How to Choose Garden Furniture
As much as you may love to spend your free time in the house, with the first sunny and warm weather and the arrival of spring, you probably want to drink your first morning coffee outdoors.
Your garden is much more than a plain green lawn or surface where you might plant flowers, fruits and vegetables. In the garden you can always make an oasis that deserves as much attention as decorating some room in your home.
Published: July 29, 2021.
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As much as you may love to spend your free time in the house, with the first sunny and warm weather and the arrival of spring, you probably want to drink your first-morning coffee outdoors. Your garden is much more than a plain green lawn or surface where you might plant flowers, fruits, and vegetables. In the garden you can always make an oasis that deserves as much attention as decorating some room in your home.
On this page:
- How to Choose Garden Chairs
- How to Choose Garden Benches
- How to Choose Garden Tables
- How to Choose Sun Loungers and Deck Chairs
- Which Material Garden Furniture to Choose
- How to Properly Maintain Garden Furniture
Staying outdoors offers many pleasures such as fresh air, beautiful views of the surroundings, enjoying sunsets or relaxing from the daytime heat in the shade in the summer, and if the garden is beautifully and harmoniously decorated then the pleasure will be even greater.
It does not matter if you have a small balcony or spacious garden and terrace, it is important to carefully choose garden furniture that, combined with plants and ornaments, will provide a pleasant atmosphere and create a refreshing place for a break from everyday life. Even the smallest balcony can be arranged in a very simple and inexpensive way and turn into a real oasis for relaxation.
Garden furniture is usually made up of tables and chairs, and in addition there are deck chairs, garden sofas, swings etc., and even various types of shelves and hanging pots for your flowers, berries, herbs, and other plants that may be rather decorative.
What are the sofas and sofas in the living room, it will be both garden sofas and deck chairs as furniture in your garden or patio.
When decorating your garden, you are probably considering which garden furniture is the most suitable and which materials are the most practical, not too expensive and, of course, look beautiful. When choosing garden furniture, the most important thing is to choose quality materials that are resistant to elements of nature in the area where you live.
How to Choose Garden Chairs
Garden chairs are much more comfortable compared to garden benches and easier to move around when required. When buying garden chairs it would be good thing to pay attention to their durability, but also to determine how much space you have, and decide whether you want folding or fixed chairs.
If you are going to move and store garden furniture more often, either because of more people or weather, it is more convenient to choose folding chairs that are also best suited for balconies and small terraces. As for the material, the choice is really great so you can choose between metal, plastic or wooden chairs that will look natural and fit beautifully in your garden.
In terms of maintenance, aluminum and plastic chairs are most practical, while chairs from other types of metal are long-lasting, but much heavier. For wooden chairs it is important to know that, although they are very beautiful and look natural, require much more attention as far as maintenance itself is concerned. It would also be good to try their comfort when buying chairs in the shops, because sometimes beautiful chairs can be completely useless if people cannot sit comfortably and enjoy them.
How to Choose Garden Benches
In the garden you can use two types of benches, which differ in purpose and appearance.
One is garden benches that go along with the garden tables, and the other garden benches are garden benches for resting. Since garden benches may be quite uncomfortable, they are very rarely used for sitting at the garden table. Most of the time they are made of wood, plastic or even metal, but they can also be made of stone, especially when they go in the combination with a stone table.
Folding benches are the most practical, but the downside is that they tend to be unstable. The combination of metal and wood or wood and concrete is most common for garden benches. In order not to perish in the rain, the wood should be durable, hard and well protected. To solve the problem of comfort of garden benches, no matter what material they are made of, you can put pillows on them that will also look decorative.
How to Choose Garden Tables
The garden table represents the main element of furniture on your balcony, terrace, patio or garden. When choosing a garden table, take care of how many people will sit behind it most often, then choose the size and shape of it. Garden tables can be made of metal, plastic, stone and wood.
Stone tables are the most durable and most insensitive to weather conditions. If made of some particular type of stone can be a very nice decoration, but their biggest drawback is the weight that makes them much more difficult or even prevents them from moving at all.
Often stone tables can weigh up to several hundred kilograms.
Wooden tables are also durable in different weather conditions, but their regular maintenance is necessary.
As for maintenance, metal tables are not very demanding and are similar to lighter plastic tables in terms of moving and storage. But, metal tables may often look bad and can be of poor quality. Many manufacturers combine different materials to take advantage of the best properties of each material, so in the end such mixed material garden tables could be the best choice.
When you plan to place a table in the garden, then the ground around the table should be sufficiently fortified, flat and stable, and preferably not too far away from the house. Care should also be taken of the space around the table and the place for garden chairs. There should be at least a meter and a half of space on each side – sufficient for people to comfortably sit and for other people to walk around.
How to Choose Sun Loungers and Deck Chairs
Instead of classic garden chairs, sun loungers for the garden can also be used for resting. They are not practical for small terraces and balconies, although there are also foldable lounge chairs. If you have places in the garden, you can also have a sandpit that children will surely adore and where they will spend hours for play.
You can make easily a sandbox for children on your own - make a wooden frame on which the earth is placed, and then fill it with fine sand that has no artificial additives. In many specialized stores there is a large selection of sandboxes for children, and the most important is to protect it from cats that might perform an ‘emergency’ in it. Therefore, when the sandbox is not operational, it is best to cover it with a suitable lid or net.
