With Summer almost upon us, we all look to the garden for entertainment and relaxation. We expect it to look good, and we are prepared to spend time giving it as much TLC as is needed, whether painting fences, planting new flowers or installing outdoors lighting. And gone are the days when the plain old fashioned teak furniture would do. We want modern furniture that looks good and is built to last.
The majority of what we see on the high street is not really affordable. With the price of a good quality outdoor sofa set (sofa and coffee table) going well into the range of a very expensive 3 seater sofa (aka over £2,000) it is easy to see why sticking with the old furniture for as long as possible sounds like a plan for most.
Our garden is designed with concentric circles - creating something like ripples in the water as an effect. Photo: @Seasonsincolour
When I visited the Chelsea Flower Show in 2017, my eyes were opened to the possibilities that a well designed garden can offer, but also to the fact that garden design accounts for only half of the experience. You can have the best designed garden in the world, but where will you seat to enjoy it?
Understanding that we were not using our own little slice of paradise to its fullest potential, I thought the time was right to look at adding more outdoors furniture early on (why wait for July!). I searched high and low and ended up deciding on a range that I could 'build up' over time.
The ideal piece (or pieces) needed to address the following:
Looks - we wanted something that looked expensive, but without the excessive price tag.
Materials - UV protected and powder coated aluminium was top of my list to ensure it is rust resistant. and as for the cushion fabric, I needed it to be shower proof, so that if the odd light rain came about, we would not have to run about trying to cover everything up.
Seating numbers - we have big parties in the garden so we needed plenty of seating!
New to the outdoors furniture market for Summer 2018 is the Danetti garden range which includes lounging and dining pieces and comes in a variety of colours on aluminium frames, which are rust resistant.
The range is not only good looking - contemporary greys and whites and a mix of metal and wood - but it is also practical. The fabric on the cushion is, for example, wipeable. You know, because wine accidents happen all the time in garden parties!
The piece I chose was the Palermo Grey right hand corner outdoor dining bench and the Palermo coffee table. They both arrived within a couple days of ordering, flat packed with easy assembly instructions and all the necessary equipment to do the job, which by the way can be done by one person easily.
Cushions from the Penelope Hope SS18 outdoors range.
The bench frame is made from an aluminium tube. This keeps the bench incredibly sturdy and durable yet lightweight enough for ease of movement and storage. Aluminium is inherently non-rusting and weatherproof, making this bench suited for outdoor use. I did, however, also order a cover to avoid long term UV and rain damage - the weather has been acting up lately, don't you think?
The frame is then finished in a grey powder coat. This creates a sleek matt finish that’s easy to clean and maintain. A powder coat can be seamlessly coordinated with other pieces of garden furniture to create a designer look.
The melange fabric for the seat cushions is made up of detailed flecks of colour rather than being one solid block. This not only gives the cushions a designer and expensive look, but it also helps to hide marks on the surface. They are fixed in place with discreet velcro tabs but can be quickly and easily removed for cleaning and storage.
At either end of the bench there are dark Oak Faux Wood Composite tables that have the look of real wood but with the advantage of not being subject to warping or discolouring.
Now, some really nice surprises! First, two seat cushions can be added onto the composite wood end tables to create a couple of extra seats. This modular design feature makes this bench incredibly versatile and changeable to suit your seating needs.
Next up, the fact that you can not screw the two benches together, but instead leave them facing each other to create an alternative styling and more formal seating arrangement! Here's how:
No detail has been spared. In terms of styling the space, I added an outdoors grey rug (IKEA) and cushions from Penelope Hope, the Guernsey based designer who I interviewed for my Small Business Friday feature (read that interview here). The cushions are also shower proof and come in a very popular monstera leaf design as well as the famous PINA COLADA design (pineapple!) and are also available in other colours to suit your decor.
To complete the look, I am thinking of adding one more bench later on (extra seats always needed!) and will most definitely frame the sofa with large planters - watch this space! Outdoors rugs always help you zone the seating/ dining area. You can find some at Dash & Albert, in a variety of designs and colours.
For maintenance purposes, when the weekend is over, I simply roll the rug and lay it carefully on the coffee table, then cover everything with the large Danetti cover. Now, time to get myself a fancy ice bucket and stuff the rose in it!
What are your plans for the garden? Why not have a look at Danetti too?