How To Choose Garden Furniture For Your Outdoor Space

A display of stylish garden furniture, showing grey rattan chairs, a dining table and a fire pit.

How To Choose Garden Furniture – 7 Considerations Ahead Of Buying Outdoor Furniture

It’s a simple fact that the right garden furniture can transform an outdoor space into somewhere truly special. Perfect for entertaining guests or just unwinding and getting away from the world, outdoor spaces should be cherished by all homeowners and given the same love, care and attention as the interior rooms of your home. If you get your garden right with ideal garden furniture, you can truly enhance your lives and level up your home.

To help you decide what kind of outdoor, garden or patio furniture is right for you, we have put together this guide detailing exactly how to choose garden furniture, detailing seven key considerations for the buying process.

How Much Outdoor Space Do You Have?

A first key consideration is determining exactly what space you actually have in your garden. It’s unlikely you’ll want your garden furniture to take up the entirety of your outdoor space, so measure up a specific area within your garden for outdoor dining, sitting and relaxing.

If you have a patio area, then this is the obvious area for patio furniture. If you don’t, it’s a good idea to work out which part of your garden gets the most sun as you will want to be seated in this area. You can then measure your outdoor seating space and know what sized garden furniture you can purchase.

A man measures the space he has in his garden for outdoor furniture.

Consider What You Need From Outdoor Furniture

Everybody’s needs and desires are different. The best garden furniture for one person may not be the right furniture for somebody else. You need to consider what you really want from your outdoor furniture. You may be looking for a place to sit or lounge with a good book, you may be looking for the best lounge set for sunbathing or you may want a welcoming outdoor dining space for family, friends and other guests.

If your focus is on relaxation, consider reclining furniture with soft, thick cushioning that your body will appreciate for hours. If your focus is on dining, you need dining chairs with proper support and a dining table big enough for visitors. Of course, outdoor dining sets are the best way to get this in one fell swoop.

Find The Right Furniture Style For Your Garden

You now need to consider style. Do you want a modern, sleek garden design or do you want something more traditional and natural? Contemporary landscaped gardens tend to have straight lines and colours like black and grey featured prominently. Older, natural gardens are often less refined but just as charming, more focused on nature than aesthetic design. Whichever route you go down, you need to ensure your choice of garden furniture is in keeping with the rest of the garden.

As noted, grey and black often feature heavily within modern gardens in 2024 and beyond, so choosing black or grey garden furniture is a solid choice for that style of garden. You might also want to consider cubic or ‘boxy’ patio furniture, which would likely stay in keeping with the straight lines of your contemporary outdoor space.

If you prefer a more traditional garden, then the right garden furniture will be slightly different. You should choose curved furniture pieces to reflect the different shapes within your garden. Consider lighter, earthier colours which likely to be more suitable within your garden’s overall ambiance. You can also choose to add accessories like cushions and potted plants to add more colour and personal style to this outdoor dining space, focussed around a statement garden table.

Choose The Right Garden Furniture Material

Material is arguably the most important considering when choosing outdoor furniture. Unless you have a large shed or garden in which to store outdoor furniture, you need to choose weather resistant materials to get the most longevity out of your purchase. To help with picking the best material for garden furniture, let us summarise the most popular garden furniture materials available today, explaining their potential pros and cons.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Rattan garden furniture is undoubtedly the most popular material of outdoor furniture in the modern day. Inspired by natural wicker rattan furniture of the past, contemporary rattan furniture items are crafted using interwoven plastic strands.

The benefit of this modern rattan material is that it is waterproof and resistant to changing weather conditions, while still offering that distinctive traditional look of natural wicker. A lot of rattan outdoor furniture comes with large cushions which can be easily stored inside during periods of poor weather, but the actual base of furniture can be left in your garden whatever the weather.

Wooden Garden Furniture

The most traditional material for outdoor furniture would have to be wood. Ever since man began to harness the potential of wood, we have been crafting furniture for indoors and out. Of course, the wooden furniture of today has come a long way since then, now using the most efficient and durable woods and harnessing the power of modern technology.

The most popular wooden furniture material is teak, offering enhanced durability and low maintenance requirements compared to other woods. Teak is a moisture and weather-resistant wood that would be a good material to consider when buying garden furniture.