To prevent the grass around the sandbox from failing, it would be good to sow a more resilient type of grass or put on artificial grass, thus preventing the formation of mud.
Which Material Garden Furniture to Choose
In order for your garden furniture to last a long time and adorn your garden, it is very important to choose materials that will not be destroyed by sudden summer rain. Below you can read what are the advantages and disadvantages of plastic, metal, wooden and furniture and wrought iron furniture.
Plastic garden furniture
The advantages of plastic garden furniture are durability, wear resistance, low prices and easy maintenance. It is also available in a variety of colors and modern designs, while polyurethane and synthetic materials are easy to clean and can be cleaned with detergent and hot water.
In addition to all these advantages, the disadvantage of plastic garden furniture is that it will last only a few seasons, while the one made of metal or wood can last much longer. Also disadvantage is that plastic fades in the sun, so it would be best to put such furniture in the shade after use.
Metal garden furniture
Metal is the most durable material for making garden furniture. There are two basic types of metal garden furniture - aluminum furniture and wrought iron furniture. Aluminum furniture does not need special care, it is durable and resistant to all weather conditions.
Garden furniture can be made entirely of aluminum or can be combined with plastic or wood. Aluminum does not rust, it is long-lived and very light, which makes it easier to move around. Prices of such furniture vary depending on the brand and design of the manufacturer.
Wrought iron garden furniture
On the other hand, the wrought iron furniture is native to the Victorian era. Manufacture of such garden furniture is somewhat difficult and its price is determined by the richness of the decorations on iron and quality. For windy areas, this type of furniture is ideal, but its downside is that it is really heavy to move around and position when required.
Also, during hot summer days, wrought iron furniture warms up, which is not the case with furniture that is entirely made of aluminum, wood or plastic.
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If you do opt for iron garden furniture, take care that it is galvanized and processed with protective powders in order to remain functional and beautiful even after several years have passed. For greater comfort of metal garden furniture, use various coasters and pillows.
Wooden garden furniture
If you are not a fan of plastic and metal and you like everything to be in harmony with nature, then garden furniture made of wood is the ideal choice for you. Pine and cedar garden furniture are the best choice, because these two types of wood are long-lasting, but they can be sprinkled over time if you don't paint them.
Teak also tolerates well various weather conditions, and the furniture from this exotic wood is the most appreciated. Since it already contains large amounts of oil, it does not need to be further oiled, and if you maintain it properly it can last up to 50 years. Therefore, when buying wooden garden furniture, consider this information because it is a good investment for a longer period of time. Teak, unlike the more common types of wood, is much lighter, and garden furniture from this type of wood must be stored indoors.
Furniture you store indoors will be less exposed to rain, snow or strong sun, which will keep it new for longer.
Garden furniture made of rattan
Rattan furniture can also be an option for the garden because it is characterized by a small weight. Natural rattan is a species of palm tree that is typical for a tropical areas. As a rule, it is more expensive than synthetic rattan, but it is also more sensitive.
Synthetic rattan is very similar to natural, but is much more weatherproof and durable. Synthetic rattan is resistant to water, UV radiation and frost and will not fade in the sun. Also, it is easy to clean with hot water and detergent.
Knitted garden furniture
Knitted furniture for the garden is much more delicate than wooden or metal, and on the market you can find one with the basic protection or one with all-weather protection.
Knitted garden furniture that has only basic protection is used only under the covered outdoor spaces, while the latter can also be exposed in the rain. It can be cleaned with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner.
Bamboo garden furniture
How to Properly Maintain Garden Furniture
Different weather conditions affect the durability and cleanliness of garden furniture, so it needs to be maintained and cleaned regularly.
The wooden garden furniture is truly beautiful and natural in appearance, but it is not resistant to moisture, rain and snow.
If you leave wooden furniture in the sun for a long period of time without protection, its color will fade. In order for the wood to retain its original color, it is necessary to protect it with various colorless oils and varnishes, depending on which type of wood is used.
At the end of each season, the dirt from the furniture is removed with soapy water and a soft brush. Metal furniture does not require much care, but any possible damage should be repaired with paint or varnish in order to prevent rust.
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Aluminum garden furniture does not require varnish, but like other types, it is necessary to clean it thoroughly with mild cleaning agents at the end of each season.
Plastic garden furniture is the most grateful for this, because it only needs to be thoroughly cleaned with a cleaning agent and a wet cloth.
Stone garden furniture collects dirt over time - it is easiest to clean polished stone, since limestone should not be cleaned using cleaning agents whose base is acid, because it may damage the stone. Unpolished stone is best cleaned with the help of a soft brush.
Long Story Short: If you are thinking about which and what garden furniture to choose, choose according to the weather conditions where you live and according to how many people you want to receive and according to the purpose of the garden furniture.
Also think about how much will, desire and effort you want to invest in taking care of your garden furniture.
During autumn and winter, put your garden furniture indoors to ensure its longevity and to prevent its deterioration during cold and rainy autumns and winters.
If your garden does not have some shelter in the form of umbrellas, wooden furniture could really be a bad choice because it does not tolerate strong sun or rain. Therefore, for open spaces, the best solution would be furniture made of metal, plastic or high quality synthetic rattan.
If you don't have too much space in the garden and still want certain garden furniture, then keep in mind folding items that don't take up much space, which are functional and easy to clean up and move as desired.
Also take into account your personal habits and preferences, not just needs and requirements.