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Outdoor Furniture Shopping Guide for Balcony & Backyard

Castlery   |   Jun 8, 2022

Picture this: the sun is shining, there’s a warm breeze in the air. You grab a glass of iced coffee and head out to your balcony with a good read. Sounds like a nice way to pass the hours, doesn’t it?

When designed well, outdoor spaces can be truly magical. The perfect spot for a morning cuppa or an evening glass of wine, small alfresco areas are cosy, welcoming and provide valuable extra living space. From compact balconies and cosy backyards, even the smallest outdoor areas can be transformed into fantastic settings for dining, hosting and relaxing.

Whether your outside area is spacious enough for a small dinner party or barely big enough for a romantic meal for two, furnishing it with beautifully made furniture will help you get the most from your open-air living space. If you’re in the process of planning a makeover for your backyard or balcony, start with the furniture and build your design scheme around your table, chairs, or sofa. This will ensure your space looks great and suits your lifestyle. Here’s our guide to outdoor furniture shopping to help get your started.

Modern outdoor dining table set with sleek aluminium frame The Sorrento Dining Table with 6 Chairs is a sleek, angular design that provides the perfect setting for dinner under the stars.

Choose furniture that’s resilient and durable

The great outdoors isn’t always the kindest environment for furniture. In fact, intense summer sun, rain and extreme conditions can quickly begin to age some materials, with untreated wood and fabrics especially vulnerable to fading, rotting, and peeling.

The best way to ensure that your outside area doesn’t age before it should is to select specialist outdoor furniture. Pieces that are designed to live outdoors will be more resilient to sun, rain and humidity and therefore guaranteed to last longer than furniture meant for indoor use.

When shopping for your outdoor furniture, look for pieces made with durable materials. Cushions upholstered in strong fabrics like polyester are likely to last a lot longer compared to those made from natural or less durable textiles.

The furniture itself should be made from metal that won’t rust or warp. Aluminium is always a good option for outdoor dining tables, sofas, and chairs as it’s lightweight yet sturdy, and easy to manoeuvre. Treated wood is another good option for dining tables and seating areas. With the ability to withstand the wear and tear of the summer weather much better than normal timber, pieces made from this durable material should last well compared to interior wooden furnishings.

Modern 3-seater outdoor sofa with sleek lines styled in a backyard The Sorrento Outdoor Sofa comes with plump cushions and seats for that ultimate lounge experience.

Create the illusion of space with sleek furniture

When furnishing any small space – interior or exterior – you’ll want to create the illusion of more room. Picking the right furniture for your balcony or backyard will make it look bigger and feel more spacious. One of the best ways to do this is to choose outdoor sofas, tables and chairs that have slimline frames. You could also opt for rattan armchairs with woven backs and seats.

These lighter, airier designs allow light to pass through more easily and will keep your balcony or backyard looking bright and less bulky. A bonus of buying lightweight furniture for your balcony or backyard is that it’s easy to stack, store or move out of the way if you need a little more space.

Outdoor lounge set with rope detailing and neutral colours Be it on your balcony or backyard, the Maui Set fits in perfectly in any space.

Make the space versatile and flexible

The key to success with a small layout is flexibility. The more versatile your furniture is, the easier it will be to adjust the area to suit your changing needs and requirements.

A great way to maximise the flexibility and usability of your outside dining area is to opt for dining benches instead of chairs. Dining benches allow you to accommodate more people, while creating a cosy space for intimate gatherings. They can also be tucked neatly away when they’re not in use or brought out and used as casual seating when you are hosting larger groups of people.

Outdoor furniture protected with tailored outdoor furniture covers Protect your furniture from the weather with outdoor covers made purposefully for your pieces.

Protect your furniture from the elements

Although good quality outdoor furniture will be made from tough, durable materials, even the best made pieces will begin to degrade over time if they’re not properly protected. The simplest and most effective way of preventing the weather from damaging your chairs, tables and sofas is to cover them when they’re not in use. This will stop the intense summer sun from fading the colours of your furniture, and the rain from dampening your cushions and rotting your wood.

It’s always a good idea to cover your outdoor furniture whenever it’s not in use, and especially important to cover it when heavy rain is forecast. It’s also recommended to use the furniture covers if your outdoor furniture is not going to be used for an extended period. Always invest in purpose-made outdoor furniture covers as these are tailored to fit your tables, chairs and sofas.

When furnished well, balconies and small backyards can be fantastic places for relaxing, dining, and entertaining. Learn more about our high-quality collection of outdoor furnishings by exploring our range today.

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