Garden warning: Avoid making a garden look smaller with a big furniture mistake

Garden warning: Avoid making a garden look smaller with a big furniture mistake


Alan Titchmarsh on 'creating depth' in a small garden

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As the summer kicks in we’ll all want a gorgeous outdoor space to spend time and host in and choosing the right furniture for your garden means considering size, colour, theme and practicality. It’s important to treat garden furniture the same way you would treat buying furniture for indoors – how often do you purchase a sofa? Or a dining table?

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Garden furniture is very similar to this and you should think about it as an investment, you want to buy something with longevity.

I always advise people to first think about what they want out of their garden furniture because there’s different furniture to suit different needs.

For example, if you have a big family or you’re hoping to host a lot then you might want a lounge or sofa set.

If you live on your own or with a partner, you might want something small and cosy like an egg chair to curl up in.

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Garden furniture has really embraced indoor-outdoor living and you can get so many things that bring the indoor entertaining feel outside.

Tables with built-in fire pits and ice buckets are becoming increasingly popular, but if you don’t see yourself making use of them, they can be a waste of space and money.

Once you’ve considered your furniture needs and gathered what exactly it is you want from your furniture, you’ll need to factor in the size of your garden and the space you have.

Smaller gardens, of course, bring some limitations but this certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have a stylish and comfy set-up. There is garden furniture out there that suits every garden size.

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However, I do advise that if you have a smaller garden, try opting for more leggy furniture where you can see the floor and avoid having chunky decor.

Being able to see more of your patio will give the illusion that your garden is still big and spacious.

The less patio you can see, the more cramped it will look.

You can get some really nice table and chairs sets that are slim and made for smaller spaces.

You may not even need a big table at all, if you can’t see yourself dining outdoors then a small coffee table will suffice – remember, think about your needs.

It’s also important to factor in other elements of your garden to make sure what you buy complements the colours and feel that you already have.

If your garden has more of a modern and contemporary theme, then something like a sleek lounge sofa set will work perfectly. If your garden fits more of a cottage theme then you may want to opt for rattan and leggy furniture.

Whatever type of furniture you go for, you must remember that different materials will require different levels of maintenance. For example with wood, you may need to treat it around once a year to keep it looking fresh. Some may see this as a hassle but it can also be a great benefit.

Staining wood can often give the furniture a whole new look and will completely refresh the garden. It can also be painted, something that’s not possible with rattan furniture.

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Garden furniture is of course made for the outdoors but you’ll need to think about storage.

Where will you store things like cushions during the winter months? Throughout the summer these can stay outside as long as they’re covered but the cushions will need to be brought in every day as they’re not weatherproof. Some other soft furnishings can’t be left outside all summer either.

It’s important to look into the care that your furniture needs, then you can see how much of it needs to be stored away and what can be left outside.

By thinking about these things you’ll be able to make a long-term purchase that suits your garden, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space all summer long.

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