Our Guide to the Perfect Outdoor Garden Furniture
We've been lucky to have some glorious sunny days and some even more fantastic sunsets over Lac Leman, Switzerland, reminding us that in a number of weeks we will be back outside on the terrace enjoying the Spring and Summer evenings. There is no better way to enjoy these evenings with family and friends than relaxing on a new outdoor sofa set or all gathered around the outside dining table on your new garden dining chairs.
One question we are often asked is how much does outdoor furniture cost?
The price of outdoor garden furniture can vary significantly, depending on the size, materials, style and most importantly, the quality of the furniture. At Milola, we believe in buying something once and ensuring it lasts, so our brand partners; Suns, Brafab and Cane-line offer quality products with stringent quality control processes.
In addition, some offer other features including water resistant cushions or even feature quick dry foam technology, so after a rain shower the cushions dry very quickly. UV resistant fabrics also to help maintain the colour of your furniture in bright sunshine. This kind of features do make the furniture more expensive but are worth the cost for their convenience of always having a dry sofa and not having to bring the cushions in every evening in case it rains.
What material is garden furniture typically made from?
Another major decision is the look of your furniture, which is influenced heavily by the material from which it's constructed. Four popular options are teak, aluminium, rope and rattan furniture, but which is the best choice for you?
Teak is a natural wood that is renowned for being hard wearing and resistant to the elements. It is also a very attractive material and offers a classic, timeless look.
The natural oils in teak make it water resistant, so it is a great option if you live in an area with lots of rain. Teak can also offer the possibility of large outdoor dining tables with matching benches. For example, the Vasto live edge dining table comes with a teak top up to 330cm in length with a matching bench, allowing enough seating for all the family! We love the live-edge on this table, which adds to it's natural charm.
Top tip: Teak is extremely durable contains a natural oil, which means it needs very little maintenance. Without treatment, over time it will fade on it's own to a silvery grey colour, which for many people is part of it's charm. For after-dinner cleaning, the surface can be wiped with a dry cloth. If there are stains that have been absorbed into the material, it is recommended that you use a wood cleaner and a soft brush, such as Suns Wood Cleaner. To help prevent staining you can also apply a Nano Technology Protector, such as Suns Wood Protector once a year, which is specifically designed for untreated hardwoods and creates an invisible layer to prevent water and oil penetration. We would generally advise against using oil on outdoor teak, because it destroys teaks naturally occurring protective oils and starts a continuous maintenance cycle of oil application to stop it drying out. That said, some people prefer to use an oil, particularly if they are set on maintaining the golden new look of the furniture. Some oils come with colour pigments to restore the colour and can look very good on application, but be warned you will be in for a cycle of regular cleaning and oiling. Putting the furniture under a shelter e.g. gazebo will also help protect the colour, if this is your aim.
Aluminium or Stainless Steel
Aluminium and Stainless Steel outdoor furniture is relatively maintenance free, additionally it's also very durable and comes in a range of modern styles and designs. It is lightweight and easy to move around, which makes it a great choice for those with small terraces or balconies. Unlike some woods, aluminium and stainless steel outdoor furniture doesn’t require any maintenance and is completely rustproof, so it can be left outside all year round, although we would recommend you keep it undercover during those longer winter months to help it remain in tip top condition for years to come.
Metal outdoor furniture comes in a range of colours, from classic white, grey and black to bolder hues like blue, green, yellow, and red. We love the new Brafab Lerberget Garden Sofa Set, shown below, made of stainless steel and finished in a subtle dusky green. Some products like the Nimes Dining Table and Chair set from Brafab, allow you to mix and match for that personal look. Whatever your style or colour scheme, there’s sure to be an aluminium or stainless steel set that will fit in perfectly with your garden design.
Another option available for outdoor lounge and dining sets is rope. Rope outdoor furniture is a great choice for those who want a modern look that is also highly durable - there is a reason it has been used for hundreds of years in the Marine industry! Look for rope which is UV and weather resistant, so it does not break down over time. For example, the Avero Dining Chairs, which are made of a premium acrylic quality, making it colourfast, wear-resistant, and weatherproof. It's also lightweight and portable, making it a great option for balconies and terraces. Additionally, rope furniture comes in a wide range of colours and styles, so there's something to suit everyone. Rope is harder to clean so if you are leaving it under a tree for example, we would recommend purchasing a cover or putting it inside in storage when not using for long spells.
