A garden should be a multi-purpose space that allows you to enjoy the great outdoors from your own doorstep – but you’ll need the right garden furniture to make the most of your outdoor idyll. From lively gatherings and al fresco dinners to work-from-home workstations and lounging in the sun, these 11 garden furniture ideas will transform your outdoor space instantly…
1. Choose Rattan Furniture for Lightweight Portability
Garden furniture often needs to be moved from one location to another, so portability should be a top priority. If you’re chasing the rays, for example, you may want to move your furniture around your garden to get the best sunlight. Alternatively, you might want to store your garden furniture indoors overnight or for longer periods during autumn and winter.
Rattan is naturally lightweight, which makes rattan furniture easy to move around. In fact, most pieces of rattan garden furniture are light enough to be moved by just one person, so it’s easy to set up an outdoor seating area for an impromptu get-together or move furniture inside if a rain shower descends (which is always a possibility!)
2. Design an Outdoor Living Area
If you really want to spend more time outdoors and make the most of your garden, create an outdoor living area that allows you to maximise the functionality of the space. With raised decking or a patio, for example, you’ll have a stable ground for a year-round living area that can be used to entertain, relax or work.
With comfy seating, outdoor tables or even an outdoor desk, you can create a customised space that’s perfectly suited to your needs. If you want to enhance the functionality even further, extend your electricity supply outdoors so that you can incorporate entertainment features, such as televisions and music systems.
3. Add a Striking Centrepiece
Garden furniture can seem somewhat out of place if it doesn’t have a distinct location or a centrepiece to anchor it. If you want to prevent your outdoor furniture from looking lost on the lawn or overlooked on the patio, choose a centrepiece and make it the focal point of your garden design.
Styling comfy garden seating around a firepit can be an excellent way to create a statement feature in your garden, for example. When you’re entertaining or simply relaxing with family, having a designated outdoor seating area with a striking centrepiece will encourage you to spend more time in your garden too.
4. Scale Up with Modular Furniture
The amount of garden furniture you need is likely to vary depending on how and when you’re using your garden. If you’re home alone, for example, you may simply need a single chair or sun lounger but, if you’re entertaining, you may require a larger seating area with multiple seating combinations.
Modular furniture is a great option for outdoor use as it allows you to scale up your seating as it’s required.
Modular rattan furniture sets give you the flexibility to extend single seats or benches and transform them into larger seating configurations, for example.
Additionally, modular designs are typically contemporary in style, which makes them a popular choice amongst homeowners. If you want to give your garden a stylish and modern feel, integrate modular rattan seating for maximum flexibility.
5. Construct Built-in Benches
If you’re looking for permanent garden furniture ideas, built-in benches could be just the solution. I know I like to have year-round seating in my garden, even if the weather doesn’t always allow for it to be used! Despite this, it’s handy to have somewhere to perch when you’re gardening or doing a little DIY.
Built-in benches can be added to fencing or even set against walls, so you won’t take up a significant amount of space by adding them to your garden. In fact, they can take up less space than a freestanding bench as they don’t need to be positioned away from the boundary.
Using reclaimed wood to construct built-in benches can give your garden a rustic feel, for example, while painted or dyed wood is an effective way to inject a pop of colour into your garden design.
6. Save Space with Foldaway Furniture
If you have a smaller garden, courtyard or patio, then you’ll be looking for space-saving garden furniture ideas and foldaway furniture is at the top of the list. From bistro tables to folding chairs, there are endless options and styles to consider.
Although you will need to find somewhere to store them when they’re not in use, the fact that they can be folded ensures they won’t take up much storage space either. Use year-round in smaller gardens or expand a permanent seating area with supplementary foldaway garden furniture when you’re hosting events or entertaining extra guests.
7. Add an Outdoor Bar for a Laidback Feel
An outdoor bar or drinks station can be the ultimate addition to your garden but be sure to consider your garden design when you’re deciding what type of materials to use. Rattan can be a good option for an outdoor drinks station as its natural appearance ensures a discreet and unobtrusive style, for example.
Transform your garden into the ultimate entertainment zone with an outdoor bar or drinks station.
If you want to maximise the amount of space available, opt for a foldaway drinks station that’s affixed to a garden fence or wall and add a couple of rattan bar stools to complete the effect. When you’re done, you’ll have a fully functional drinks station with garden furniture that requires minimal storage.
8. Combine Garden Furniture with Extra Storage
The best garden furniture ideas don’t just provide comfy seating or handy surface space; they enhance the functionality of your garden too. When you combine garden furniture with extra storage, you’re enhancing the visual impact of your garden design while increasing its usability too.
A seating bench with in-built storage gives you the ideal place to store cushions when you’re not using your garden furniture, for example. Alternatively, garden tables with hidden storage compartments can be used to store glassware or crockery for al fresco dining and entertaining.
9. Blend Metals and Natural Materials
When you’re choosing what type of garden furniture to add to your outdoor space, you don’t have to stick rigidly to just one style. In fact, blending different materials and styles can deliver a striking and unique impact that complements your property perfectly.
By mixing metals and natural materials, for example, you’re combining different textures and finishes to enhance the visual effect of your seating or dining area. Furthermore, the metallic glint shimmering against the backdrop of a natural material like rattan brightens the space and gives it a contemporary feel.
10. Enjoy a Snooze on a Swing Chair
If you want your garden to be a place of tranquillity and relaxation, a swing chair is a must-have piece of garden furniture! The perfect place to doze off in the summer sun, curl up with a good book or simply watch the world go by, an egg-shaped swing chair will provide all the comfort and cosiness you’re looking for.
In my experience, a swing chair is always the most popular piece of garden furniture so consider getting more than one if you want to avoid long queues and endless squabbles!
11. Choose Dual Purpose Garden Furniture
Before you decide what type of garden furniture to add to your outdoor space, consider how you’ll be using it and what purpose you’d like it to serve. If you want your furniture to be used purely as a relaxed seating area, then low seats with plenty of cushions may be ideal, for example. Alternatively, if you’re creating a dedicated outdoor seating area, then a more formal dining table and chairs might be appropriate.
In most cases, however, people simply don’t have the space to store multiple sets of garden furniture throughout the year, so having a separate casual seating and dining set might be more than you need. Instead, choose dual-purpose garden furniture that can double up as both informal seating and an al fresco eating area.
A mid-height L-shaped outdoor corner sofa is comfortable enough for lounging on, for example, but can also be used as a family-friendly garden dining area. With an accompanying garden table, it’s easy to modify the configuration to turn your dual-purpose garden furniture into a flexible, multi-purpose feature.
Elevate Your Outdoor Space with Garden Furniture Ideas
Garden furniture might be a must-have addition to your outdoor space, but you don’t have to stick to the status quo when it comes to upgrading your garden design. No matter what size your garden is, there are innovative and space-saving garden furniture ideas that allow you to create a unique style.
What’s more – the right mix of garden furniture will make your garden infinitely more usable and give you the opportunity to make the most of your outdoor space. In doing so, you’ll find that your outdoor furniture gives your garden a new lease of life and ensures you spend more time outside – whatever the season!