outdoor garden buying guide

Outdoor Buying Guide

More than just a garden or yard, our outside spaces can and should be an extension of our homes. This means maximising their functionality and ensuring they reflect our style and our lifestyles.

One of the best ways to ensure you are getting the most from your outside space is to create a stylish, comfortable and inviting outdoor dining area featuring pieces of furniture and carefully chosen design accessories that will allow you to enjoy your morning coffee, unwind with family at the end of a long day, and host dinner parties your guests will be talking about for weeks afterwards.

Getting your seating area right can often provide the strong foundational element that will inform the design of the rest of your outside space and as this part of your garden should be versatile enough to adapt to all occasions, it is worthwhile carefully planning to ensure you will want to spend as much time as possible eating, relaxing and entertaining outside. This is precisely why we have invested time and resources into sourcing the best outdoor furniture from an array of the world's leading designers.

So, here are some things to think about when getting started with your outside seating project and buying garden furniture.

What does your garden space look like?

Believe it or not, you don't need to have a sprawling garden to create a usable and beautiful al fresco dining area. The best outdoor furniture suits the space you have, so whether you have a small patio area, cute courtyard, a sprawling lawned garden or anything in between, it is important to consider your space and think about its configuration as this will inform the style and size of outdoor furniture you select.

 How much sun does your preferred area receive?

If your chosen outdoor dining area receives a lot of sunshine throughout the day, you may want to consider a garden set with a parasol to provide some shade from the strongest mid-day and afternoon sun rays. However, if your seating area will be positioned beneath a canopy or in a naturally shaded area, you may prefer to choose another style to suit your space.

How do you want to use your outside seating area?

For sophisticated dinner parties and large gatherings, a long outdoor table and chairs may be at the top of your must-have list. However, if you want to enjoy the morning sunshine with a cup of coffee, then a petite bistro set could be your perfect match. It is always best to ensure that your needs for your garden inform the furniture choices you make, which will ensure that your outside space is always ready for every occasion or event you want to host.

What is the best material for outdoor furniture?

When buying outdoor furniture, it is important to look carefully at the list of materials from which your chosen set has been constructed. There are several materials that offer the durability and longevity you will want to see from your investment, including aluminium and weather-resistant rattan. You will also find that stainless steel features on many lists of the best material for outdoor furniture as well as natural materials such as rope.

Once you have a solid vision for your outdoor seating area, you can move onto the next exciting stage which is exploring your options and using accessories to help you create your perfect outdoor retreat with the ideal ambience to suit your lifestyle. We are proud to offer a selection of luxurious outdoor dining sets as well as a variety of accent pieces that we are certain you will adore. Better still, everything mentioned is also available with express delivery, allowing you to maximise the warm weather season and make your garden dreams a reality within just a few days.

Stylish Seating

The good news is that when shopping for the best outdoor dining sets, you have a solid selection of different options to choose from. Here are just a few of our favourites. 

2 seater garden dining

Beautiful bistro sets are ideal additions to patios or placing poolside for a versatile seating option throughout the day. The Gallery Mileva two seater bistro set comes in two chic colour ways to suit all styles and is constructed from powder coated aluminium, all weather rattan and tempered glass for maximum durability. Both the chairs and the matching table feature a combination of full round and half round weave, which creates a beautiful tonal effect and is complemented by the showerproof back and seat cushions. This compact seating solution will look wonderful when positioned on a partially shaded patio or decked area and the table is the perfect size to accommodate a couple of brunch plates, some glassware, and a small potted plant or decorative accent piece.

garden bistro table

For a sleeker and more overtly contemporary outdoor seating area, Olivia's Sienna two seater bistro dining set is the perfect choice. The stainless steel and aluminium table has a gorgeous mid-grey hue, which is complemented by the natural twist rope seat and back on the matching chairs. Notably, comfort has been accounted for in the design of the chairs, which means that no cushions are needed to create an inviting area that you'll happily want to spend hours enjoying. Plus, the chairs also stack for easy storage when required. The sleek silhouette of this set can be incorporated into a wide variety of different gardens with ease, including modern balconies, country cottage patios, and in poolside locations within a much larger space. The tabletop is spacious enough to accommodate a pitcher with matching glassware and a handful of dishes that are ideal for nibbles or tapas style dining, making it a versatile bistro set that is certain to play a starring role in your garden for many years to come. 

four seater garden dining set

If you want to curate an outdoor seating area that is both compact yet large enough to easily accommodate four people, the Gallery Outdoor Mileva four seater round dining set has a relaxed aesthetic that is tailor made for hosting casual weekend brunches with family or much–treasured catch-ups with friends. The rattan construction is softened with the addition of plump seat and back cushions, which offer superior levels of comfort that you simply won't want to leave. Additionally, the circular table has been designed to securely support a parasol so this set can be placed in sunny or naturally shaded spots with ease.

6 seater dining sets

Olivia's Everly six seater dining set has a similar shape and silhouette, however, it is slightly larger and easily accommodates up to six people. The teak tabletop is positioned on an aluminium base with a cross design, which keeps this substantial set from feeling or looking too heavy. The accompanying aluminium chairs have been afforded a gorgeous anthracite hue, which contrasts with the natural hues within the wood to create a contemporary aesthetic that will suit everything from ultra modern to Scandi chic spaces.

Olivia's Dakota six seater dining set is another mid-size option, which has a contemporary design with soft curves, clean lines, and classy colours. The spacious rectangular table has a sturdy aluminium frame which houses a gorgeous teak wood table top. The set's matching chairs are constructed from stainless steel, which has been expertly wrapped with a neutral toned rope material to give the piece a relaxed, modern beachy vibe. Ideally suited to both spacious decks and poolside locations, the Dakota is versatile enough to be the perfect piece for family dinners and more formal dinner parties or other celebrations.

