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The Different Types of Outdoor Furniture

When it comes to buying outdoor furniture, you might be surprised to find a whole host types and styles to suit even the most eclectic tastes (or minimalist ones, if that’s more your thing). So, where do you start? Well, knowing exactly what is available to you in terms of materials and even functionality can be a great start, so let’s take a look at the wide range of options open to you.

Great weatherproof materials

One of the first things to consider is how well the materials you choose for your furniture will hold up against the elements. After all, what would be the point of buying a piece you love, only for it to rot, spoil, or suffer damage from the forces of nature?


Wood is often a first choice to upgrade any outdoor space, but it can fall foul of both water and sun exposure. So, why do so many people still use it? Well, different types of wood can withstand more than others (for example, hardwoods will hold up better than soft woods over time), but there are also a wide range of treatments on the market to ensure that wooden pieces stay in tip-top condition for years to come. Stain, varnish and even creosote can all help to seal wood, so don’t forget to buy pre-treated items – or do the work yourself.


When you think of plastic in terms of furniture for your garden, you may be forgiven for thinking of the boldly coloured bits and pieces that you’ll be likely to find in the kid’s section. There are a good range of plastic items on offer that can look as good as you like – and you may find that the functionality is far greater than you imagined, too. Of course, plastic can suffer from sun damage over time and doesn’t often have the same level of treatments available as wood to protect it – but simple, everyday care can go a long way.

Wicker and Rattan

Whilst wicker has enjoyed popularity for both indoor and outdoor use over the decades, rattan has only really grown in popularity in the last few years. Similar in both look and functionality, these types of furniture are well-known for their durability and aesthetic appeal. No garden seems complete without a co-ordinated set – and with bold colour options for the soft furnishings (and the ability to have custom made coverings), they can suit almost any budget and style.

Again, these materials can suffer at the hands of UV rays more so than from water damage, so be sure to practice basic care and you’ll be enjoying your furniture well into the future.

Functional furniture options

With furniture that is going to be spending it’s time outside, functionality is definitely an important factor to consider. Small spaces don’t have to go to waste, just as large spaces can often be better utilised, so finding the right pieces can make all of the difference.

Eating and Seating

Some of the most popular pieces of furniture to have outside are tables, but bulky dining options are not the only type available. Once upon a time a small gardens and patios may have been devoid of a table altogether – and longer still will have had to rely on awkwardly fitting tables that detracted from spaces instead of enhancing them (as did some larger areas, too). But not anymore! Folding tables, extendable tables and even flip up/down tables have all come into their own – and more and more people are experimenting with shapes, sizes and colour schemes, too. As anything can be used to rest your morning coffee, experimenting is definitely in vogue.

When you have tables, you are sure to find chairs – and as you can imagine, these are as versatile nowadays as their siblings. Mixing and matching chairs can be a great way to add character to a space, as can keeping a theme and opting for a uniform aesthetic.

Custom-built garden furniture can be a great way to add extra functionality to your individual space too, so make sure to do some research to find what options will really suit your needs.