Rattan is, and has been increasingly popular for outdoor furniture, as it has a natural look and feel, and is also easy to maintain and clean. Rattan is available in a variety of styles and colours, so you're sure to find something that fits your existing garden décor. It's also a great choice for those looking for something lightweight, yet strong and durable. If you're looking for something to last for many years, and with a timeless appeal for your conservatory or outdoor living spaces then rattan is a great choice. We are huge fans of the Covelo Sofa Set from Brafab, which is light and airy whilst offering comfort on those long summer evenings. Real rattan needs to be kept under cover so is best suited for a conservatory or orangery, but there are now many high quality synthetic rattans on the market. We love the Nest lounge set (below) by Cane-Line, which is made from weather-resistant Cane-line Weave® on a strong aluminium frame. Cane-line Weave® is a fibre made from highly durable, solution-dyed polyethylene (PE), which is ideal for outdoor use because it withstands moisture and large variations in temperature. Both the structure of the fibres and the weave ensure elasticity and optimal sitting comfort.
What features should I consider when purchasing outdoor garden furniture?
When purchasing outdoor garden furniture, consider features such as: size, durability, weather resistance, comfort, and aesthetics.
First, think about the material and how it will hold up to the outside elements. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of rain, you might want to choose furniture made of a material that is water-resistant or waterproof. Conversely also consider how it will react to light, with the strong summer sun UV resistance can help maintain the colour for longer.
Additionally, you should consider the size and shape of the furniture. Make sure it fits the space you have in your garden and accommodates the number of people you plan to have using it. Some tables are extendable, like the Hillmond Table so you can make the dining table longer when you have more visitors you need to feed!
You should also consider the style and colour of the furniture. Make sure it complements the rest of your garden and the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space.
Arguably most important is to make sure it's comfortable. The very function of outdoor furniture is to spend as long as possible relaxing on it on those sunny days, so make sure it's a place where you can while the hours away in comfort and bliss! We could certainly while away a few hours on the Cane-Line Capture Modular Sofa Set, shown above.
What accessories are available to enhance the look of my outdoor garden furniture?
When it comes to enhancing the look of your outdoor garden furniture, there are plenty of accessories to choose from. From comfort-adding cushions and throws to stylish planters and fire pits, you can find items to add a touch of personality to your outdoor space. Not only that, but accessories like outdoor rugs and patio umbrellas can also help to provide shade, shelter, and style. Here are some of the top outdoor accessories from Milola to help you create the perfect garden oasis.
- Fire pits – Fire pits add a cosy atmosphere to any outdoor space. They’re perfect for keeping you warm on chilly nights and the perfect way to round off the evening with friends, adding atmosphere as well as a lovely focal point.
- Outdoor Lighting – Create ambience and add a touch of style to your garden with outdoor lighting. Whether you’re looking for solar lights, lanterns, or hanging lights, you can find the ideal lighting at Milola to suit your needs.
- Daybeds & Sun loungers - a great choice for those who like to soak up the sun while they relax in the garden. Typically, daybeds are larger and more plush, offering more space and sun loungers smaller for just chilling in the sun, often partnered with a parasol.
Outdoor Kitchens - These are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience and style. They can be a great addition to your garden, terrace, or patio, providing the perfect spot for entertaining friends and family.
- Outdoor Furniture Covers – Protect your furniture from the elements with outdoor furniture covers. Available from Milola in a range of sizes and styles, these covers will help keep your furniture looking its best for years to come.
Does outdoor garden furniture require assembly?
Outdoor furniture often come with a little construction, but importantly the items are often large which means carrying them to your terrace or patio can be tricky. Make sure you have someone who can help you when your new purchase is delivered.
At Milola we have a range of delivery and assembly services to choose from including a free home delivery service, home delivery with a two-man team, (available from as little as CHF50) or let us do all the work including delivery, build and taking away all the packaging for just 175CHF.
To view our full range of outdoor furniture, please browse our collection here. If you have any questions about a particular product or would like help choosing or customising your garden furniture, please get in contact with the Milola team.
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