Buyers Guide to Outdoor Garden Furniture

Choosing the right garden furniture to perfect your desired outdoor space is important. At Holt Garden Centre, we understand your need for high-quality, stylish and comfortable outdoor furniture that not only complements your garden but also withstands the test of time and weather.

In our comprehensive buyer’s guide, we talk you through everything you need to know to make an informed decision and transform your outdoor space into a haven of relaxation.

Planning your garden

Creating an inviting outdoor space starts with understanding the unique characteristics and requirements of your garden. The space isn’t just a patch of land, it’s an extension of your home, a comfortable environment where you can unwind, entertain guests, or simply enjoy the natural surroundings.

To make the most of this space, it’s crucial to assess your available space, from dimensions, to layout, and purpose before starting to find the perfect outdoor furniture and craft your dream garden.


The first thing you should do is measure your garden accurately, taking note of the length, width, and any irregular corners or angles. By having precise measurements you can select outdoor furniture that fits perfectly, leaving enough space for movement and other garden features like plants, fountains, or paths.

Oversized furniture has the potential to dominate the space, making it feel smaller than it is, while undersized pieces could get lost in the vastness of your garden.

Layout and flow

You should then move onto considering how people will move through the available space – a well-thought out layout ensures a seamless flow between different areas of your garden. If you plan to host family, friends, or parties then create distinct zones for dining, lounging, and perhaps a cosy corner for intimate conversations.

Arranging the furniture in such a way can encourage social interaction while also providing opportunities for privacy. Strategic placement can enhance the ambiance, making your garden a welcoming place.

Plan your garden with purpose

Every garden serves a purpose. Whether yours is a peaceful retreat, or a playground for children, or a space for outdoor cooking and dining (on your new BBQ you treated yourself to after reading our ultimate BBQ buyers guide).

Identify the primary purpose of your garden, as this will influence the type of furniture you need. For example, if you enjoy hosting dinner parties then investing in a spacious dining set with comfortable chairs is essential. However, on the other hand, if your garden is to become a safe playground for children to run riot, you will need soft corners on any tables and smaller dining sets, with space for a swingset or climbing frame.

Choosing the right materials for your outdoor furniture

Selecting the right material for your outdoor furniture is a decision that impacts both the aesthetic appeal and durability. We understand the significance of this choice, which is why we offer an array of garden furniture & patio set options to cater for diverse tastes and preferences.


Wooden furniture, such as teak or acacia, is well-loved for its exceptional durability. Teak in particular stands out due to its natural oils that protect it from decay and insects. Acacia is naturally resistant and can withstand harsh weather conditions.

The organic charm of wooden furniture adds a touch of rustic beauty to your garden, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

If you learn how to take care of your garden furniture correctly, it can stand the test of time while ageing gracefully.


Metal garden furniture, especially pieces made from aluminium are incredibly strong and durable. Aluminium is lightweight yet sturdy, while remaining rust-resistant which makes it ideal for outdoor use. Other metal types found are steel, either painted or the preferred powder coated option.

Furniture made from metal requires minimal maintenance, making them popular choices for those seeking hassle-free options.

Plastic or resin

Plastic or resin garden furniture are great choices for those seeking practicality without compromising on style. Perfect for families, these materials are easy to clean and maintain. Their resistance to moisture makes them ideal for various weather conditions, like what we can see in England, from rainy days to hot summers.

Modern designs often mimic the look of wood or metal, offering a wide range of choices to cater to all tastes. This can involve a weave look, made from synthetic or poly rattan.

Plastic and resin furniture can effortlessly blend functionality with aesthetics to allow you to enjoy the beauty of your garden without worrying about extensive maintenance.

Garden Furniture Buyers Guide
Garden Furniture Buyers Guide

Choosing the right cushions for your garden furniture

When it comes to outdoor furniture, making sure you and your guests are comfortable is truly important. The right cushions can effortlessly transform even the most basic garden furniture into a luxurious haven of comfort and style.

Outdoor cushions do more than just provide a soft place to sit, they add a layer of plush comfort which makes your outdoor furniture inviting and cosy. Additionally, they can enhance the aesthetics of your garden by adding pops of colour and texture to complement the natural surroundings.

When choosing outdoor cushions, the material you choose matters significantly. We recommend opting for cushions made from outdoor-grade fabric that is specially designed to withstand the elements. These fabrics are often UV-resistant, water-repellent, quick-drying, and mould-resistant to ensure they remain fresh, bright and inviting throughout the year.

Outdoor cushions are available in a broad range of colours, patterns and textures which allows you to express your style and personality. Mix and match different patterns and colours to create a visually appealing and dynamic outdoor space. At Holt Garden Centre, we typically find the fabric used on most of our cushions is Olefin. This is the softest weather resistant outdoor fabric available.

How can you reflect your personality with outdoor furniture?

