It’s not too soon to be thinking about getting your garden or patio ready for warmer weather, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
With spring collections landing at a rapid rate, now’s the time to up your garden game.
Consider key pieces to create a chic corner for al fresco entertaining or chilling by yourself, perhaps an outdoor sofa to sprawl out on with a cheeky cocktail come the first heatwave and signs of summer.
It’s safe to say we’ve acquired quite a taste for outdoor living after a turbulent two years, and styling up a suntrap or precious piece of green lawn rewards in so many ways. Especially with barbecue season coming into swing, not to mention get-togethers on a grander scale back on the cards.
Looking for a refresh? These top finds would all do the job nicely…
1. George Home Natural Novaro Egg Chair, £249, direct.asda.com
The easiest way to kick-start your patio prowess is with a statement piece – and egg chairs are where it’s at this summer. Think self-gift seating for relaxing and unwinding. With a trendy wicker finish and comfy cushions, mix this one with greenery and terracotta pots to complete the look.
2. Habitat Kora 2-Seater Egg Bench – Natural, £440, Habitat
Alternatively, double the pleasure with room for two.
3. Habitat 2-Seater Bar Bistro Set, £250, Habitat
Staying with the rattan theme, this stylish table with matching bar stools can be accessorised with faux fur chair throws while it’s still chilly, or colourful cotton throws for a boutique-y hotel look when you’re serving spritzes and nibbles.
“We’ve seen demand for bistro sets grow steadily each year, as customers embrace café culture in their outdoor spaces,” says Rachael Fell, furniture buying manager at Habitat. “Suitable for compact areas as well as larger settings, these styles are ideal for renters looking to move furniture from home to home.”
4. Coyle Square 2–Person 80cm Long Dining Set by Corrigan Studio, £309.99, Wayfair
As Nadia McCowan Hill, Wayfair’s resident style advisor put its: “A relaxed atmosphere can be achieved however big or small the garden get-togethers are, with the right seating and accessories. As a starting point, think about what kind of entertaining you’re going to do most of. This will ensure the garden furniture chosen gets maximum use.”
With this in mind, you can’t go wrong with this lightweight dining set, which will look just as well in a kitchen or sunroom and can easily be transported outside.
5. Fire Pit AFTONFALK (D58 x H23cm) Black, £40, JYSK
For a quick fix, a budget-friendly outdoor fire pit combines ambience and function with its warm glow, plus it’s a brilliant focal point.
6. John Lewis & Partners 4-seat Lounging Set, £999 (available late March); ANYDAY Sky Jute Rug, from £140; cushions from a selection, John Lewis
For a Mediterranean style vibe, there’s nothing like a low-slung sofa and simple coffee table with short legs, with scattered cushions and natural jute rugs. Summer straw hats pinned on walls make a great final touch.
7. Helsinki Corner Dining Set, £1,250, Next
Meanwhile, this contemporary corner sofa seats eight, and comes with two low-slung stools and dining table with wood effect top. Large terracotta pots and containers spilling out with trailing plants and flowers will inspire happy thoughts of faraway places.
8. Glyndebourne Reusable Picnic Dinner Plates, £8 each, and Bowls, £7 each, Glyndebourne Shop
A classy choice for al fresco dining and in tune with dove grey dining schemes, this pretty pattern’s based on Glyndebourne’s Organ Room ceiling design, where opera singers first performed.
9. John Lewis & Partners Salsa Round Garden Coffee Table (70cm), Two Tone Yellow, £149, other items from a selection, John Lewis
A fun way to funk up an existing sofa set is with a pop of colour and a coffee table in a bold shade, especially if it’s sunshine yellow like this one. Come the day, a jug of sangria or Buck’s Fizz will taste even more uplifting and delicious.
10. Cream Canvas Hanging Chair, £39, direct.asda.com
There’s something about this hanging chair that ticks all our ‘must buy’ boxes. We love the boho fringe and nod to macramé.
11. CosmoLiving by Cosmopolitan Taura Resin Rope Lounge Chair – Grey, £199, Freemans
Ideal for a small balcony or petite patio, this lounge chair will fit neatly into a tight space and looks so inviting with its round frame and padded seat. Try making even more of the look by painting an exterior wall in mauve pink for extra impact.
12. RANGSTRUP D110 + 4 PANDUMBRO Nature table and chairs set, currently £269.99 (was £339.95), JYSK
No matter where you decide to place accent pieces, you can’t go wrong with a round table and wicker dining chairs, which can be tucked underneath when not in use. And to help you make the most of your space, Rikke Blaeside, design and range manager at JYSK, says to try layering various types of outdoor lighting to add depth to the garden.
“Solar lamps will provide a subtle light throughout the evening and are perfect for dotting within flowerbeds or plant pots to light up pockets of your garden; trail string lights along a fence or pergola, and elevate the look with lanterns to ensure a warm glow.”
13. GAMMELBY Grey Chairs, £199.99 each, table from a selection, JYSK
For more seating inspiration, these wicker-look chairs channel texture to beautiful effect and will complement larger sized tables.