Garden Furniture Buying Guide
With selected garden furniture you can easily decorate a comfortable leisure corner on your terrace, garden or balcony. How to choose the right furniture considering the wide range of items that will satisfy your desire for long-lasting quality furniture that is also comfortable?
We have prepared a short shopping guide for you to help you choose the right garden tables, chairs, benches and other items.
Published: April 9, 2020.
Few Things to Consider First
Before buying a new garden furniture, there are few thinks to consider first. After all, the easiest part is actually buying the furniture …
First you have to measure the area where you want to position your new outdoor furniture. Do you need a small table on the balcony and only two chairs? Do you have a large terrace where you can place a large table and chairs for the terrace, and with it you can add a sunshade and few deck chairs?
Before buying the garden furniture, first measure area that you have, make a plan and don’t forget to leave plenty of room for moving around.
Purpose and Use
When buying your new garden furniture, you must first assess the purpose for which you will use the furniture and how much time you will spend on it. The difference is whether you need a seating set that will become your spring living room, a dining room on the terrace or a corner to drink your morning coffee. Or you plan to use it only occasionally.
Once you have defined the purpose and use of your new garden furniture, you will get an answer that best suits your personal needs and requirements.
Style of Garden Furniture
Styles of garden furniture range from simple classic shapes to garden furniture made of rattan and modern combinations of wood and metal. Which style to choose is up to you, but it is important to fit well into the environment in which you will place it.
If you have stone or brick fence with plenty of room to spare, large and heavy granite or similar table may fit perfectly. On the other hand, if the area is limited, mixed material table (wood and metal, for example) that folds easily is far better choice.
Think about all these details and remember that you are buying furniture that should last and be used for years to come.
Garden Furniture Materials
If you decide to buy garden furniture made of the selected material, it means that you automatically choose a certain type of maintenance. Outdoor furniture is exposed to the constant influence of sunlight, wind and moisture, which makes its quality even more important in the long run. Think about how much time and energy you are willing to invest in the annual maintenance if you choose, for example, wooden garden furniture?
So, what type of material should you choose for your garden furniture?
How much you need to care for wooden garden furniture and wooden deck chairs, of course, depends on the type of wood. You have the least amount of work to do if you choose a cypress tree, cedar or sequoia. These types of wood have good resistance to various weather conditions and require less color regeneration, UV protection and similar.
While the wooden furniture may look fantastic, it is maintenance very demanding type of garden furniture – very few years a protective coating (paint, oil, finish…) must be reapplied in order to prevent the moisture and sun from destroying the material.
Stone furniture is not so common, except garden stone tables, placed on the permanent location due to their weight. When choosing stone type, granite is very durable and can be highly polished.
Marble on the other hand can be polished and have wonderful surface when new. However, if not treated properly, marble’s surface may deteriorate over years if left outside in rain and snow – marble’s surface is not as smooth as granite’s surface and as small imperfections are filled with moisture during winter, small ice crystals are formed which may damage the marble’s surface.
Granite is great, durable and anything but cheap and lightweight material – but, it looks fantastic ...
Steel and Wrought Iron
Steel and wrought iron are materials that must be protected from rust over several seasons with a waterproof coating or paint. Remember that metal furniture cannot be used without proper cushions, especially during summer when steel and wrought iron surface can get very hot. Also, such furniture tend to be heavy, much heavier than aluminum, wooden or plastic furniture.
On the other hand, steel and wrought iron are mechanically very durable materials, supporting larger loads than, for example, aluminum or plastic furniture. Also, plastic may get softer and lose its strength during summer heat, while steel and iron furniture are during summer heat just as strong as during summer nights, for example.
Aluminum outdoor furniture is extremely light and rust-proof. Aluminum is an extremely durable material, and it can withstand moisture, UV light and daily use and is mechanically strong even when left outside during hot summer days.
In order to simplify maintenance and to lower the costs, aluminum is often mixed with other materials – aluminum gives structural strength, while other materials, for example wood, is used for form and appearance.
Artificial materials like plastic are suitable for those who want furniture to be rustproof, relatively inexpensive, lightweight and easy to maintain. When exposed to bright sunlight, the color on certain parts of the garden furniture can easily fade away. Plastic garden furniture is very easy to maintain and can be cleaned easily with detergent and cloth.
But, if left outside during winter and if often exposed to strong sunlight, plastic garden furniture can’t last more than few seasons.
In most cases, rattan garden furniture is extremely light and therefore easy to carry were it is required. Rattan used to be a material only suitable for use indoors, but today furniture like parasols, chairs and tables made of rattan can be placed outside, thanks to protective coatings and impregnation with various non-harmful chemicals – just to be sure, if you decide for a rattan furniture, check it if it is suitable for outside use.
High quality knitted or even artificial rattan, in combination with other suitable natural and/or artificial materials may be used for sun/rain resistant garden furniture. If you decide to buy garden furniture made of natural rattan, a waterproof coating must be reapplied on rattan every few years.
Which material to choose, which one is the best? Aluminum and plastics are extremely easy to maintain. It is sufficient to clean them regularly with a suitable damp cloth and cleaning agent. Steel and wrought iron are tough and durable, but occasionally one has to repaint them. Wood is warm, noble material, but its maintenance can be a nightmare. Of fun, if you like DIY activities.
