The garden furniture you choose is just as important as the furniture you buy for indoors. The main difference is that garden furniture resides in tougher conditions.
There are nine important tips to help you create your outdoor living space.
1.Be aware of what's available. Check our the full range at your local garden centre, DIY stockists, or even in specialist catalogues or on the internet. Questions most asked are - what style is right for us, and what material should it be made of?
2. Consider your garden style - the type of furniture you select should enhance your garden style. Be clear about what you want, and what will best fit in with the environment.
3. Know the functional requirements - Keep the picture of your garden in your mind while you consider what the seating and tables will be used for-family eating or entertaining. How many people you usually entertain -What sort of entertaining do you do? Have you got somewhere to store it to get it out of the bad winter weather?
It may be easiest to jot down your functional needs in a notebook and refer to them when shopping.
4. Where will the furniture be located- what aspect do you wish to enjoy? Will the furniture be close to the house or off in the distance? Keep the architectural style in mind for outdoor furniture close to the house. Do you want the seating to be the focal point? If you want to move things around a lot, buy something more lightweight
5. Know your space - make scale drawings of your patio or deck and draw in the furniture. Allow a 12ft x 12ft space as a comfortable area for a table and four chairs.
6. Set a budget and know how much you've got to spend. This will influence your choice of material, as well as the quality and longevity of the furniture. It's worth investing in well crafted tables and chairs to enhance the beauty of your garden. Plastic is less durable and may discolour easily.
7.Maintaining the furniture. Always check the manufacturers instructions about what care is needed. When you are spending a large sum of money you will want to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Some furniture requires regular treatment, and storage over winter months. Cushions and fabrics should be stored indoors over the winter.
8.Comfort levels - If you're going to be using your furniture regularly over many years, you'll want to ensure it's comfortable.
9. Finally, choose the material. There are 4 basic types - wood, woven, metal and plastic. Wood goes well with most garden styles. Woven styles such as wicker provide a more casual garden look. Metal can be shaped into any style and is durable, but it can sometimes look cold. Plastic furniture comes in a huge range of colours and styles. You can also mix the material to create your own powerful statement. Whatever you choose, get out in the garden, relax and enjoy the surroundings.