Categorized | Home Improvement

Four Outdoor Furniture Ideas for the Summer


Lightweight rattan furniture sets are very popular right now. They really do pay dividends in changeable weather. Rattan has always had a touch of class. In the days of the Raj, garden furniture was made from the Rattan Palm –  trees which originated in Africa, Australasia and Asia. It was wonderfully lightweight and attractive, but never very durable as garden furniture.

Today, synthetic woven rattan materials deliver everything the natural fibre couldn’t. They’re waterproof and UV stable, meaning they won’t fade under intense sunlight. They’re also incredibly durable so you can leave them outside all year round without worrying about them falling apart. With sofas, dining tables and other pieces available, you can indulge in some lounging luxury when the sun finally comes out.

UV-Proof Parasols

These are also leaping off the shelves this season. Ordinary garden parasols offer some protection against the heat, but these new products go further. Whilst the sun may only put in a sporadic appearance, it is important that you consider sun protection. There is a potentially dangerous assumption that the shade of a parasol automatically ensures suitable cover. However, products vary significantly in this regard.

A fabric with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50 will only let 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays through. This is achieved by coating the fabric in a UV protective coating. Always check the UPF rating of the parasol before purchasing. If you want strong protection for children, or if you are prone to burning, pick a UPF of at least 20 and preferably higher.

Bistro Furniture

The retro look is still current and bistro sets are as popular as ever. This year people are buying them very much as an addition to existing furniture and a style accessory in their own right. With sunshine in such short supply, bistro sets are easy to move around to make the most of the sunshine all day. Bistro sets give you flexibility and look great: the faded, weathered look is still very popular and seems set to stay.


Whilst garden furniture can get you comfortable in the garden, trend-conscious home owners are seeking inspiration these days from home design sites and blogs in order to add some “zing” in the garden. This is where accessorizing your garden furniture can make all the difference.

This year retro still rules, but it’s taking on a more exotic feel. For sofas and loungers the addition of brightly coloured and sequinned cushions and fabrics is en vogue. Add hangings to your parasol and eye-popping bolsters to either end of your garden sofa. If ‘exotic’ is not your style, go for beautiful fabrics of yesteryear, which still sit well with modern furniture. Pretty pinks and baby blues, offset by tiny rose patterns can soften the mood and chime in well with shabby chic bistro sets.

If you are a designer who specializes in homes and gardens, visit for some inspirational ideas and suitable products for adding some great features to your outside area.