8 seater dining set garden outdoor

Ideal for poolside celebrations or in the heart of a romantic country cottage garden, the Maze pebble eight seat oval dining set is crafted from waterproof, UV resistant and frost resistant rattan, and features generously padded back and base cushions for maximum comfort. The chic oval shaped table is wonderfully spacious, offering more than enough space for eight place settings alongside a beautiful centrepiece of your choice. The crisp white rattan and coated aluminium gives the piece a fresh and seamless aesthetic, which can be easily incorporated into a variety of outside spaces. For extra convenience, the chairs are easily stackable allowing for space-saving storage options when they aren't in use.

Minimising the Chill

When you don't want chilly evenings to put a premature end to your time outside, a fire pit or chiminea can help you to extend your celebrations and ensure everyone feels warm and toasty after dark as they're relaxing on one of the best outdoor dining sets they'll ever experience.

garden firepits

The Buschbeck Ifen steel fire pit has an open design and is constructed from self-oxidising steel which will continue to become more rustic over time. At 80cm in diameter, it is the ideal size to act as a centrepiece for your outside get togethers. The Gallery Outdoor Luciano fire pit is similar in style, but features a chic conical base and comes complete with a grill cover and poker. It is crafted from high quality Indian iron and finished with a heat-resistant black coating. It is also slightly smaller in size, making it an excellent option for a compact patio area.

If you have a clean, contemporary sense of style, the Garden Trading Lyneham round fire pit could be the piece that completes your outside dining area. The pit is set within a circular heavy granite base and is surrounded by a sleek black fire basket, which offers a safe and easy to use experience. This tactile piece can give your contemporary garden an additional element of cosiness and is certain to become a core component of your long summer evenings for many years to come. However, if you are looking for a slightly more rustic or traditional looking piece, the Garden Trading Barrington fire pit is an excellent choice. This raised basket style pit sits on four sturdy legs and is large enough to accommodate a significant quantity of wood, which will allow you to continue enjoying your time outside long into the night. This classic silhouette will look spectacular in any outside space, particularly those which also contain a selection of vintage or reclaimed pieces with an abundance of personality.


For an even more elevated option, the Garden Trading Sarsden Chiminea has been crafted from steel and can withstand all seasons and weather conditions. A trio of gently curved legs provide maximum stability and the Spanish inspired silhouette promises both ease of use and efficiency. The long chimney channels the smoke up and away from you and your guests, while the integrated grill separates the ash and the fuel for an even burn. Over time, this piece will develop a natural rust patination, adding to its charm and cementing its place in the heart of your garden's entertaining space.

garden chiminea

Additional seating options can also be created around your fire pit or chiminea with the addition of plump floor cushions from Garden Trading. Their recycled woollen yarn is thick and durable, offering maximum comfort when placed everywhere from deck to patio and even grass surfaces. The integrated handle makes both the medium and large sizes easy to transport from storage to the heart of your gathering and back again when the celebrations come to a close.

Enhancing the Ambience

No outside space is truly complete without a few carefully placed accessories that will ensure the mood and tone of your celebrations are perfectly pitched. Most outside gatherings are made better through the addition of a barbecue and the Garden Trading round BBQ bucket is easy to use and will quickly cook your preferred treats to perfection in no time at all. Its inherent portability means that it can be used in various areas throughout your garden, ensuring that summertime barbecues can become a frequent event during the warm weather months.

bbq bucket

Lighting can also make or break an outdoor celebration or event, so striking the perfect balance between too bright and too dark is key. Garden Trading festoon pendant lights are solar powered and emit a soft, warm glow that is certain to enhance the ambience of every outside event you have planned in your diary. This set of string lights has been equipped with a generous length of wire, allowing you to place the solar panel in the sunniest spot in your garden without needing to compromise too much on the location of your lights. Additionally, each bulb on the string has an integrated hoop that can be easily attached to fences, planters and poles with ease.

Taking it Easy

For those who want to create comfortable lounging spaces outside, Olivia's Thea four seater lounge set could be exactly what you're looking for. This boho chic style set consists of a two seater sofa, two chairs and a matching coffee table, with each piece constructed from durable materials including aluminium, stainless steel, and hara. Both the sofa and the chairs have been designed to offer maximum comfort, with a laid back and low to the ground silhouette that is ideal for leisurely lunches and evening drinks with friends.

garden lounge set

The Gallery Outdoor Mileva five seater dining set can also be used to create an easy going lounging area that will really come into its own throughout the barbecue season. The set includes a corner sofa, two ottomans and a table which can be raised to act as a dining table or lowered to become an outdoor coffee table. The neutral grey all weather rattan is effortlessly sophisticated and will never go out of style, particularly when paired with the white chair seats, cushions, and ottoman tops.

garden corner sofa

The Maze Oxford corner sofa offers the sort of luxurious comfort you look forward to enjoying at the end of a long and busy day. Its gently curved silhouette is easy on the eye and the light grey hue of the rattan construction is effortlessly elegant. Plus, the matching table has an integrated fire pit, which will help you to create a cosy atmosphere as darkness starts to set in and ensures that this outdoor set can be used at any time of the day.

Buying outdoor furniture can be a complex task, but it certainly doesn't need to be even if you are looking for the best of the best garden furniture available right now. We hope that we have gone some way to demystify the process of buying garden furniture somewhat because we believe that creating your perfect outside space should be a pleasure and never feel like a chore. We are proud to offer a varied selection of the best garden furniture anywhere on the market,

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