But seriously, how do you make a choice when there is natural rattan, synthetic wicker and then synthetic look wicker - so much choice and the truth is everyone simply wants to sell you something. We're different, a family company that come from the furniture world, let us give you some truths to help you decide:
Question 1: Should I go for natural or synthetic?
This is a big one; while some people think that natural rattan garden furniture looks better, synthetic wicker furniture is much more durable. If your garden furniture is going have to stand up to the elements outdoors like here in the UK, synthetic is the winner. It doesn;t end there though, you have synthetic wicker which is hand woven and synthetic wicker which is resin which is made to look like its hand woven, which is where the discussion gets tricky.
Hand woven wicker garden furniture feels more natural, it's more springy and is more inconsistent in the weaving pattern which gives it a ertain charm. The problem with hand woven wicker furniture is eventually the strands will snap and unravel, good quality wicker will last 3-5 years but the mass produced cheap stuff will probably snap after a season or two.
Synthetic wicker-look furniture has been moulded by a solid piece of resin with the pattern ingrained in the mould, from a standing point the differences are negligable and the end result is ten times more durable than the hand woven
Question 2: What will work best in my garden?
Think about the style of your garden and any furniture you already have in it as it's a good idea to keep things in keeping with the overall ambience of your outdoor area.
If you have a modern garden or you have a clean decking area you want to spend time enjoying then go for a modern wicker lounge set which will last and give you ample space to socialise and enjoy your lovely garden. The California 3 seater set is a solid option (picture opposite), it will set you back a bit but looks twice that once its on a nice decking area.
If your garden is more of an area for the BBQ and enjoying a Sunday lunch then you should opt for a wicker dining set. The Montana dining set (pictured below) comes with a large 165cm table to accomodate the extra guests or awkward uncle and its table top is resin meaning just a cloth and soapy water and your done. Perfect for dining and spillages if you want to spend more time enjoying the garden and less time maintaining it. You can also leave it out all year round!
Perhaps you have a compact garden and just want to catch some rays, buy a couple of sunloungers as they won't cost the earth and will serve their purpose when needed.
Question 3: What's my colour scheme?
Whether you've already developed a colour scheme with your current designer garden furniture or not, you should make sure all of your new furniture works together as a cohesive set. For example if your garden area is quite modern with pastel colours then light colour's with blasts of colour work great. The accent colours can be achieved with with some colourful decorative pillows which you can use to spice up the place when you have guests over or you could be bold and have a two tone set like the Ibiza garden dining sets in colours such as white and green (picture below).
Alternatively, if like most you have a fairly traditional garden with lots of greenery and a mixture of rustic and pruned areas then a solid dark garden dining set with rattan dining chairs will make a great contrast and draw attention without breaking the bank. The Montana garden dining sets, pictured opposite in grey are only £299
It will also help if you are struggling or don't have such a motivation to colour co-ordinate your garden as it will mix and match with future purchases quite easily.
Question 4: How important is price?
Very important and a very grey area. You should gauge the amount based on what you can afford in comparison to how much time you spend or enjoy being in the garden. If you use your garden only when the sun shines, then somethineg that costs under £300 but lasts you five years would be a great investment. Alternatively, if you are lucky enough to have a conservatory and outdoor living area then just go with your gut and perhaps choose something you can use indoor during the winter
A great way to benchmark prices on the high street is to cross check that with similar items on websites like our and always remember that with any online purchase you are protected by the distant selling law which means you can return anything you've purchased without reason within 7 days and the retailer even has to come and collect it from your house for free!
Question 5: How much space do I have?
If you've only got a small garden, you need to think about how much space you're prepared to spend on furniture. If you have a modest garden and only use it in the summer, don't be afraid to take up plenty of the available space so that it becomes functional, such as with a dining set. A small functional garden is better than a large empty one.
If you have the space and a decent budget, then why not buy a dining set and a lounge set to really enjoy the space. You can then wine and dine guests and laze on the lounge set for a post dinner critique.