How to buy the best garden furniture for small spaces

Bramblecrest Tetbury 8 Seater Balcony Set Tree-Free Cloud 1200x600
Bramblecrest Tetbury Cloud Tree-Free Balcony Set with Parasol & Base

Outdoor spaces can be a useful extension of your indoor space, where you retreat to in order to recharge the soul and maybe find a slice of sunshine. The perfect garden design is difficult enough to achieve for those with acres of space to play with, but what are your options for designing the perfect area for garden furniture if you have a smallish space? It is a little harder to make a small space sing, but with the right planning even the tiniest terrace can be enjoyed for recreational use. Whether you want to take in the fresh air alone or entertain al fresco, you can still relax, kick back and have some fun outdoors by following a few simple rules.

You need to make sure that your outdoor entertainment plans not only fit within your available space, but also compliment the area in question. It is therefore extra-important to think out your space carefully and shop smart. Here are our recommendations for how to buy garden furniture, specially intended for those with bijoux balconies and petite patios, looking for budget small garden ideas.

1. Know your limitations

When your patch is pocket-sized you need to plan carefully so that you can purpose every part of it. Planning out and making full use of a small space is every bit as difficult as planning for a large area.

The first step is simple enough. Search out a tape measure, a pencil and pad, then measure and map out the area precisely. This will help you ensure you have enough space for the items you think you’ll want.

2. Keep the plan handy

Once you have a drawing of your space, you will know the size you are working within.

When you are shopping for outdoor items you’ll be able refer to these measurements to see if the items fit.

But it doesn’t stop here. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind.

3. Look around you

Consider the environment around your space. Do you need to allow for doors that swing outwards? Is there a walkway from a sliding door entrance that you need to leave clear? How will people move around the space? Add these considerations onto your plan. Is there a view you’d like to appreciate that will dictate seating height? This might be a consideration on some balconies with a solid wall.

4. How many people

Will the space be for solo sitting or catering for a small crowd? With smaller spaces it makes sense to make seating as flexible as possible. You could have permanent seating for several people, with the option to entertain additional guests using seating which you bring out of storage on the day.

5. Find your focus

Designing the furniture arrangement around a central point gives the layout unity within a smaller space, preventing your design from looking cluttered and unbalanced. Furniture should be arranged radiating out from this point – usually a dining table or coffee table.

6. Space around the table

You don’t want to feel so crammed into the space that you can’t stretch out and easily move around it. Think about how much space you need around the edge of a table for people to sit and walk around it. We recommend ideally:

  • Leave 90cm around the edge of a table, to allow a comfortable seating area with just enough space for a walkway so someone can squeeze behind the seated person.
  • In particularly tight squeezes, or if you choose smaller seats, this space could be curtailed to 75-85cm.

Remember that you may need this much space around the whole edge of any table you choose, so that’s 150-180cm added onto both the total length and width of any table. This will help you decide on the size of table you can accommodate.

Hartman Berkely 4 Seat Round Dining Set footprint

7. Dress up or dress down

A more formal layout is achieved by making your design symmetrical. Alternatively, playing with the symmetry using different heights or furniture ranges will make your design appear less formal.

8. Eating or drinking

This is an obvious one, but if you want to eat outdoors, you’ll want more space at the table than if you are solely planning on drinks and the occasional nibble.

9. Think about the chef

There’s nothing better than the smell (or taste!) of food barbecuing outdoors. Whether it’s the whiff of the smoke or the aroma of grilling food that gets you going, if you would like to have an area for outdoor cooking, consider the chef will need space to move around the barbecue so they can work comfortably. This could mean stealing space from the dining set.

10. And lastly

Make sure you read our handy guide about Garden Furniture Ideas for Small Spaces which provides a useful guide to the best furniture to buy for smaller outdoor areas.

Alexander Rose Sherwood Tea for Two Set
Alexander Rose Sherwood Tea for Two Set

The key to a successful small garden design then is thorough planning and preparation, finding a focal point and using your measurements to find the best garden furniture for your space. If you keep these simple steps in mind you will have greater success designing the best layout for your small outdoor area.

Whatever layout you decide upon, if you have any questions or queries about outdoor furniture, don’t hesitate to visit our Outdoor Living Team instore, contact us on 01664 454309, or shop online for home delivery or collection from our Leicestershire store.

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