Whether you have an expanse of decking, a small patio or a tiny balcony, your outdoor space should definitely not be overlooked if you’re giving your home a summer makeover.
If you’re getting your garden ready for summer, start by investing in some of this season’s best dining table, picnic bench and bistro set buys, then turn your attention towards colourful parasols, dreamy hammocks and comfy sun loungers.
With the right garden furniture you can transform your outdoor area into a space that’s tailor-made for relaxing and unwinding. To make the final result even more special, style your furniture on top of an outdoor rug – here are our favourites! And don’t forget some garden wall art to add extra personality to an outdoor entertaining space.
Here’s our pick of the best bargain garden furniture this year – and when you’re done, don’t forget the check out our round-up of the best BBQs for this summer!
The best garden furniture
Whether you like al fresco dining or deck chair lounging, these budget-friendly outdoor furniture pieces will spruce up your space in no time.
Best sunlounger: Venice ‘Steamer’ Sun Lounger, £139, John Lewis & Partners
For total control of your sunbathing, look no further than the Venice lounger from John Lewis, which slides into five different positions to suit everything from sitting down with a book to splaying out under the sun.
It looks super-stylish, as well, crafted from sturdy and sustainable FSC-certified eucalyptus wood, with a removable fold-down cushion pad to keep you comfy for hours.
Best hammock: Bregnac hammock, £50, La Redoute
Nothing conjures up the image of blissful summer days more than a hammock, the perfect place to recline in the shade and let the hours drift away. Of course, nothing would send your idyll crashing to the ground faster than a flimsy hammock, so we love La Redoute’s sturdy Bregnac. Made of thick polycotton and fastened with multiple woven fixings, it will keep you rocking peacefully all day.
Best outdoor dining set: Jackson dining table, £339; Jackson dining bench, £169, both Dunelm
Dunelm’s Jackson range combines black metal legs with solid pine surfaces to create furniture with a contemporary industrial look. Bring some of that style to your garden with the Jackson dining benches and matching table, which offers space for up to eight people.
Best garden bench: Yuri garden bench, £229, Made.com
Made.com’s Yuri collection combines sweeping 1960s curves and eye-catching on-trend tones to create stunning garden furniture, including this spacious poly-rattan bench.
Also available in green and pink, we are partial to the elegant teal and black design above. Just remember to cover your bench during rain to keep in prime condition for years to come!
Best garden chairs: Habitat Bamboo Garden Chair, £50, Argos
With its intricate design and stylish high-end look, these bamboo garden chairs from Habitat at Argos look far more expensive than their £50 price tag.
Perfect as a standalone for relaxing in the garden with a book, they’re smart enough that a set of 4 or 6 would look fabulous around an outdoor table. In fact, they would even look good indoors, as an accent chair in a boho living room or bedroom.
Best deck chair: Habitat wooden deck chair in Geo Orange, £40, Argos
Geometric patterns are really in right now, so why not embrace the retro graphic look with this bold orange design from Habitat, available at Argos. And forget about the flimsy models you might hire at the beach – with a solid wood frame and three adjustable height settings, this is a deck chair where you can truly lay back and relax.
Best cheap garden furniture set: Dakota Fields Farnhurst two-seater bistro set, £134.99, Wayfair
Simple, stylish and easy to clean, we love this bold blue bistro set from Sol 72, available through Wayfair. Made of strong, water-resistant steel, this is a budget-friendly set that will last in all seasons – plus, it’s easy to fold and put away when the sun goes down. If you prefer more neutral tones, the set is also available in taupe.
Best parasol: Shanghai Sage Green Crank Parasol, £39, Dunelm
On a sultry summer day, a parasol is a must if you’re planning on spending the whole day outside without getting some painful sunburn. We just love the delicate design of this one from Dunelm, inspired by the dainty paper umbrellas traditionally carried in the Far East.
How to care for your outdoor furniture
Garden furniture may be made to withstand the weather, but it still needs some TLC now and then. Check out these expert care tips from Protek to keep your wooden garden furniture looking fresh and new.
Waterproof your furniture
The number-one enemy of wooden garden furniture is water, which can cause swelling and damage. Mould can also take hold of wood and frost will attack any exposed areas. Protection by waterproofing is key here – you can also add a splash of colour at the same time. Look for waterproof coatings that contain fungal inhibitors to protect the surface beneath from mould while still allowing the timber to breathe. Old coatings can be painted over if they’re water-based and repaired.
Prepare furniture before painting
Before you start adding a fresh coat, however, make sure you prepare the furniture. Start by cleaning the surfaces with a damp cloth, then allow them to dry. Next, use a stiff brush to strip off any loose paint or sand down the wood, before wiping it clean. If you’re not doing this on grass, then protect the floor with a waterproof dustsheet and use a synthetic brush that’s small enough to reach into tight corners.
Use a primer
Protek Royal Exterior paint acts as a great base coat, so it can be applied without a primer, however if it’s a light colour then it may need a primer and a knotting agent to prevent tannin staining. Two to three coats are recommended to build colour depth. Wooden garden furniture can also be made to look as good as new with Protek Royal Exterior Superior Wood Finish. This long-lasting, breathable protection has a soft lustre that allows the grain to show through. It’s also water-based and has a low VOC content. It’s available in a wide range of colours for £17.99 per litre. Find out more at protekwoodstain.co.uk.