With long-awaited summer on the horizon, dreams of sunny barbecues, evening cocktails in the garden and curling up with a book under a sunset sky are finally within reach of becoming a reality. One of the best ways to prepare for the season is to create your very own garden paradise by choosing luxury garden furniture and accessories with which to enjoy these summertime delights.
During the summer, your garden becomes an extra room where you can relax, dine or entertain. And, just like your home, your garden has a character of its own, so it’s important to pick pieces that suit the space available. When it comes to choosing outdoor furniture, even the smallest outdoor oasis is worthy of some stylish furnishings.
Finding the best garden furniture is essential for making the most of sunny days. Now more than ever, those of us with a garden will be enjoying the warm weather from our houses, and until restrictions lift on indoor entertaining, many of us will be hosting friends and families in our outdoor space, making it all the more important that we have somewhere comfortable to sit back and unwind together.
Choosing garden furniture for your space
The furniture you choose will largely be dependent on the amount of space you have. If you have a small garden, or even just a tiny rooftop or balcony garden, the most versatile thing to buy is a smart little bistro set in metal or rattan (Metal garden furniture tends to be cheaper). Rattan is particularly on trend at the moment and has a pleasing vintage look, especially the proper French café-style sets that we're seeing everywhere right now.
This affordable 5 piece bar set will become the focal point in both your indoor and outdoor living space. Made from solid Acacia wood is compact, highly sturdy, stylish and durable. The weather-resistant PE rattan on the chair seat and backrest give the set a modern design.
This compact Amalfi garden furniture set features terracotta inlays on the backrest of each chair to correspond with the surface of the round table. Both table and chairs are made from strong and stable wrought iron, accentuated by elegant curling metalwork for a truly Mediterranean vibe.
If you have a bit more space to play with, like a generous patio, why not set up a proper outdoor dining room? This will provide the perfect setting to host lunches and dinners, plus it is sheer heaven to eat breakfast outside on a hot summer day. Alternatively, a lounge set creates a more relaxed atmosphere, somewhere to sip on our favourite summer cocktail, an aperol spritz and read a book on a warm afternoon.
Possibly the best colour for outdoor furniture at the moment, grey rattan garden furniture stands out beautifully against nature’s colour palette. This allows you to achieve a minimalist approach and let your natural surroundings take centre stage.
When you have a small garden, you must ensure you know exactly what you want to use your garden for, similar to how you would design rooms in your house for specific uses. Storage and multifunctionality are the two key elements that all outdoor furniture for small gardens should have. Furniture that interlocks when not in use is a great option to limit the footprint of the furniture, allowing you to use your garden for other activities. You can ‘unravel’ the furniture for a real sense of grandeur for dining or entertaining. Versatility is key in small gardens as you need to be able to get as much as possible out of your space.
The Osmond Retro Side Chair, above, is not only stackable but comfortable and affordable. This set of two outdoor dining side chairs feature a panelled, curved back with sloped arms in a bronze effect finish for a clean and simple industrial look.
If your garden - or budget - isn't large enough for a full garden furniture set, then make the most of the good weather with a comfortable garden seat. The ample seating area of the Corina Iron Chair has a generous, mid-century modern design, with a low profile and rounded backrest for optimum comfort. The legs are minimal, in keeping with the overall aesthetic. Made from strong iron with a cool black finish, the openwork, lattice construction ensures that it doesn't dominate your outdoor space
New garden furniture is the perfect addition to freshen up your exterior space by clearly demarcating different sections. With summer upon us, a place for outdoor entertainment centred around alfresco dining furniture is essential. Rather than conceptualise your garden as one big space, think creatively for how it can be used for many different purposes. With more time at home, now really is the time to nurture your space. A dining table which can withhold outdoor climates doesn’t have to compromise on the luxurious look. This provides the ideal setting for a luxurious outdoor dining experience.
Proportion is everything. Just as you’d measure up before purchasing indoor furniture, you should do the same for your al fresco areas. Whether you have acres of land or a compact city rooftop, always measure your space and take note of the size of dining tables, chairs and loungers to ensure they’re a perfect fit.
Create a section for calm relaxation with a garden sofa and armchair set lined with sumptuous cushions in line with your home’s design scheme – this works perfectly when encapsulating a fire pit for warming up moments of cosy dusk evenings. If your concentration is enhanced by fresh air, consider creating an outdoor workspace so relaxation areas are not compromised with phone calls or cluttered with laptops. Finally, preserve a place for children’s playtime with a small low table on a grassy area – this will nurture their imaginative side with picnics and tea-parties while giving the adult space some sanctitude.
As the sun goes down and the spring and summer evenings draw in, it can feel a little chilly, so it's worth investing in some cosy throws and blankets on hand to keep you warm.
Finally, when entertaining outdoors make sure you stock up on lots of cushions. Cushions make a great alternative seat if you don't have enough garden chairs or benches as well as an ingenious method of dressing your furniture up with a dose of added colour. You can keep the décor fresh year-on-year simply by updating your outdoor cushions, throws and rugs. These bring the feeling of the inside out, add texture and pattern, and allow for some extra comfort during those long nights sitting and chatting with loved ones.