Garden furniture ideas: 13 on-trend designs for stylish outdoor living

Get inspired by our garden furniture ideas – from chic sofas to trendy dining tables, they're just the update your plot needs

garden furniture ideas: outdoor sofa from Go Modern
(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

Want to give your plot a stylish new look? Then these garden furniture ideas are the perfect solution. Because a chic new seating set-up can be all it takes for your space to feel refreshed, and there's no landscaping, redecorating, or planting involved.

Of course, outdoor furniture isn't just for looks – it will transform how you use your garden. And with outdoor living being all the rage right now, we all want to make the very most of our space, all year round.

So take a look through our favourite picks – from gorgeous modular sofas, poolside loungers, monochrome set-ups, and more, there's something for everyone (and every plot). And that's not all – we've got tons of expert advice from Tina Mahony, Director of Go Modern, to answer your garden furniture FAQs.

You'll be feeling inspired in no time. And once you've finished swooning over these picks, why not treat yourself to some of the best garden furniture from our guide?

1. Brighten your space with white

garden furniture ideas: outdoor sofa from Go Modern Furniture

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

White fabric, in a garden? Who would've thought it. But these days, you can get fabric that's not only water repellant, but dirt repellant too (even garden-friendly velvet!).

So, embrace lighter colours for your outdoor seating and brighten up your plot. This set-up contrasts beautifully against the leafy green surroundings. And as a bonus point, the sofa is part of an extensive modular collection. Which means, you can change up the shape and size to fit your needs – for instance, by transforming it into corner seating.

Masses of cushions in green tones add to the natural feel, alongside wood finishes on the complementary chairs. If you love our modern garden ideas, then this is definitely an option to consider.

2. Use rattan furniture for stylish outdoor dining

garden furniture ideas: Domaine & Demeure grey rattan dining set

(Image credit: Domaine & Demeure)

Rattan is so on-trend right now, and we're not surprised at all. It's an elegant and timeless look, that works just as well in your garden as it does in your living room.

Rattan that's especially made for outdoors is weather-resistant and easy to clean, so makes a beautiful choice for an outside dining area. Opt for chic grey hues, and pair with a large, matching table. That way, all the family can sit together in style, to enjoy an alfresco meal.

We have lots more family garden ideas in our feature.

3. Go for a luxurious Long Island look

garden furniture ideas: cape lounge seating set on patio

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

Capture a Long Island look with toned wood, sleek lines, and sumptuous cushions. The bold silhouette and unique slats in this design above are bound to bring any patio to life. 

It's pared-back yet totally luxurious – simply pair with neutral accessories for a grown-up space ready for relaxing.

4. Opt for an industrial vibe

garden furniture ideas: table with festoon lights on patio

(Image credit: Barker and Stonehouse)

Clean lines, solid teak, and a chunky metal base – this is a statement piece that is bound to turn heads. We love the idea of attaching a simple, metal frame to string up festoon lights, too. It will only add to the cool, industrial effect whilst illuminating your evenings spent outdoors.

Love the look? Head over to our pick of the best wooden garden furniture for more ideas.

5. Add all-weather fabrics and a nautical touch

garden furniture ideas: Go Modern Furniture outdoor sofa and chairs on patio

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

We adore the curved lines of the set-up above and the addition of soft, grey-blue cushions. It's an outdoor living space idea that feels modern yet soothing.

What's more, the seating's aluminium frames are covered in woven rope. This adds a nautical touch, which is fitting, as many of Manutti's designs were originally created for super yachts, and can withstand the harshest of elements.

6. Mix and match materials for an eclectic vibe

garden furniture ideas: lanterns and sofas from Dobbies

A boho-chic space from Dobbies

(Image credit: Dobbies)

If you love a more eclectic feel, then mix and match bright accessories with fuss-free wooden furniture. A scattering of cushions, throws, lanterns, and vibrant plant pots all add to the joyful scene. You can add an extra layer of interest with one of our patterned modern paving ideas, too.

And don't forget to add plenty of glowy lights – the right garden lighting ideas will make any plot feel cosier and more welcoming after dark.

7. Create a tranquil scene with outdoor pouffes

garden furniture ideas: Go Modern Furniture low foot stools

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

Whether on your decking or patio, or (if you're lucky) by your pool, it's great to have a space that's used purely for relaxing. And, a cluster of pouffes and the best outdoor bean bags are perfect for creating a chilled-out vibe.

Go for muted colours for a sophisticated style. And, if you think the best outdoor rugs are only for the ground, then think again. As this image above shows, they can be used as wall-coverings too – simply fix to a fence for a beautiful backdrop.

8. Use shades of grey for a chic style

garden furniture ideas: Elba Low Lounge Corner Sofa on patio with footstool and parasol

(Image credit: Kettler)

You can't go wrong with a bit of grey in your garden. It's an understated hue that gives any traditional set-up a modern lift. 

Simply pair plush, anthracite-coloured cushions with sturdy metal for a seating area that's both stylish and comfortable. The outdoor sofa above also benefits from being modular – for ultimate flexibility when it comes to arranging your space.

We adore the surrounding slatted fence panels too, which finish the scene beautifully. Don't forget we have plenty more garden fence ideas in our guide.

9. Pair natural textures with a monochrome palette

garden furniture ideas: habitat seating

Set-up from Habitat

(Image credit: Habitat)

A monochrome palette will always be stylish, but for a softer look, combine black and white tones with natural materials and hues. 

Wicker, rattan, velvet, and wood-fired clay are all gorgeous textures which will add a warm and rustic edge to any plot. Simply place against a black backdrop for a look that feels balanced, considered, and contemporary.

Need more ideas on how to make a garden feel modern? Take a look at our advice.

