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So you have your new garden and now you need to decide what furniture to put in it. There is a lot of different garden furniture out there; you can choose from many different styles and materials and all budgets are catered for.

Tight on space?

If you have a small area or balcony you might choose a bistro set, this is typically a small round table and two chairs, often made of metal but it could be wood.

It gives you a great spot to enjoy a coffee, breakfast, a snack or dinner for two whilst not taking up too much vital space. Importantly a bistro set is usually at the lower end of the budget.

For a similar space but more relaxing you might choose a bench, traditionally made of wood you can now get them made of many different materials.

A duo or companion bench might be a good option as it has two seats with a small table in the middle. You can add cushions to benches to make them more comfortable and add injections of whatever colours you want.

A larger space to entertain friends and family

Typically if you have a family you have a larger space where you can have more furniture. A large table and chairs is usually a good starting point. Teak is a good hard wearing option, Iroko is also commonly found, be sure to buy wood which is ethically sourced and displays the FSC logo.

An oblong table with an extendible leaf is a good option as it can be made larger for bigger gatherings but reduced on a day to day basis.

There are some very smart sets available made of a woven manmade material and often with a glass top – a good material for long lasting durability outdoors. These sets tend to be bigger but are more comfortable and don’t always need cushions adding so are ready for use when you and the sun are! Of course patterned cushions add colour and extra comfort so can prolong the outdoor soiree.

Want to relax at the end of the week?

The traditional deck chair seems to have been relegated to the beaches of the south coast but they are a retro option which is comfortable, cheap and folds flat so great if you don’t have much storage space. They are usually available in bright colours and you can mix and match them to have different splashes of colour.

Alternatively a sun lounger of which there are many options to choose from is a good option. You can get plastic at the cheaper end or metal and canvas, up to wood which is more expensive.

Maybe the ultimate in relaxation is a hammock which conjures up images of sunny days. I bought a hammock in Nicaragua some years ago and love it. You can buy hammock stands or hooks to fix them to walls so nowadays you don’t need two trees perfectly spaced.

Top design

At the more expensive end of outdoor furniture there are many options, mostly made of wood but there are also glass and manmade options. Some top designers have branched out into garden furniture but of course this comes at a price.

For example Philippe Stark has some amazing furniture, really striking and bound to give your garden a wow look if that is what you’re after.

General advice

When choosing furniture it is important to select what suits you and your needs, think of where you will store the furniture and is it practical and importantly comfortable. Wood is timeless and hard wearing but you will have to oil it every couple of years to keep it in top condition. If you have limited funds you could buy a table and chairs and buy more chairs in the future. Think also about the style of garden you have and buy something in keeping.

Finally get out there and enjoy your garden at every opportunity!

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