As the summer season gets underway and we're spending more time outside, topping up the vitamin D levels during the day and lingering outside longer on those warm, hazy evenings, it's an ideal time to give your Gloucestershire garden a refresh to make the most of your outdoor space.
According to Fabb Furniture — which has stores in Cheltenham and Swindon — no matter the size of your patio or garden, a good set of outdoor furniture can extend your living area, allowing for alfresco dining, evening drinks and somewhere to relax and enjoy the best of the British summertime.
Kate Cadman, Fabb Furniture's brand and communications manager, said: 'Oversized, comfy seating which is large enough to seat family and friends is perfect for modern outdoor living, if space allows', with larger terraces and patios lending themselves to corner sofas and chaise longues with squashy cushions that can comfortably accommodate bigger families or social gatherings.
While for smaller gardens, a bistro set for two makes an ideal spot for an alfresco beverage in the sunshine, adding some throw cushions, outdoor lighting and a patio rug to help create a holiday vibe.
Cadman says it's important to invest in the best materials you can afford, to ensure the longevity of your furniture for years to come, advising that 'teak is a naturally hard-wearing and weather-resistant material that is highly resistant to rot, moisture and insects, and requires minimal maintenance.
'Whereas aluminium — also known as 'green metal' and considered one of the most environmentally-friendly metals — is lightweight, rust resistant and requires very little maintenance.
'Rattan is attractive, durable and hard wearing, too. It's available in differing grades (including natural or synthetic variations) so you can choose which option works best for you and your budget.'
While good garden furniture can last a lifetime if taken care of, it's worth investing in pieces that will withstand lower temperatures and regular downpours, opting for timeless styles that will outlast the latest trends to save money in the long run.
One of the most important pieces of advice Cadman has for maintaining and prolonging the lifespan of garden furniture is to make sure it is stored properly over winter.
If space allows, storing in a garage or shed is best, always making sure that furniture is fully clean and dry before stowing away — and even disassembling your set as per the manufacturer’s instructions, keeping track of any small parts.
However, if furniture is being left outdoors all year round, take extra care to protect cushions during rainy spells, storing them separately in a clean and dry space, and protecting frames with a weatherproof cover.
But whether you're blessed with large, landscaped lawns, a tiny cottage garden, or even just a balcony, the key to making the most of the space is to choose comfortable furniture that you'll love spending time on and adding personal touches like decor, plants and lighting to create your very own summer haven.