Selecting furniture for your outdoor seating area
What’s a garden or backyard without great outdoor seating options? The best outdoor furniture will transform your outdoor space into a functional and comfortable space for alfresco dining, sunbathing, and catching up with family and friends. Choosing the right furniture is crucial to enjoying your outdoor space, so ensure you choose wisely.
But which outdoor furniture should you choose? From the perfect material to the right colours that match your design theme, there's so much that goes into choosing the right seating solution for your outdoor area. If you're looking to create the perfect garden seating and are unsure where to start, we'll help you. We've put together this comprehensive guide to help you find the best outdoor furniture for your outside area.
What outdoor seating solutions are there?
Garden seating options can be placed into different categories based on their intended use. You can choose furniture sets or individual pieces to fit your needs. Let's take a closer look at the different types of garden seating solutions you can choose for your outdoor seating area.
Outdoor dining seating
As the name implies, this outdoor furniture is designed for alfresco dining. When shopping for outdoor dining furniture, take into account the size and layout of your space. Remember that rectangular tables require more space, while circular or oval tables are perfect for small or tight spaces. You also need to choose garden seats that suit your outdoor seating space. For example, stackable chairs and benches are ideal for small spaces. For convenience, you may choose tables that feature Lazy Susans so that everyone can easily access dishes and plates without getting up or asking the other person to pass them over.
Outdoor lounge seats
This outdoor furniture helps you to extend the comfort and beauty of your interior space to the outdoors. Available in different materials, sizes, and shapes, outdoor sofas are designed to suit all outdoor spaces. Your choice will depend on who will use it and how often you host guests. Modular lounges are flexible, allowing you to tailor an outdoor seating area to your needs. On the other hand, corner lounges are great for maximising garden space. Keep a keen eye on the cushioning of the lounges, as this will determine the comfort levels. Moreover, most outdoor sofas don’t have cushioned arms, so if you're looking for that extra comfort, go for a chaise lounge or buy throw pillows.
Outdoor recliners allow you to soak in the sun and enjoy the outdoors in style. This furniture has a reclining mechanism and footrest for ultimate comfort. When shopping for outdoor reclining, choose models featuring independent reclining sections so you can lay back even when the other person you're sharing the sofa with is sitting upright. You also need to ensure the back of the recliner is tall enough to accommodate you. Furthermore, check the angle of recline of the chair as some models go back further than others.
Perfect for relaxing on lazy weekends or soaking in the sub, sun loungers have an ergonomic design and feature several reclining options. This allows you to lie down when basking in the sun or sit up and enjoy your favourite drink or read a magazine. Like outdoor sofas, pay attention to the cushioning, as this will determine how comfortable it is to use. If you’re buying a sunlounger to enjoy the sun, look for models with wheels so you can chase the sun in your outdoor space.
What’s the best material for outdoor seats?
Outdoor seats are available in different materials. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, but your choice will influence the look and durability of the garden seating. Below, we look at the different materials to help you choose one that suits you.
A timeless classic, wood is not only sturdy but also durable. Wooden garden seating adds warmth and natural beauty to your outdoor seating space while providing the much-needed seating space to enjoy the outdoors. You can choose either softwood or hardwood, the former being the most popular option for outdoor furniture due to its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. Teak, one of the most popular hardwoods, is often used to construct garden seats due to its high oil content, making it resistant to moisture and termite attacks. However, wooden outdoor furniture requires regular maintenance to keep them in top condition.
Metal is the strongest and most durable of all materials. Like wood, there are different types of metal you can choose from. This includes cast iron, aluminium, and stainless steel. Cast iron is heavy, so if you live in an area that regularly experiences high winds, you won't have to worry about your outdoor metal furniture being blown away. However, it's prone to rust and requires regular maintenance. Aluminium is a low-maintenance option that does rust or corrodes unless used in areas that are close to salt water. It can also be cast into virtually any shape. Outdoor furniture made from stainless steel boasts all the traits of aluminium but with the added advantage of being resistant to humid, salty air.
