Whether you’re entertaining your friends or simply enjoying the relaxing ambience of a welcoming outdoor space, having the right furniture is an absolute must. Garden furniture can drastically enhance the appearance of an entire garden area, so it’s important to think about what you’re looking for from it.

Buying garden furniture can be a tricky task, and there’s a lot to consider. At Ponden Home, we’ve compiled some of our top tips in this garden furniture buying guide. Keep reading to learn more.

Questions to consider when buying garden furniture

When you come to buy furniture, there are a few important questions you should ask yourself before doing anything else. These include:

How much space do you have in your garden? Obviously, you need to ensure that your garden furniture is appropriate to the overall dimensions of your garden – if it’s too big or there’s too much of it, the rest of your garden will start to look crowded and cramped.

Are you looking to make a bold style statement or keep it simple? The garden furniture you choose needs to be aesthetically coherent and fit in to the overall look of your garden area. But you need to think also about the purpose of the style you go for: what are you looking to achieve as part of that overall look?

How much time and energy are you likely to have to maintain your garden furniture? It should go without saying that the British climate can really put garden furniture through the wringer. You need to ensure that you don’t buy garden furniture you then find you can’t maintain properly – otherwise it’ll soon lose its lustre.

What are you going to be using the furniture for? This is an especially important question. If you’re going to be relaxing outside for extended periods, then a garden sofa or armchair is likely to be a good choice for you. Alternatively, if you’re planning to eat outside, then a dining set would be a good purchase.

Garden furniture materials

There are various different materials to choose from when buying garden furniture. As we’ve already touched on, it’s important to select a material which is practical – if you aren’t able to devote much time to regular maintenance, then make sure you go for a low-maintenance option. The most popular garden furniture materials are as follows:

Wooden garden furniture. This provides a touch of timeless elegance to any garden, which goes a long way to explaining its enduring popularity. Cared for properly, it also lasts a long time. However, certain types of wood (eucalyptus and acacia, for example) can be especially susceptible to weathering, warping and cracking over time. Teak, on the other hand, is not prone to warping and cracking, although it will need treating if you want to avoid weathering.

Rattan garden furniture. Rattan strikes a good compromise between natural style and hardwearing practicality. It’s highly weather-resistant – it isn’t susceptible to mould or the effects of UV rays beating down on it – and simple to maintain (you can clean it with a hose or wet cloth). You can leave it outside during winter if you need to, although it will last longer if it’s stored indoors during the colder and wetter months of the year.

Plastic garden furniture. Perhaps the most practical and simple option for garden furniture, plastic is lightweight, inexpensive, durable and not generally susceptible to the effects of weather. Because it’s often easily stackable, storing it away in the autumn and winter (which is advisable) should be pretty easy – it doesn’t take up much space.

Metal garden furniture. The two metals mainly used in the design of garden furniture are aluminium and steel. Quality aluminium and steel furniture is rust-resistant (unlike some other metals) and so generally requires very little in the way of maintenance; it can easily be cleaned with soap and water. It’s best to cover or store it away in the winter months, however, to keep it in top condition.

Essential garden accessories

To really get the most out of your garden, it’s always important to complement your garden furniture (whichever material and style you go for) with the right accessories. Here are some garden accessories you shouldn’t be without:

Parasols. On bright and sunny days, parasols can be a real lifesaver, shielding you from the sun while you soak up the summer atmosphere. They’re suitable for small gardens and even balconies as well as larger spaces, which makes them brilliantly practical. Garden dining sets usually come with a parasol hole in the middle of the table, so you can shelter from the sun while eating out doors.

Gazebos, awnings and canopies. For a touch of distinctive style and sophistication in the garden, gazebos, awnings and canopies are perfect. Not only do they look great, but they provide valuable protection against the beating sun when it’s warm and sunny. There’s an enormous range of style options to choose from, so you’re sure to find an option that works perfectly in your garden.

Furniture covers. The vagaries of the British climate are notorious, and nobody should bank on the weather being good all the time – whatever the time of year! That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep plenty of furniture covers to hand, so you can protect your garden furniture from whatever the elements have to throw at it. Garden furniture covers can be particularly useful if you’re struggling for storage space and have to leave some furniture outside.

Outdoor lighting. If you’re looking for something that’ll add extra ambience on those long and hazy summer evenings, then outdoor lighting is ideal. With the right outdoor lighting, you can stay outdoors well into the night (which is great when you’re entertaining friends and family for a special occasion). Outdoor lighting can also add a really charming decorative touch to your garden.

Soft furnishings and cushions. Add both extra comfort and character to your garden furniture with a generous selection of cushions, throws and soft furnishings.

Hopefully these simple suggestions will provide you with some useful ideas and points to consider when you come to buy garden furniture this summer. Whether you’re barbecuing for friends and family or simply soaking up the sunshine (well, hopefully), the right garden furniture can make the whole experience so much better.

Explore the diverse range of quality, stylish garden furniture here at Ponden Home today.