Summer is all but upon us and that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy our gardens to the max once again. It’s the cue to get into your sheds and garages, remove the covers and dust off your garden furniture.
Inevitably, lots of us will also be looking at that same furniture with a critical eye. Do you remember it looking so tired and worn last year? With a fresh pair of eyes after a long winter indoors, the start of summer is traditionally when people think about giving their garden furniture an upgrade.
If you haven’t yet given much thought to how you could spruce up your outdoor spaces ahead of the high summer season, never fear. Here are some hot garden furniture trends for 2022 to inspire you.
Sustainability is something that’s right at the front of everyone’s minds these days and it is changing our habits as consumers. We’re cutting back on plastic, we’re buying more recycled products and we’re choosing to buy from brands that can demonstrate a commitment to environmentally friendly practices.
All of this is having a big influence on people’s choice of garden furniture. Cheap throwaway plastic furniture is on the decline and people are happy to invest in long-lasting pieces made from natural materials like timber and stone.
There’s also growing demand for furniture made from recycled materials or entire upcycled pieces. Teak, for example, is an excellent option in this regard because pre-used teak timber is readily available in its native south and south-east Asia. Teak timber previously used in construction can be turned into superb garden furniture. And because of its unique high oil content, it is fantastically hard-wearing and long-lasting, with complete water resistance in all weathers.
Concrete in your garden? If that makes you crinkle your nose up and sounds like the last thing you want in your tranquil outdoor haven, hear us out.
Polished concrete has been one of the big revelations in garden furniture in recent years. Far from the inelegant industrial material we associate with concrete, the polished variety is highly attractive, refined even. It is the same stuff as standard concrete, just buffed up to give it a pleasing smooth shine.
Because concrete is moulded, it is perfect for creating uniquely shaped pieces of furniture. If you want to add something a little different to your garden, a moulded polished concrete bench or stool makes for an eye catching addition.
Polished concrete is also a very versatile material for garden furniture. It makes an excellent table top for an outdoor dining table. Paired with a timber frame, it gives a classical look. But for a real retro industrial aesthetic, it also makes a striking companion for rusted iron.
A staple of indoor furnishings, textiles have also long played a big role in garden furniture. From cushions and blankets to woven furniture made from rattan and cane, you will find more textiles outdoors than you perhaps might have thought.
A common reason we hear for why people love wicker so much is that they enjoy the chunky, tactile texture of it. Perhaps there’s something about the ribbed, ridged feel of wicker weave that just seems to fit with being outdoors. Either way, it’s something more and more people are choosing for their gardens.
Coupled with that, we can see a similar trend in the type of garden furniture accessories people are choosing. Big chunky woven blankets are popular, as are cushion covers made from tactile materials like corduroy and flannel.
Again, we can speculate about the reasons. But maybe it is something to do with a slightly rugged feel fitting well with our enjoyment of the outdoors. Or maybe it’s something to do with wanting stimulation for all our senses while we enjoy the sights, sounds and scents of being outside at the height of summer.
Finally, there are some trends that never seem to go out of fashion. If we were asked to picture our perfect outdoor setting, how many of us would imagine a quaint cottage garden, hemmed in on all sides by fruit trees and hedgerows, bursting with blooms and bathed in evening sunshine? And with a big old wooden table at the centre, the tales of decades etched into its weather worn surface, with a great big picnic feats spread out on top of it?
There’s something about the rustic, natural look that endures through the ages. And that’s a big reason why timber garden furniture continues to be a top seller. Look out for ranges inspired by the artisanal styles of Tuscany and Provence in Jo Alexander’s latest summer collection.