Our guide to finding the perfect garden furniture for your outdoor space

The perfect outdoor seating can sometimes prove elusive. Here is a selection of our favourite wooden dining sets

Broadwalk round dining table (from £9,990), Gaze Burvill.

Classic or contemporary, find the ideal wooden dining set for your space…

1

For a small courtyard or terrace, this attractive Venice dining set with folding seats provides the perfect solution. Reclining armchairs, £80 each; six-seater garden gateleg table, £179, both John Lewis & Partners.

Venice dining set with folding seats. Reclining armchairs, £80 each; six-seater garden gateleg table, £179, both John Lewis & Partners.
Venice dining set with folding seats. Reclining armchairs, £80 each; six-seater garden gateleg table, £179, both John Lewis & Partners.
2

Easily move your furniture around the garden with the Zeno solid oak dining table and folding chairs set, £495, Habitat

Zeno solid oak dining table and folding chairs set, £495, Habitat
Zeno solid oak dining table and folding chairs set, £495, Habitat
3

These classic Acacia dining chairs (£350 for two) are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. They look great with a versatile indoor/outdoor concrete-topped dining table (£575), Cox & Cox

Acacia dining chairs (£350 for two) indoor/outdoor concrete-topped dining table (£575), Cox & Cox
Acacia dining chairs (£350 for two) indoor/outdoor concrete-topped dining table (£575), Cox & Cox

EXPERT TIP

Simon Burvill from Gaze Burvill

‘One thing to consider when choosing a material like oak is that it will react to its environment and, over time, develop a beautiful silver-grey patina. As long as the furniture is not placed directly on grass (we can provide feet to keep it off the ground) with care, well-made oak furniture should last

a generation.’


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4

The Lodge rectangular dining table with six stacking armchairs is built to last. The ceramic table top ensures it’s fully weatherproof, £3,632, Bridgman

Lodge rectangular dining table with six stacking armchairs, £3,632, Bridgman
Lodge rectangular dining table with six stacking armchairs, £3,632, Bridgman
5

Enjoy al fresco drinking and dining with the smart Camley table set, £550, Garden Trading.

Camley table set, £550, Garden Trading.
Camley table set, £550, Garden Trading.
6

This Selandia dining range has classic good looks. Table, £875; chairs, £389 each, both Skagerak.

Selandia dining range. Table, £875; chairs, £389 each, from Skagerak.
Selandia dining range. Table, £875; chairs, £389 each, from Skagerak.

EXPERT TIP

Matthew Fagg from Barlow Tyrie

‘Never jet wash your teak furniture – the natural oils sit just below the surface, protecting the core of the wood. Jet washing blasts the oils away, making it more liable to split over time. Instead, a very gentle soapy solution, brush, and plenty of elbow grease will clean your teak while keeping it in tip-top condition.’


7

The Broadwalk round dining table (from £9,990) has a convenient rotating centre-piece. Seats from £6,720; benches, from £3,960, Gaze Burvill.

Broadwalk round dining table (from £9,990), Gaze Burvill.
Broadwalk round dining table (from £9,990), Gaze Burvill.

Now for the finishing touches…

These old and new accessories will ensure your garden feels as homely as the rest of the house

Seat pad cushions, from £70, Amelfi.
Seat pad cushions, from £70, Amelfi.
Black & Natural bamboo basket planter, £9.50, Oliver Bonas.
Black & Natural bamboo basket planter, £9.50, Oliver Bonas.
Festoon Squirrel lights, £70, Garden Trading
Festoon Squirrel lights, £70, Garden Trading
Pair of hand-carved Mughal-style planters (one shown), £585, The Old Cinema.
Pair of hand-carved Mughal-style planters (one shown), £585, The Old Cinema.
Outside decorative wall lantern, £685, Norfolk Decorative Antiques at Decorative Collective
Outside decorative wall lantern, £685, Norfolk Decorative Antiques at Decorative Collective
Ivory Diamond sisal-look outdoor rug, £109, Lime Lace.
Ivory Diamond sisal-look outdoor rug, £109, Lime Lace.
Santorini Henley Stripe outdoor footstool, £189, Weaver Green.
Santorini Henley Stripe outdoor footstool, £189, Weaver Green.

A guide to teak furniture…

Matthew Fagg from Barlow Tyrie discusses the sustainable benefits of teak garden furniture and why it stands the test of time

‘Choosing the right material for your garden furniture may not be at the top of your wishlist when buying a new dining set. Instead, you are most probably looking for a particular style, level of comfort and perhaps longevity. But it is worth weighing up the pros and cons of different materials, and wood, specifically grade A teak, should be a high consideration. In a world where we are becoming more aware of how our purchases impact the environment, it may be surprising to learn that farmed teak is one of the most environmentally friendly materials you can buy.

‘Teak from managed forests in Indonesia, such as the wood that we use, is legally farmed, often FLEGT-certified or holds an FSC certificate. This means that when trees are cut down new trees are planted in their place. This forms part of a managed woodland and is vital to the local economy. Your furniture is then crafted from its raw state using very few chemical processes. It is then carefully shaped and made ready for shipping. Once the furniture arrives at your door, it acts as a carbon trap – as long as you don’t burn it, the CO2 within is not released into the atmosphere, and the trees that have been planted in place of the old ones start to absorb CO2.

The Key wood coffee table (£199, Tikamoon) is a sleek option for a balcony or small patio
The Key wood coffee table (£199, Tikamoon) is a sleek option for a balcony or small patio

‘The inherent characteristics of grade A teak not only allow it to weather gracefully, turning silver, but also maintain its integrity so it doesn’t degrade like other, lesser grades of teak or other hardwoods and softwoods. Outdoor furniture must be made to withstand whatever Mother Nature may throw at it. To reduce cleaning, we recommend that teak furniture is covered or put into storage during prolonged periods when not in use. We advise against over-oiling as this can result in black spots, which can be difficult to remove.

‘If your furniture has any sharp corners or edges, you can place foam rubber on them to reduce the risk of your covers getting a puncture. For table and chair combinations, placing an object such as a beach ball under the centre of the cover can help with water drainage. It’s also important to ensure your teak furniture is not left in a damp corner of the garden that has little airflow as you may find that mould begins to form, giving you more work to remove it once the sun comes out.

Teak Titan dining range (from £345), Barlow Tyrie.
Teak Titan dining range (from £345), Barlow Tyrie.
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‘The aesthetic of your outdoor space is obviously a very important consideration when choosing your dining set. Contemporary furniture looks great, but cold metallic materials could look out of place in a more traditional garden setting. If you live near the sea or have a swimming pool, having a superior powder-coated finish on the metal will significantly reduce the need for regular maintenance and cleaning, which can result from placing furniture in salty conditions or in a highly chlorinated atmosphere. Thankfully, this is not a concern for top-quality teak products. As far as longevity goes, grade A teak, when well cared for, will last a lifetime.’