Plastic garden seating is one of the most popular choices because it is lightweight, easy to maintain, and cost-friendly. Outdoor seats made from this material won’t rust or corrode even when exposed to saltwater conditions. In addition, plastic outdoor furniture comes in various colours, styles, and shapes. You can leave this furniture outside in all seasons without any issues. The main drawback of plastic is that it is fragile compared to other materials like wood and metal. There’s also a major downside regarding the stability of plastic because it’s lightweight.
Upholstered furniture is a perfect choice if you're looking for comfortable garden seating solutions. However, natural fabrics cannot withstand harsh weather conditions, so synthetic fabrics are the most common option for outdoor furniture. The most common options include acrylic, polyester, and vinyl. Not only are these fabrics breathable, but they are also resistant to harsh weather conditions. However, all fabrics require regular cleaning. It’s also advisable to remove fabric furniture outside during extreme weather.
Rattan is one of the most popular material choices for outdoor furniture. It’s a sustainable and eco-friendly material as it is extracted from vines, which grow back quickly, unlike wood which requires cutting down whole trees. In addition, rattan outdoor seating can sit all year round outdoors without damage. The material will look as good as new for many years with little care. While it's not advisable to let rattan furniture soak up water, a lacquer coating should just do enough to make the material water-resistant.
What outdoor seat style should you choose?
The fact that outdoor seats need to be hard-wearing and withstand the elements doesn't mean they don't need to be stylish. Your outdoor seating space should essentially be an extension of your interior space. Knowing what garden furniture style to choose can go a long way in giving your home a complete look. Here are a few different outdoor seat styles to match your outdoor space.
Most modern garden furniture styles tend to be oversize. They also have a minimalistic design. Modern outdoor live spaces have their roots in the 1950s and ’60. Adding modern-style furniture to your contemporary garden will add a touch of sophistication to your space. The most popular materials for modern garden seats are wood, metal, and even concrete.
If you have a country-style outdoor space, wooden garden furniture is the best option for you. This garden style originated in the 1600s and has adapted to many changes over the years. The modern country garden style features furniture in different types of wood like teak and bamboo. Outdoor seats made from these materials are not only weather-resistant but also strong.
Furniture from the 1950s, '60s, and '70s have been given new life in retro-style gardens. Outdoor seats for this garden style are mostly made from metal and wood. They also come in different sizes, styles, and designs.
If you have a cabin in the city, woods, or at the beach, you need rustic furniture for your outdoor living space. Adirondack and log furniture are the two most popular options for rustic-style gardens. Most modern Adirondack chairs are made from solid wood and compressed fiberboard, while log furniture is made from tree trunks and branches.
How to maintain your outdoor seating
Like other furniture in your home, outdoor seats need maintenance to remain in good condition for years. Fortunately, most outdoor furniture can withstand harsh weather conditions, so with little care, they should be able to last longer. Here are a few care tips to keep in mind.
Clean your furniture regularly
Wiping your garden seating with a damp cloth is the most basic way to maintain your furniture. With dust and dirt building up on the furniture every day, cleaning it will ensure it remains in good condition.
Use outdoor furniture covers
Investing in outdoor furniture covers is a great way to keep your furniture looking as good as new. These covers are usually UV- and water-resistant to protect your furniture from harsh weather.
Store your furniture during severe weather
It's also good to store your furniture away during inclement weather. Materials like rattan and wood can quickly deteriorate during winter. Storing them away will protect them from the elements.
Shop outdoor furniture at vidaXL
If you're looking for high-quality furniture for your garden seating area, look no further than vidaXL. We have an extensive outdoor furniture range in different materials, sizes, and styles to suit your needs. Our commitment has always been to provide the best furniture to our customers. That’s why we only source outdoor furniture from leading manufacturers. Browse our collection today to find the perfect seats for your outdoor living area.