To get the most of a focal point, follow the visual lines of your garden and place it where these lines intersect. The beginning or end of a path, for example, is perfect for a focal point because it will harmonise with the visual lines and draw the eye.
Merge Your Indoor and Outdoor Dining Areas
If you’re dying for that summery outdoor dining experience but only have a small patio or don’t want to cramp your decking with a clunky layout, why not merge them? Bring in separate small tables that can fit in both your dining and patio areas, and place a few seats sparsely around each. Open up your patio doors and enjoy the fusion of indoors and outdoors without sacrificing too much space. If your dining table’s going to be busy one night, open up your patio doors and push the tables together to fit everyone comfortably.
Deliberately mismatching furniture is a statement in any interior or exterior space, but if you can pull it off, it’s a fantastic design accomplishment. To get it just right, stick to the rule of three in your design scheme. Repeat a colour, material, design or pattern three times to make the jumbled pieces look balanced, organised and put together. This will tie the different pieces of furniture together. Alternatively, you could also pair similar design styles to get the same effect. These don’t have to be the same colour, but similar styles will connect the separate parts.
Bring Your Indoor Furniture Outdoors
To create a rustic yet homely feeling in your garden, set up your old pieces of furniture outside. You can save old sofas, coffee tables, dining tables and chairs and reuse them in the garden. It doesn’t matter if they look a bit grimy or old – it will just up the ambience. If you’d like, you can refresh these old pieces by adding new cushions, covers and decorations, or leave them exactly as they are for a super relaxed space. Ensure that you seal wooden furniture and invest in a high-quality cover that you can cover them with at night or in extreme conditions.
What Type Of Outdoor Furniture Is The Most Durable?
Materials like concrete, wrought iron, aluminium, wicker, wood and steel are the most hard-wearing for garden furniture. As long as they are treated properly – wood will need a waterproof sealant and wood preservatives, for example – and well-covered during winter or extreme weather, these types of garden furniture will be a worthwhile spend.
How To Maintain Outdoor Furniture?
Most outdoor furniture is relatively easy to maintain, requiring a regular wash and adequate coverings when necessary. To best care for your outdoor furniture, a regular wipe down with hot, soapy water and a soft cloth should remove any dirt and debris. For rattan furniture, a non-foaming solution is best to clean properly and prevent the build-up of dirt.
Make An Investment
When buying garden furniture, a more expensive investment may be best in the long run. Cheap pieces may seem great in the moment, but they are often light, flimsy and problematic in function. Shop around to make sure you’re making a solid investment before buying and make sure you have a plan for a rainy day – if your furniture isn’t waterproof, you could have a disaster on your hands!
Any garden furniture ideas you’re loving at the moment? Let us know in the comments below.
Angela Waxler is an ex florist, a professional gardener and has been working in the industry for well over 25 years. Angela has worked with brands all over the world during her career.