Your garden is not just a patch of land; it’s an extension of your home and you can utilise this to reflect your personality and craft a garden that truly reflects who you are.

Rustic charm

For those who appreciate the timeless appeal of the countryside, rustic garden furniture provides a perfect match. Typically crafted from natural materials such as wood or metal, these rustic pieces exude a warm and weathered charm that naturally harmonises with the surrounding area.

Elegance and tradition

Traditional garden furniture embodies grace and elegance, and craftsmanship is key in these pieces which are often made from premium materials. Ornate designs, intricate patterns and rich finishes characterise traditional furniture to lend a touch of sophistication to your garden.

Traditional style adds a sense of refinement, to transform your outdoor space into a classical haven.

Contemporary chic

Contemporary garden furniture offers a sleek and minimalist approach to outdoor design. Clean lines, bold shapes and innovative materials define contemporary pieces to create an atmosphere of sophistication and urban chic. Contemporary style embraces simplicity, often incorporating materials like tempered glass, stainless steel or high-quality plastics to result in furniture that is stylish and also functional.

Tailoring your garden furniture to your lifestyle

The right garden furniture not only enhances the aesthetics of your outdoor living space but also serves as functional elements to cater to your specific needs and lifestyle.

For those who relish the idea of dining under the open sky, investing in a high-quality dining set is important. Dining sets come in various sizes and styles, allowing you to choose one that fits your space and complements your garden’s theme.

A dynamic outdoor space allows you to play host to various activities. We recommend outdoor furniture pieces that can adapt to different occasions, allowing you to rearrange your outdoor setup effortlessly. Extendable tables are excellent choices for accommodating both intimate gatherings and larger parties. Modular pieces can be rearranged to form a cosy corner or an open area, providing flexibility in functionality. Hi-Low tables can provide you an evening dining option, and lowered to coffee tables for a more casual option.

Practical accessories can enhance your garden space. Parasols or pergolas can provide shade on sunny days, to create a comfortable environment for outdoor activities. Storage benches or chests offer a convenient solution for storing cushions, blankets and gardening tools, to help with keeping your outdoor space organised and clutter-free.

Lighting fixtures such as festoon lighting, mains and solar powered string lights or lanterns not only add a touch of ambiance but also extend the usability of your outdoor area into the evening hours, allowing you to continue to enjoy your garden even as the sun sets.

Garden Furniture Buyers Guide
Garden Furniture Buyers Guide

Choosing garden furniture built to last

When selecting your garden furniture, it’s important to choose pieces that are not only aesthetically pleasing and fitting with your ideal look and feel, but are also crafted to withstand all weather conditions.

UV-resistant materials prevent colours from fading, and ensure your furniture retains its vibrancy season after season. These UV-resistant finishes act as a shield, whether your garden is soaked in sun or shaded.

Rain can pose a significant challenge to maintaining your outdoor furniture. Water can seep into unprotected materials, which leads to warping, rotting, and mould growth. Try to look for furniture crafted from water-resistant materials, which create a protective barrier to repel moisture and prevent it from penetrating the surface.

The way a piece of furniture is crafted plays a vital role in how it can stand against the elements. Opt for pieces with sturdy frames made from materials like aluminium, stainless steel or treated wood. Furniture joints and connections should be reinforced, to provide stability and longevity.

How to care for your garden furniture

We recommend you read our comprehensive guide on caring for your outdoor furniture – however the first step in garden furniture maintenance is to understand the materials it’s made out of, so you know exactly what you can and can’t do when it comes to cleaning.

Different materials such as wood, metal, plastic, or rattan require specific care routines. Regular cleaning is essential to prevent dirt, grime, and mildew from forming on your furniture. Most furniture materials can be cleaned using a solution of water and mild soap, but it’s important to check your manufacturer’s guidelines and do a small patch test on an inconspicuous part of your furniture before using any new cleaning products.

While garden furniture is designed to withstand outdoor conditions, it is wise to provide extra protection during particularly bad weather. Use furniture covers to shield from rain, snow and even intense sunlight. Consider storing cushions and delicate accessories indoors to prolong their lifespan.

Seasonal maintenance is crucial to keep your garden furniture in optimal condition. Before winter sets in, make sure you clean your furniture thoroughly and apply any appropriate sealants or coatings. For wooden furniture in particular, consider resealing or restaining annually to maintain colour and durability.

Prevention is always better than a cure, and is the key to long-lasting garden furniture. Use coasters or placemats to prevent hot cookware or cold drink glasses from leaving marks on surfaces.

Outdoor furniture at Holt Garden Centre

Buying garden furniture is a fantastic way to showcase your personality and expand your living space. From learning about your garden to knowing how to maintain your new outdoor furniture pieces, our friendly staff are available in-store at Holt Garden Centre to discuss your specific needs. Get in touch with us today or browse online to find out more about our selection of outdoor furniture including sofa sets, bistro sets, benches & swings and dining sets.