The search for garden furniture should be an exciting and enjoyable experience. Most people nowadays who have gardens own some form of it, whether it be an inexpensive white plastic chair or a one-off bespoke masterpiece, with a every possible variant in quality in between. This handy guide will help you avoid any pitfalls and ensure your outdoor living experience is something you can enjoy for years to come.
The materials used in the construction of your garden furniture is one of the most important aspects when deciding what to buy. Garden furniture made from wood will need constant care with treatment ideally twice a year to ensure it won't rot. Steel furniture or frames corrode quickly which can lead to breakage within a relatively short space of time. Aluminium is an ideal material for the frame of your garden furniture; strong and durable, it has excellent weather, corrosion and rust resistance properties, ensuring many years of enjoyment. Square tube aluminium frames are stronger than round tube and a powder coating on the aluminium frame adds an extra level of resilience.
Rattan weave is often associated with high quality and luxurious design. Natural rattan or wicker, while strong and splinter free, does not withstand the outdoor elements well and is not moisture resistant. This means if left out in the rain, it will start to rot. Synthetic rattan replicates the look of the weave achieved by natural rattan but its highly durable and weatherproof properties make it an ideal choice for garden furniture in the UK. PVC, PU and PE can all be used to create the look but the most durable is polyethelene or PE rattan. PE is the hardest wearing material and can also withstand UV rays so the colour does not fade. It is also the only one that can be recycled. There are many manufacturers producing rattan weave products. The skill of the weaver and quality control at the factory are vitally important factors and should never be overlooked. Frayed, broken rattan due to poor quality is a reason not to seriously consider cheap garden furniture. Look closely at the materials used, the type of weave and the frame that lies beneath before deciding on your furniture set.
Good design is something is the first thing many of us will notice when it comes to shopping for garden furniture. Design is reflected in how something makes us feel. The ambience provided by a fire is something many of us our drawn to. While traditional outdoor chimeneas and fire pits can add ambience to a garden, the smell of smoke that lingers on clothes and hair is an unwelcome accompaniment. Gas fire pits have become increasingly popular in the UK and can extend the the time spent every year enjoying the outdoors. This could mean longer summer nights once the sun has gone down or sunny September afternoons with family and a cup of tea or glass of wine in hand. The gas fire pit can also set the mood for that get together birthday party. Toasted marshmallows are also hit with kids.
Seating should be deep enough so you can relax properly. Thin foams and slippy fabrics that will slide when you sit on them take away from the comfort of your set. It is important that the foams and fillings used feel as luxurious as your best sofa. Look for deep-filled cushions (at least 10cm) as well as fabric with double piped stitching for that luxury look. Quality, soft but showerproof material should finish the look but should also conform to British law on flammable materials.
Layout and Size
Garden furniture should fit your patio perfectly. Modular garden furniture are designed to fit your needs, allowing you to vary lengths of L-Shape sets and even create a U- Shape. It is important that size should be considered, it can be very difficult comparing garden furniture online as you can't really get an idea of the true size. Measure your space carefully and ensure you are aware of the sizes when comparing options.
Flat-pack or Fully Welded
An important factor, often overlooked when purchasing online is whether the garden furniture comes flat-pack or fully welded. Fully welded furniture, such as our Napoli and Roma ranges contain more aluminium adding to the overall weight (important against wind); they also have no visible joins on each module and can be unboxed and used virtually straight away without the head scratching of nuts, bolts and assembly manuals. Flat pack furniture of course has the advantage of being lower cost and our great value Siena range is designed to achieve a high quality look for an accessible price.
To recap, the size, quality of materials, manufacturing and design all play their part when choosing garden furniture. Investing in products that are built to last a lifetime is certainly something we think is important. How will you turn your outdoor space into an extension of your living space? We hope you take a look at our quality product range and turn your garden into somewhere you can be proud to enjoy with family and friends this year and for many years to come.
Co-Founder and Director
Bellissima Garden Furniture UK Ltd.