Article by Nick Rinylo
Choosing the right outdoor furniture for your garden takes care and consideration, especially if you’re investing a big chunk of money into something that you hope will last you a long time. There are lots of considerations to make, from the weather where you live to the size of your garden and the predominant colours out there. You’ve also got to think about how often it will get used and what it will primarily be used for – so that’s a lot to keep in mind. Here are our top tips for choosing garden furniture.
Choose the right garden furniture for your climate
Just because you find it in the outdoor furniture section doesn’t mean it’s right for your outdoor situation or climate. Do your homework and make sure the material you choose suits the weather in your region and the level of exposure to the elements.
For instance, if you live in a particularly wet climate (like rainy old England), you may want to skip wood furniture; even teak, a durable and “all-weather” hardwood, will need to be treated every year to protect against cracking and warping. As for natural wicker pieces, they’re intended for covered outdoor spaces as they can’t really stand up to the elements. Synthetic resin wicker furniture is a better option if you like the style and want to use it outdoors. Rattan furniture would be a great choice here, for instance, as it’s synthetic, durable, and easy to care for.
Decide how you want your outdoor space to function
Think about how you would like your outdoor space to function. Do you want it to serve as a dining area on warm summer nights? Do you want to be able to sit out there daily just to eat breakfast and read the paper? Or do you plan to host your next dinner party or your child’s birthday party outside?
Make a list of the activities you would like to do in the space and use it as a guide to determine what type of patio furniture is necessary. It’s also important here to think carefully about the size of your space. If you have a large garden, you could go for lots of matching smaller pieces or some larger statement pieces, like an impressive day bed. If you have a tiny garden or a balcony, a small hanging chair or unimposing dining set might be your best bet.
Make everything multi-purpose
However, even with the above in mind, it wouldn’t be smart to drop a lot of cash on garden furniture with just one event in mind. Consider how you can make the most of your furniture so it works hard and does the most for your space and your budget. Pieces that serve multiple purposes can eliminate the need to purchase additional furniture and leave more room for your favorite outdoor activities. Choose patio furniture with function in mind to take full advantage of frequently used outdoor spaces.
Choosing garden furniture is about quality, not quantity
You get what you pay for. This is true for everything – especially garden furniture. Plastic resin chairs or side tables, for example, might look great on the shelf and will keep their good looks for a year or two out in the sun. However, after a summer outside they’ll be fading and getting brittle. Shop with care, checking consumer reports and reviews, before making a big purchase. If you’re sticking to a budget, plan to splurge on items that will be used most often, such as a comfortable patio chair or a durable dining table.
Be careful with colour
You don’t have to stick to neutral tones when buying outdoor furniture. Wicker, wood, and metal pieces now come in a wide variety of colorful finishes. Check out our blog post on choosing the right weaves and finishes for your space. Look for furnishings that play up colors found in your landscaping or in your other outdoor decor. For the most long-lasting color, reserve bolder hues for cushions and accent pieces. These items will likely be used less often, resulting in less wear, and are less expensive to replace.
Work smarter, not harder
Buying pricey outdoor furniture that requires a lot of maintenance may be something you regret in the future – because it’ll last you a long time but only with a lot of elbow grease! Search for easy-care patio furniture to minimize the need for upkeep. Rattan furniture is perfect in this regard, as are most metal, teak, cedar, and all-weather wicker pieces. With a bit of regular cleaning, furniture made from these materials will look great summer after summer. For more information on cleaning rattan furniture, check out our blog post.