Garden furniture is a crucial aspect for spending time outdoors, but how far have we come since the early days of garden furniture and where is the trend heading for the future? We uncover the history of garden furniture in the UK, below.

"The UK market is around 5 years behind the rest of Europe."

- White Stores

Garden Furniture Past

We’re sure garden furniture dates back many centuries, but we’re going to start our journey in the 1900s. The most popular garden furniture in the 1800s was iron and wooden furniture as these materials were easily accessible and also used in the home. However, as we know from modern experience these materials are heavy and not as weather-resistant as one would hope their garden furniture would be.

Not much really changed in garden furniture throughout the 19th century but the patterns developed, and garden furniture became more attractive. By the 20th century, we saw the introduction of wicker furniture, but again whilst more furniture styles could be developed, this was a less than sustainable or weatherproof design and soon needed replacing.

Garden Furniture Present

Current day, in the 21st century we have ample materials available but still, some of the most popular designs are based on those early creations. Wooden garden furniture is still one of the most common choices for garden furniture, but we have learnt more about treating the wood to help protect it from harsh weather.

Wicker furniture inspired us to look for a sustainable and weatherproof solution to this furniture as it grew in popularity and now, we have rattan garden furniture which is made from resin weave and is fully weatherproof making it much more durable and long-lasting.

We are also seeing the introduction of newer garden furniture materials such as outdoor fabric which is also stain resistant and weatherproof. Not only are new materials being introduced but we are also finding ways to create new designs using the materials. For example, rattan is available in thousands of different designs and new concepts such as fire pit tables, rising tables and reclining sofas are being developed.

These new developments are allowing us to spend more and more time in our gardens and ensuring we view the garden as an extension of the home and an outdoor living room that is enjoyable and unique to our own style.

Garden Furniture Future

But where is garden furniture in the UK heading in the future? Well, it is said that the UK market is around 5 years behind the rest of Europe so looking at Europe to set the trend for the future it seems that modern-looking aluminium and cast aluminium designs will be all the range.

These modern-looking sets are larger and more impressive than most current designs we have in the UK, but they combine some of our favourite aspects of current garden furniture. Rising tables and thick padded cushions are still key features, allowing for comfort and fulfilling all of our different uses for garden furniture.

It is yet to be seen whether these larger items have a place in the UK’s market, with many city houses only having smaller patio or garden areas, but it is predicted that it will be huge in town areas.

However, we predict that rattan will remain the most popular garden furniture material between now and then, but with some aluminium and cast aluminium designs already heading to the UK, it may be the shake-up that the UK’s garden needs.

If you want to get the first look at some of our own aluminium and cast aluminium designs, we recommend visiting our Flagship Essex showroom to test the furniture for yourself. Or, if you wish to stick to rattan garden furniture, you will find a large selection in all of our showrooms.