The outdoor garden furniture guide

Posted May 27th, 2021 by SimpliSafe

When the warmer seasons come, us Brits can’t wait to get out in our gardens. BBQs, sunbathing, relaxing and spending time with family is what we look forward to - when the weather’s on our side! We’ve got the perfect outdoor furniture guide to help spruce up your gardens.

Think about your layout

Before you hit those purchase buttons, it’s important to review your garden and layout as it is. Do you want to do work on it in the not-so-distant future? Are you remembering your patio doors and windows so nothing will obstruct? If you’re lucky enough to have ample space, you can afford to go a little crazy, but if your garden is more cosy, one or two smaller furniture sets may work perfectly. Has the shed become useless with not much to store? Maybe you can make more room for a trendy corner chillout area. Once you know exactly what you’re planning or reorganising, you can make better decisions.

What materials to choose?

Depending on your set-up, sun spots, maintenance and comfort, there will be a furniture material to suit. Here are the main types of outdoor furniture materials:

  • Wood: A popular material for outdoor furniture, wood can give a rustic feel and can be treated, stained, and painted easily. It’s also easy to clean with soap and water, and with some TLC, can last a long time. During the winter, pay extra care to wooden pieces, and cover or store away if you can.

  • Rattan-effect: The smart outdoor material comes in the form of the rattan effect. You can now get synthetic rattan, meaning it’s weatherproof and is protected from damp, mouldy conditions and UV rays - perfect for garden sofa frames or chairs. Just simply add cushions and remove them during wet weather.

  • Metal: Steel and aluminium are rust-resistant materials, but may need an anti-corrosive coating. Aluminium is the cheaper material of the two metals as it’s lightweight, easier to manoeuvre, but needs more TLC. Steel, on the other hand, is heavier, but more durable. Metal is super easy to clean with soapy water, but just like any outdoor furniture, it’s best to cover or store these materials away during winter. Be careful when in the sun too, to avoid a build up of heat.

  • Plastic/resin: Certainly one of the most affordable materials, plastic furniture pieces are lightweight, easy to carry and are weather-resistant. You can get a range of colours and styles, and they tend to be easier to stack. Assembly is much easier, and can make great emergency chairs for those times when you have too many guests!

  • Glass: Glass-top tables can make great garden furniture pieces, as they offer a smooth, easy-to-clean, flat surface for those delicious meal times. Be wary that it can be scratched or damaged quite easily, and be mindful about the build up of heat from the sun on glass.

Going alfresco

If you’re planning in alfresco dining, you’ll want a sturdy, aesthetic outdoor dining set, and it all depends on your household’s size, or if you want to host some soirees or brunches. Do you have a patio or decking for furniture, or maybe you’d like the dining table in the centre? Factoring in space is key. Another thing to consider is sun and shade placement. If you love the idea of evening gatherings or romantic garden meals, consider which spot gets the most sun and for the longest time. If you like the heat, opt for wooden materials over glass or metal, otherwise built-in parasols can help shade.

Suitable seating

You don’t want to get too carried away with all the different kinds of outdoor chairs you can buy, especially if your gardens are limited on space. They also need to suit your garden’s style, layout and activities. If your favourite hobby is basking in the sun’s rays, a sun lounger or a reclining chair is perfect for you.

If you like to listen to the birds with a book and refreshing drink, a simple bench, chair, or outdoor sofa - in shaded or sunny spots - can give you some much-needed respite.

If you’re limited on space, fold-up chairs are ideal, with or without padded seats depending on your preference. Just remember to remove them during the wetter weather, if unsheltered.


Setting up a hammock is easier than you might think, and what a way to relax in the garden. Some even come attached to their own support structures, but you can simply attach them to two trees or suspension points. It just depends on the type of hammock. For instance, those with a spreader bar should be hung as tight as possible and lower than ones without a spreader bar. The recommendation is to hang up hammocks without a spreader bar at eye level, at a height of around 1.8 metres. You need to test the trees and suspension points on their strength, distance and positioning. When hanging hammocks to trees with a rope, make sure it can’t slip down and is tied above a strong branch.

Huts and hideaways

Maybe you’re planning on a specific theme altogether, like a beach one. Your very own hut, pier and pool can make a beautiful garden aesthetic. Beach-themed sun loungers with little side tables to hold your exotic drinks are a great idea, and can be easily stored away come winter. A raised plank of wood or simple bench with cushions can make for comfy seating. Beanbags can be added for a cosy vibe, and because it’s sheltered, you don’t have to worry about the weather.

Outdoor furniture accessories

If you’re no fan of the sun, you can always put up a gazebo over your furniture sets - whether sofas or dining tables. If you want the best of both worlds, you can put up a parasol that can be easily taken down if you want to catch some rays. Arches make a quaint garden piece, where you can introduce a path, beautiful flower display or garden waterfall - whatever features you like. Fairy lights, spotlights and lanterns can turn any garden into a magical spot at night. You can dangle them across fences, trees, gazebos and even have spotlights built into decking. Place them conveniently to light up any gnomes, statues and furniture.

Now that you’ve got the perfect garden set up - somewhere to spend more time in - you’ll want to review your garden security. More time spent in the back outside with music on loud, chattering and families playing, this is when many can get complacent - leaving windows and doors open during the summer.

With a rise in sneak-in burglaries, it’s crucial you have a smart home security system in place to alert you immediately if anyone triggers a motion or entry alarm sensor. Being smart, your mobile will be immediately notified and can show your security camera’s footage, thanks to the smart SimpliSafe app. Speak to our team today to find out more about how our smart systems work.