Plastic Garden Furniture

Known for its durability, plastic garden furniture is another option to consider. It’s light, weather-resistant and comes in all shapes and sizes. You can find plastic garden furniture in all manner of colours to suit the wider look and feel of your garden, with some wood-look plastic designs ideal for period gardens and bolder colours most suited to modern gardens.

While plastic itself is quite hard on your body, simply adding cushions can make plastic dining chairs, sun loungers and other furniture items extremely comfy. Where plastic falls down slightly is in its relative strength compared to that of metal, wooden, rattan and stone.

Metal Garden Furniture

Metal is another common material used for garden furniture, but is it the one for you? Most commonly used for outdoor seating, metal has its advantages. There’s no doubt that metal is a very durable material which is easy to clean and can be moulded into many shapes to make appealing patio furniture like French-style bistro sets, for example.

The drawbacks of metal are around weight and rust. If you need to move the furniture around to accommodate more guests, the sheer weight of metal makes this more difficult. And with the changeable weather of the United Kingdom, metal garden furniture is exposed to the elements regularly, potentially leading to issues with rust if not properly maintained.

Stone Garden Furniture

Some homeowners are even turning to stone as the right garden furniture material for them. The advantages of stone furniture lie in the obvious extreme durability of the material, unlikely to be affected by even the harshest weather, and also in their undoubted aesthetic appeal. You could choose to have some stone furniture built within a landscape garden, or bring in some Brutalist stone seating as a striking contrast in a garden.

That said, the drawbacks of such furniture are fairly obvious, with the furniture being very hard to sit on without adding cushioning and the difficulty you would have in moving a stone dining table and chairs.

A selection of different patio chairs in different materials.

How Are You Going To Stay Warm On Your Garden Furniture?

Heating is another important area to consider when choosing outdoor furniture. You want to be able to use your lovely outdoor seating area as much as possible, even during the cooler months of the year. As such, many people are turning to artificial outdoor heating as a way to get the most our of their garden furniture.

Patio heaters like those seen in pubs and bars across the world are an effective solution, but you should always consider how they fit within your garden furniture space and whether the cost of running the heaters make it worthwhile.

On the other hand, you could consider one of the real trends of garden furniture – the fire pit. Fire pits are exactly as you’d imagine, a metal or stone structure in which logs or coal are burned in order to create heat for those sat around it. Aside from heat, fire pits also bring benefits in the way of an enticing atmosphere and a glorious warm glow.

You can even purchase integrated gas fuelled firepits which come with the furniture itself, often sitting in the middle of the dining table. Imagine the amazing evenings you and your loved ones could enjoy with garden furniture featuring an in-built fire pit.

An outdoor furniture area surrounding a fire pit.

How Are You Going To Maintain Your Outdoor Furniture?

As a significant investment, you want your new garden furniture to stay in tip top condition as long as possible. In order to do so, you’re going to need to clean and maintain the furniture, thereby increasing its life span. There are a variety of ways to protect your outdoor furniture from the elements, from furniture covers and proper storage to rust protection, choosing the right paint, regular cleaning and repairing any damage as soon as possible.

Some garden furniture is easier to maintain than others, and this should come into your consideration during the buying process. If you don’t have the time to devote to furniture maintenance, opt for easy-to-clean waterproof materials like plastic and modern rattan which can be cleaned by hand with just some soapy water.

In contrast, maintaining wooden garden furniture means considerations around varnish, paint and other wood preservatives, while metal furniture will require rust-preventative measures like wax. Both wooden and metal furniture are also more difficult to clean, often requiring pressure washing if left for a long time between cleaning.

A woman cleaning some rattan garden furniture with soap and water.

Where To Buy Garden Furniture

The final consideration is, of course, where are you going to buy your garden furniture? Buying online from Home Treats UK is a fantastic way to get high-quality outdoor furniture at better prices than you’ll find in your local garden centre or DIY store. You can have stylish garden furniture delivered to your house in just 1-2 days free of charge and we offer a buy now, pay later finance scheme to help spread the cost of your upgraded outdoor space. With an average Trustpilot review in excess of 4.5 out of 5 from over 1,000 reviews, there’s no better place to buy garden furniture than right here at Home Treats UK.

We hope you have found this guide on choosing outdoor furniture useful and informative, helping you to enhance your outdoor space. If you require any more info on garden furniture, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced and friendly team.

Some imagery within this article has been created using AI Software.