When deciding on the furniture material, consider your own needs and preferences.
Purchasing a Garden Set?
Once you know how much space you have, what is intended use of the future-to-be garden furniture and what kind of material you want, you can start thinking about individual items. Would you like a summer dining room on the balcony? Will you organize a social gathering in the living room on the terrace in summer? Will your garden deck become your holiday oasis? Answers to these questions are known only to you and upon them depends what items you will buy.
Also, by combining individual items, user may often adapt the area to better suits the one’s needs. But, garden sets are usually cheaper per item and if there are larger and heavier items, it is quite common to have delivery included in price – stone garden table anyone?
The garden table is the central element of any garden furniture set. It provides guidelines for any additional garden furniture item and it dictates how much space is left not only for chairs, benches and other similar items, but also how many people may sit around that table, how much area is left around for walking, siting, storage, sunshades and similar.
If you want to eat in the garden, you need a dining table. Such tables range from tables for two people as well as tables that may comfortably accommodate dozen people.
If you choose a round table, you must place the same garden chairs around it. If you choose a square or rectangular garden table next to it, you can combine chairs and garden benches or you can even different chairs around the table (same chairs on the same side of table). If your garden furniture is intended for relaxing and outdoor use, you can choose a garden set with a low garden table. Besides the garden coffee table on the terrace, you will best use garden chairs and benches with soft cushions.
If they are not part of the garden furniture set, selection of garden chairs greatly depend on the selected garden table. Whether normal dining chairs for the garden or garden chairs with adjustable height, this naturally depends on your preferences. The choice of cushions and armrests also depends on you.
When buying garden furniture, we recommend that you choose a comfortable garden table, chairs, benches, etc.
Garden Seating Sets
If you want real comfort on the terrace or in the garden, then the most suitable garden furniture is garden seating furniture, like two-seater chairs or benches, sofas, or even a corner furniture.
The best solution for those who want to furnish their garden, terrace or balcony in the same style are garden sets. Why is the garden a good choice? You save a lot of time in finding the perfect combination of individual elements, elements are stylishly designed to suit each other, their individual price is lower, etc.
On the other hand, be careful about the size of individual elements and how they fit your designated area.
Wintering of Garden Furniture
In winter, it is absolutely necessary to ensure adequate protection and storage of all parts of the garden furniture, unless it is made of durable stone, steel or wrought iron.
Think about whether you have a sufficiently large space where your garden furniture will be stored away during the cold and rainy season? Also, your storage space must have suitable temperature and humidity even during the winter, especially if you consider wooden furniture.
Folding garden furniture may save a lot of storage space. Also, modular garden sets are rather easy to store away.
Your garden, terrace or balcony will change its appearance completely if you add few garden accessories to the garden table or chairs.
Deckchairs and Garden Swings
Garden deckchairs and swings are a must have items for relaxing, sunbathing and resting. Deckchairs on wheels are extremely useful, allowing the users to move them around easily. Sun loungers are becoming increasingly popular for smaller balconies and terraces. They are ideal for reading, listening to music or watching your favorite series on a tablet, smartphone, laptop or any other similar multimedia device. Or just for relaxing and doing nothing…
Pillows and Cushions
Comfortable pillows and cushions make sure that it is always cozy, soft and comfortable in your personal oasis of peace and relaxation.
Also, during summer heat, pillows and cushions protect the user from the heat accumulated in the furniture, especially if the furniture is made from steel, wrought iron or stone.
When required, pillows’ and cushions’ covers are easily machine washed, with even some pillows and cushions allowing such maintenance.
Without proper sun protection, don’t even consider being outdoors during the summer. Not only because many studies and research have shown harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays, but also for practical reasons.
A garden parasol is needed next to the table on the terrace, garden deck or balcony, if you want to spend more than just few minutes outside during the summer sun.
In addition to the terrace, parasols are also welcome accessory next to the kid’s swimming pool, sandpit and similar. We recommend that you choose the color of the parasol depending on the shade of the cushion or the material your garden furniture is made of. Just be sure to avoid dark colors for sunshades and parasols, since they absorb the sun’s heat and as they got hotter and hotter, they warm up items and people in their shade – infrared heating.
Flowers, berries and other plants combined with colorful stackable, hanging and other pots and containers may be very decorative. As the plants bloom and as the fruits ripen, they change colors, making entire garden more dynamic. Not to mention that home grown berries taste so much better than the ones we buy at the marketplace.
Garden Solar Lights
Garden solar lights are used for marking driveways, edges, corners and similar. Basically, garden solar lights consists of small solar panel, LED light, rechargeable battery and control electronics – during the day, solar panel charges the battery and during the night, battery powers LED light.
Garden solar lights are very cheap, they come in various sizes and shapes and can make the garden look out of this world during the night – just use your imagination.
For carefree enjoyment of the garden and the perfect time with family or friends, quality barbecue is mandatory. You can design a large standalone or smaller table garden grill, depending on the available space and the amount of food you want to prepare on the grill.
Or, you can order a ready-made garden barbecue grill set – with so many grills on the market, one can easily find the model according to the personal needs and preferences.
Long Story Short: Garden furniture can make a huge difference - it helps the user feel welcome, cozy and relaxed, allowing the whole family to spend some quality time together. Or alone, depending on everyone's needs and preferences.