Outdoor and garden furniture, in particular, can do a lot to enhance the appearance of your garden, in addition to adding some much-needed functionality. Add a couple of loungers into the mix, for instance and suddenly you can enjoy your backyard in more ways than just admiring it from the deck or from inside.

Selecting pieces to add should never be something done just for the sake of it though, as this can lead to the kind of haste that’ll have the garden furniture selected looking out of place. The general rule of thumb to follow in picking out garden furniture pieces is to consider the functionality first because visually the garden’s other elements can be rearranged and redone to create a harmonious bigger-picture match.

Functionality of the outdoor furniture

One of Mother Nature’s cues we would all do well to take heed of is that of how functionality breeds style. Generally, nature’s most beautiful displays are an indicator for fertility and the wholesome, healthy and healing properties to be attained out of aligning oneself with this beauty.

So when it comes to picking out and arranging garden furniture pieces, let the consideration of functionality guide your hand. Functionality first…

Getting the appearance right basically just comes down to placing pieces where they seem like they belong. The subsequent visual appeal will pretty much take care of itself. So, for example, you can’t expect the placement of circular teak tree benches on a patio or deck to be used as regular garden benches, as obvious as this may appear to be.

On the other hand, the likes of teak sun-loungers can go pretty much anywhere, but the key is to place the pieces according to their indicative functionality to achieve the natural fit look.

Design style – the one-shade-lighter principle

To complete the appearance equation, it’s just a matter of taking into account where exactly your outdoor furniture pieces are going to go. Wooden garden furniture generally complements trees, particularly the trunks and outward appearance of the bark.

However, you’re not necessarily trying to match the trees by way of colour or texture. Rather, you’re looking to go one or two shades lighter so that the distinction is made. It’s just that much easier on the eye.

If you’re doing patio or deck placements then the colour of the wooden furniture can match the colour of trees in the backdrop.

Do you need to go bespoke?

For the serious and discerning gardener, picking out garden furniture pieces might have you seeking to go bespoke. Not every single piece has to necessarily be bespoke, as this can inflate the budget quite considerably, but the bespoke look can be achieved through having complementary elements and accessories custom made. Bespoke teak planters make for one example for a much more cost-effective way to effectively make the teak benches or garden chairs they’re designed to match.

Otherwise if going bespoke is inevitable, remember to have the pieces built according to the measurements of your tangible garden structures, such as walls and patio dimensions, as opposed to dynamic ones like trees and other plants.

Zoe Kickhefer