As you probably already know from me barking about it all over the blog and on social media, we’ve recently pretty much just completed our back garden. There’s really not much left to do in our outside space other than sit around and enjoy it when the sun decides to come out but there is still one little niggling detail in terms of the garden furniture that eventually I’d love to address.
The truth is, I am not all that enamoured by our dining table and chairs out here. The set we have is perfectly workable and there’s nothing wrong with it per se but since the addition of our beautiful new outdoor sofa from West Elm, it just looks a bit blah in comparison. It was inexpensive and it’s done us well for the last few years so I really shouldn’t be complaining but it doesn’t exactly fill me with excitement. So, as a good little interior design blogger, I’ve been looking around to see what else might be out there.
Now this is one thing I think I’ve said in the past but I don’t think I realised until the past couple of years that we’ve been looking at garden furniture – garden furniture is hella expensive. The way I have to look at it (seeing that I don’t exactly have endless buckets of cash to spend) is that we don’t use our outdoor space as much as I’d like to. England as a whole doesn’t get exceptional summers as they do on the Continent or in the US where I’m originally from and I always feel a little ripped off by the amount of rain/cloud we get here especially in the North West.
When I lived in the States, as soon as June arrived, you knew you had at least a good 3 months of summer weather – there was some sort of unwritten guarantee that this is it. Summer is here. Get your shorts and flip flops out because you won’t need anything else for at least a little while. Here? Not so much. I pretty much never rotate a summer/winter wardrobe because there’s always the weird odd days of cold and rain that hits you from out of nowhere and you might find yourself reaching for that jumper in the middle of August. It happens, I know it happens and yet I still always feel a little unprepared.
All of this to say that there’s no guarantee of a perfect summer here. So spending a huge amount of money on garden furniture always felt a little ludicrous to me. I just could never justify spending thousands of pounds when I know we won’t get to enjoy it more than 6 weeks of the year if we’re lucky. However, if you live in a sunnier and warmer climate than I do, then I can TOTALLY understand why you would.
That doesn’t mean I’m not tempted, however. Because – let me just tell you – since we got our outdoor sofa, we keep asking ourselves why we’ve never splurged on a nice set in the past. We are sat on that sofa as soon as the sun comes out, every chance we get. It’s super comfortable and while – full disclosure – West Elm provided that to me as part of a collaboration, I was never under any obligation to wax lyrical about it. But here I am saying absolutely it is worth every last damn penny. Because my god is it fantastic to sit in total comfort outdoors. So yeah, take that as you will. I totally get now why you might want to invest in a nice set of furniture even if, like me, it means only getting to enjoy it for a very short time.
So I’m contradicting myself here I realise – do you spend more on outdoor furniture or do you not? The truth is, I can’t tell you that. Because having a more expensive sofa has really changed my perspective. We stay out a little longer now, even once the sun has set. We get much more out of the garden since we’ve done all the work to it. So perhaps it’s cyclical. If you spend more, you’ll use it more. If you spend less, you might use it less.
Anyway, so back to the whole point of this post which was to share with you some of the sets that have caught my eye. And perhaps, if you invest in your outdoor areas, then hey, maybe even if the weather isn’t perfect, you’ll still want to spend time outside. If you dress up your outdoors with as much thought and attention that you do inside your home, perhaps you’ll just get that much more enjoyment out of it – even if the sun isn’t blazing and it’s a little overcast. I mean, we spent about 5 hours on Wednesday in the garden and the sun was in and out. It was warm and lovely and we totally enjoyed ourselves, sun or no sun. And I think the garden furniture and the design of the space had a lot to do with that.
So now, back to my dining set – do I spend a bit more to get something I love? I’m talking myself around to the idea. Right now, this is my dream set (seen below). At £2200 for the dining table and six chairs from Cox & Cox, it’s pretty much out of my reach to be totally blunt about it and it may just be a bit too big for my patio but I do think it’s gorgeous. A girl can dream, right?!
I also rather love this set also by Cox & Cox. It’s a little smaller so would be a better fit on our patio and it’s little less expensive at £1500. I still haven’t clicked that ‘buy’ button on it however!
I also came across a few other pieces that I thought were most certainly worth sharing with you guys. The West Elm sofa may be a little pricey for some of you with our British summers so I think something like this from John Lewis at £200 is a pretty good compromise considering how stylish it is. I’m also rather in love with that little gold table.
I also rather liked this collection of garden furniture from Maison du Monde. The lines are so clean and contemporary but for around £1000 for that huge wrap around sofa, it’s great for the price and those seat cushions actually look rather nice and plump and comfy! If only it came with the pool, the sea views and the sunshine included.
I think when you start investing in outdoor furniture you also have to think about accessories. The boho look is, of course, a huge trend indoors so I think taking that outside feels entirely natural. I was looking at John Lewis for some of their cute boho textiles as well. I love this whole set up.
Actually John Lewis has quite a lot of pretty things right now. I love the way these Acapulco style sets look although I’d still take a cushioned seat over one of them because I’m old and my old bones need something cosy to curl up on. However, check out those cute tables… so stylish, right? I kind of wish they did them in natural colours because I’d be grabbing one in a heart beat.
La Redoute has some lovely boho style plant stands and seating as well – although I don’t know how well they’d fare outdoors over the whole of the British summer. You might find yourself having to pull these into the shed every time it rains but they sure are gorgeous.
Garden Furniture Edit
I also wanted to put together a little bit of a buying guide of garden furniture of a few things I quite liked and thought they’d make great additions to the garden without absolutely breaking the bank. All the links are below.
So that’s my little garden furniture and accessories edit! What do you think about spending money on garden furniture if you live in Britain? Do you justify it and if so, do you find yourself spending more time there simply because you’ve invested in the space? Or can you not see the point when we only really get about 6 weeks of great weather a year? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Orrrr if you live in a lovely warm climate, do you invest more regularly in your outdoor space or is my theory way off?