Rattan furniture is a great addition to the garden because it’s low maintenance and relatively affordable. It’s actually made from PE plastic, woven to look like rattan, which makes it weatherproof and durable.
Buying sets of furniture is a great way to make sure that everything matches. It’s also a more cost-effective way of getting all the furniture that you need, without having to buy it all separately.
There are a lot of different things to consider when choosing the best rattan furniture for your garden: from style, to size, to versatility. Below you’ll find some useful information to help you on your search:
Given that there are so many types of rattan furniture sets to choose from, it can help to think about what type of furniture will be most beneficial and functional for you and your family/friends. As cool as a hanging egg chair is, you might regret the purchase when friends come round for dinner and you all end up on deckchairs.
The best advice is to do your research about all of the different types of rattan furniture available before you make a decision. There are far more designs out there than are possible to list in this brief overview. However, most rattan furniture will loosely fit into one of the following four categories:
- Casual socialising (with a coffee, for example)
- Personal relaxation
Dining sets will include a high table and upright seats. If you pay a little more, there may be a parasol included. These sets are great for meals outside, but they may be a little formal for sitting around for hours. Nevertheless, they are generally quite comfortable with thick cushions included.
Sets for casual socialising tend to be lower than dining sets, and may include a low-level coffee table as well. They can consist of sofas, chairs and stools. These sets can have a few pieces – seating just a couple of people – or a lot of pieces – seating eight people plus. Depending on the design, it may be possible to rearrange the pieces in order to create different combinations of sofas and chairs.
Casual lounging sets include furniture sets with a lot of pieces that can be rearranged into small seating areas or day beds. Whilst day beds are more suited to relaxing as a family than entertaining a lot of guests, it can be useful to have a versatile unit that can change from day bed to seating area.
Furniture like hanging chairs, single sofas and armchairs are only suitable for one person at a time. These can add a small statement seating area and can often fit either indoors or outside. Whilst they might not be great for entertaining, they’ll create an extra, comfortable space to sit.
Also, bear in mind that light-coloured cushions will show up dirt and spills more than darker ones. Even though the cushions of most rattan furniture sets can be removed and washed (check this before you buy!), darker colours can be more forgiving. This may be particularly relevant to bear in mind if you have young children or pets (or a tendency to spill drinks!).
Design, Layout and Storage
Whilst ‘design’ has been touched upon in the section above, there are still more things to consider when buying rattan furniture.
When it comes to the design of rattan furniture, it will depend on what’s a priority to you. Are you short on storage space? After something versatile? Keen to have an official outdoor dining area?
Some rattan furniture sets are very big. Those with a dining table and chairs are less likely to stack easily for storage. Therefore, you may need to be prepared to keep them permanently on the patio. Furniture sets that have ‘cubes’ for chairs and tables will be easier to store away; the blocks will easily stack on top of each other.
When it comes to versatility, it can also help to have sets made up of smaller cubes. These can be rearranged in different formations, and even positioned in separate places in the garden. Versatile sets like this are great for casual entertaining. You can create one large horseshoe shape and have everyone sitting together, or create assorted seating areas for parties.
On the other hand, if you want supportive chairs with backrests and armrests, you may have to accept that they won’t stack for storage and make sure that you have got a secure, waterproof cover.
Furniture Size/Number of Pieces
When you’re looking for garden furniture, size is important to consider. There are two aspects to sizing:
- How many people will your furniture seat?
If you have a large family or enjoy entertaining, you’ll need to make sure the set contains sufficient seating. If you the furniture is easy to store, and you have the space, it might be worth buying a larger set. You don’t always need to have all the pieces out, but at least you’ll have the option of a large, matching set.
Be aware that it’s more of a ‘squeeze’ to fit on some furniture than others. Small two-seater sofas might comfortably fit one person, and two at a push, depending on how wide they are.
- Will the set fit in your garden?
Naturally, you don’t want furniture that will takes up all the available space in your garden, especially if children like to play outside. You need to have space around the furniture as well, for comfortably moving around.
If you can’t fit a full-size set on your patio without trapping the patio door, think about sets that have folding chairs and footstools that double as seats.
Some rattan sets include chairs that tuck entirely underneath the table, or stack to conserve space.
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