10. Go for multi-functional designs

garden furniture ideas: corner sofa

Set-up from Barker and Stonehouse, including the Maui garden corner sofa set and hanging tie dye decorative shades

(Image credit: Barker and Stonehouse)

A fuss-free option for garden furniture ideas is to pick pieces that do two jobs at once. Take this stunning corner sofa, for instance.

Not only is it irresistibly comfy (and not to mention stylish), it features wooden end panels that are super handy for resting drinks, snacks, or pretty accessories. Of course, you could always add a matching coffee table too, for even more space.

And don't you just love these tie-dye hanging shades? Hang one or two from one of our pergola ideas for a fabulously bohemian flair. Then, bring them indoors during winter to brighten up a corner of your home.

11. Use pared-back sun loungers for a chilled out spot

garden furniture ideas: Go Modern Furniture sun loungers by pool

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

Sometimes, the best use of an outside plot is simply to lie down and soak up the sun's rays. And if you love a minimal look, then we think you'll love these pared-back sun loungers, too.

Plant ornamental grasses nearby and maybe one of our water feature ideas – both will add a touch of tranquil movement and sound. Then all you need is a cold drink in hand and a hot summer's day. Bliss.

Head over to our best sun loungers feature for more inspiration.

12. Shelter your seating with a parasol

garden furniture ideas: outdoor sofa from Bridgman

(Image credit: Bridgman)

Speaking of sunshine, any garden seating set-up will benefit from one of these best garden parasols, to help you shelter from the rays. 

To continue the summery feel, you could accessorise your sofa with complementary cushions in warm reds and oranges, too. And, a parasol isn't just handy for warmer days, it's also useful for averting drizzle during colder months.

13. Dine alfresco in style with contemporary details

garden furniture ideas: Go Modern Furniture dining set

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

We adore the muted colour palette above, accented with just a handful of tasteful accessories in warm sands and deep ambers. Sometimes, less really can be more – especially if you opt for a dining set that's as stylish as this.

Check out our best garden dining sets for more chic ideas.

14. Get cosy with circular seating

garden furniture ideas: round sofa under apple trees

(Image credit: Barker and Stonehouse)

A rounded sofa set-up is a fabulous way to up the cosy factor in your plot. A cool grey tone keeps things feeling modern, and will look lovely topped with soft blankets and tasselled cushions, as seen here. 

Just place an easy-to-clean, glass-topped table in the middle and maybe a lantern or two. Fire up the best BBQ nearby, and before you know it, you'll have the perfect spot for an alfresco lunch or summer-evening drinks with friends.

15. Liven up a scene with funky accessories

garden furniture ideas: dunelm seating

Set-up from Dunelm

(Image credit: Dunelm)

If you love a homely style, then get creative with accessories for your garden furniture scheme. Try adding flourishes of jazzy cushions, fun patterns, and hanging plants – it's an easy and affordable way to put your stamp on your plot. 

And don't forget a coffee table or two – handy for perching your cup of tea, a good book, or a jar of freshly-picked flowers on.

What type of outdoor furniture is the most durable?

garden furniture ideas: teak dining set from Barlow Tyrie

Set-up from Barlow Tyrie

(Image credit: Barlow Tyrie)

If you are a fan of wooden garden furniture, then teak is a natural winner in terms of materials, says Tina Mahony, Director of Go Modern. 'But do always check the provenance of the wood used,' she adds. 'The best companies only ever source teak from sustainable plantations.'

'In its natural state, teak needs very little maintenance which means you can leave it out all year round,' Tina continues. 'Over time and left untreated, the natural colour turns a little silver-grey. This shouldn’t harm the strength of the wood but if you prefer the warmth of the original, consider using a special teak cleaner or protector and buying a protective cover for the harsher winter months.' Discover how to clean outdoor wooden furniture in our guide.

When it comes to metallic furniture, Tina says that you can't beat stainless steel or aluminium for long-term durability.

'For maximum weather protection, both aluminium and stainless steel are powder-coated by the manufacturer for outdoor use,' she adds. 'This gives extra protection against the elements, making it resistant to UV rays, sea, rain and chlorinated water plus urban pollution.'

Is steel or aluminium better for garden furniture?

Steel or aluminium – which is better? According to Tina Mahony, Director of Go Modern, the answer is neither. 'It's all down to you and the design you prefer.'

However, Tina adds, 'Aluminium has the advantage over stainless steel in that it's lighter, so if your outdoor furniture is to be moved around regularly you may prefer it.' But, 'The choice of which material is used in a design is simply based on which works best for the product being created.'

What do I need to know when buying upholstered garden furniture?

garden furniture: modern chairs from Go Modern Furniture

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

'If buying upholstered garden furniture, such as sofas and armchairs, make sure that all fabrics and fillings are created especially for outdoor use,' advises Tina Mahony, Director of Go Modern. 

'Cushions should feature quick-dry foam, and specialist outdoor fabrics should dry quickly, won't fade in UV light, and also have a resistance to sea and chlorinated water staining.'

'Cushion seams are often welded as well as sewn for extra moisture protection,' Tina continues. 'Also, the best outdoor fabric shouldn't be rough to the touch – the latest designs feel as soft as indoor fabric, and now include beautiful velvets and outdoor leathers.'

What is the best material to use for outdoor table tops?

In terms of garden table tops (crucial for outdoor dining), ceramic is fantastic, as says Tina Mahony, Director of Go Modern. 'It's super hard-wearing, looks fabulous, is easy to clean, and great for everyday use.' 

Tina also says that ceramic is highly resistant to wear and tear, scratching, high temperatures and chemicals. What's more, it will retain its colour and has great environmental credentials, she adds.

And if you love cooking outside as well as eating, head over to our outdoor kitchen ideas for inspiration on counter tops and lots more.

Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day!