Top Tips for Choosing The Right Outdoor Furniture and Accessories for Your Business
Whether your outside area is the centre of your business or an added benefit for your visitors, creating the right space can make all the difference to their experience. And of course, finding the right furniture is crucial.
When it comes to choosing the best outdoor furniture for a commercial space, there are a number of essential considerations. Our handy buying guide will help ensure you have all the information you need before making that all-important purchase.
1. Keep Function in Mind
It seems obvious, but it’s important to keep in mind at all times the purpose of your outdoor area. The way visitors will use your space should inform every decision you make.
For example, how many visitors are you expecting and will you be able to accommodate them? Will they all require the same furniture or could a mix of styles suit your business better? Who is your client and what are they looking for from this space?
Think about the furniture your guests really need. If you’re creating a dining area then they’ll all want access to both tables and chairs, but if it’s a place to chill out and relax with friends, comfy seating is more important. A reclining chair is perfect by the pool but might not be the best choice for a café.
You know best what function this space plays for your business. Try to keep it in mind at every step.
Discover our range of commercially certified outdoor furniture.
2. Take Accurate MeasurementsTake careful measurements of your outside space and note the dimensions of every item you’re thinking of buying. There’s no use choosing something because you like the look of it only to find it doesn’t quite fit.
However big or small your outdoor area, careful measuring can not only save you from mistakes but also allow you to get more from your space. You may find that you have more room than expected, or discover that opting for a slightly smaller chair or table allows you to fit more into the space you do have.
Another important consideration here is the concept of natural walking paths. It’s great to make the most of your space, but guests need to be able to move easily around it without bumping into furniture – or each other. Keep this in mind when you’re working out measurements. Sometimes the space you don’t fill can be just as important as the space you do.
Read our guide to making the most of a small outdoor space.
3. Consider the ClimateThe British climate is notoriously unpredictable, so be sure to consider the conditions your furniture will face and whether the materials can stand up to them.
For example, are you looking for something that can be left outside year round or stored inside when the weather cools down? Does your outside space offer natural shade or shelter, or will your furniture need to be able to withstand everything from wind and rain to the summer sun?
Understanding what your outdoor furniture will be up against is a great way to narrow down the materials that will work for you.
4. Research MaterialsWhen choosing the right materials for your outdoor furniture, there are a number of things to take into account. As discussed, function and durability are important considerations. These should come together with your personal budget and style to guide you towards the right decision.
Wood, wicker, metal, fibreglass, polypropylene… Every option has its benefits, but not every one will work for you.
For example, wood is beautiful and versatile, and with so many types and finishes there are few styles it won’t meld with. But it requires upkeep and for some this isn’t practical. Other options may be just as high quality but easier to maintain and care for.
Maybe your business is committed to being eco-friendly? Look for pieces that are sustainably produced from long-lasting or even recycled materials.
Do your research and be practical. And don’t worry that opting for a certain material will limit your choices. These days the options are all but endless.
5. Discover Your StyleNow for the fun part! Once you have decided on the points above, you can begin thinking about the aesthetic of the space you’re going to create. While we do recommend considering function before form, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style.
With a commercial space, it’s important to create an aesthetic that both represents your business and appeals to your clientele, so keep both these things in mind when making decisions.
Your style should set the mood for your space and tell a visitor exactly what they can expect from your business. The terrace of a trendy cocktail bar will be very different to the courtyard of a family-friendly café or the garden of a high-end wellness centre.
Think too about adjoining areas and how they will interact with your space. Are you looking to create a sense of flow and harmony from one to the other, or do you want to create a striking sense of contrast?
And remember, don’t be afraid to get creative. Today’s consumer is more discerning and design-conscious than ever before and a stylish outdoor space can be a serious boost to your business.
Looking for inspiration? Discover our themed collections here.
6. Add the Finishing TouchesOnce you’ve chosen your furniture and your outdoor area is beginning to take shape, consider adding the extra touches that make your space complete.
If you’re looking for a relaxed, natural feel, a few potted plants might be just what you need. If you want something more modern, perhaps a striking sculpture or piece of art is for you.
It’s not just decorative accessories that can make a space, either. Parasols can offer both shade from the sun and shelter from light showers, both of which you can expect from the British climate.
Think carefully about your lighting, especially if you will be using the space after dark. And consider investing in outdoor heaters. All of this will add to your guests’ comfort which, ultimately, is what will bring them back time and again.
Discover our range of outdoor accessories.