Design Your Outdoor Space Around You Garden Furniture

Ed.: The following post comes to us from friend Richard Swift with Outside Edge Garden Furniture in the U.K.

Spring is coming and now is the best time to design your patio or garden. The climate is getting warmer and you should get ready for parties, BBQs and alfresco dining! We wanted to ask the question, should you get outdoor furniture first, or build the patio and then purchase garden furniture as an afterthought?

Accepted convention would dictate that you construct the patio initially and when it is actually installed all you need to do is get furniture that fits the present design. But it may be prudent to select the perfect dining suite, sectional configuration or sofa set before you build or re-work the outdoor area.

Modern patio furniture provides so many different propositions that the traditional dining set or sun lounger has been replaced by multi-faceted furniture groupings that have many uses. Not only that, the varying design and types of material (e.g. cast aluminum, teak, outdoor wicker) available can really influence the design of your patio. If you choose your backyard furniture first, the dimensions and aspect of your space can be organized so it gets the most from your furniture, with both efficiency and aesthetics taken into account.

You should design the garden or patio with the backyard furniture as a primary influence!

This seems fairly obvious, but say for example you have always wanted to seat 8 guests around a fire pit set you need to make sure that the space is large enough and the right shape – you should not be forced to compromise.

In the past, great emphasis has been put on the furniture inside the house. Say, the best oak dining table & chairs or a handmade sofa of the finest quality. Now very durable, versatile and maintenance free patio furniture is available. Nowadays it is worth the time and effort to get the ‘outdoor room’ right. The patio should be functional and attractive so that you and your family will use the outdoor space so much more.

Back in the day, a simple area of hard ground or slabs were arranged at the back of the house. You then went down to your local hardware or furniture store and got some non-descript patio table and chairs or if you were lucky a folding metal sunbed with plastic slats.

Oh boy how times have changed! First of all you can choose from cast aluminum, tubular aluminum, hardwood like teak, outdoor wicker (which is woven polypropylene), recycled plastic, stainless steel, sling or even wrought iron.

As well as classic backyard furniture such as dining suites, Adirondack chairs and sun beds there are now a plethora of different designs available. There are fire pits sets that are also BBQs. You can buy sectional sets that transform from dining use to lounge use; there are even modular sofa sets that turn into large daybeds! These innovative designs have altered the way we perceive outdoor design.

Here Are Our Top 7 Tips For Successful Patio Design.

1. Select The Correct Patio Furniture First

How many people Do you want to accommodate? Do you want a cooking area? Is there or will there be a pool? Do you like formal dining or do your guests want to eat and then chill? Do you need to recline and relax? How large is the outdoor area? Do you want different furniture in different areas for differing uses? What will work for you?

2. What Style Do You Want?

This usually depends on the architectural style of your home. Look online, in style magazines and or visit home stores to get ideas. Once you have chosen the style you can decide on the furniture’s color and cushion fabrics, this will influence the design and shades of your patio and planting.

3. Begin With A Blank Canvas

Obviously any home will have its property boundaries but within that you should start with a bare canvas. This will enable you to create your own unique shapes and even terracing. Perhaps you want different levels of decking, dining in one area and informal relaxation in another. Remove from your mind what is there at the moment and fresh ideas will materialize!

4. Make Your Garden Furniture The Main Focal Point

To draw your guests in, place your chosen garden furniture in strategic positions so there is a natural progression – somewhere to sit, relax, eat and drink. Then structures such as low walls, planters or potted plants should enhance the area and give depth and create a vista – this process will create ambience.

5. Create Tranquility

To do this and make a retreat choose neutral colors and use lots of green plants to suggest cover and coziness. Also, so that the whole design is as maintenance free as possible, use aluminum of wicker furniture and weatherproof fabrics.

6. Use Accessories

To create chic style make use of accessories such as colorful throws, trendy scatter cushions, outdoor candles and painted lanterns.

7. Garden Lighting

Soft and subtle garden lighting will complete your patio design. Use carefully placed down lights and floor or side lighting. Use low voltage lighting units to create a cool and inviting atmosphere.

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