Eight of the best garden furniture designs

Top picks for your patio

1. Is it finally time to take things outside? Some slick new furniture will transform your patio or terrace. For a gold standard option take a look at Smallable's super chic new Honore velvet-cushioned lounge chair, a design that comes in four cool, deep-pile colours: millennial pink, on-trend terracotta, must-have marigold yellow, and midnight blue, a shade that works as well after dark as it does in strong sunlight. The gilt colour iron frame will work well in a conservatory or sun room and can be taken outdoors when the sun eventually shines. The chair costs €685, ex delivery. Smallable.com

2. Head to your local branch of Aldi for cool, affordable ideas for your patio including this pop-up gazebo which can be used to keep the rain off or provide shade on sunny afternoons. As well as facilitating outdoor dining it would make a great impromptu playhouse for kids of all ages. Costing €69.99 brides and grooms on a budget could also look at investing in a few for a back garden wedding breakfast. The range is available in 130 stores nationwide and also includes a six-seat wooden oval table, €59.99, about 150cm by 90cm, and matching chairs with cushions, €29.99 each, but hurry, the stock dropped three days ago and tends to get snapped up pretty quickly. Aldi.ie

3. Danish design brand Bo Concept has just launched a smart outdoor collection that takes its inspiration from Rome, the eternal city. The smart deep-cushioned sofa, upholstered in an outdoor fabric, has a burnished steel frame and comes with a platform table – the perfect place to keep drinks safe from clumsy adults or ball-kicking kids. The pieces are available to order only from the brand's Beacon South Quarter store in Dublin where readers can get 15 per cent off the collection on orders placed before Sunday, May 13th. The sofa, which includes cushions and will normally cost €2,590, can be purchased for €2,200. The matching low-set table, normally €349, is €296 until May 13th. Boconcept.ie

4. Modelled on the classic bistro table and chairs, Vitra's Belleville chair, a stackable polyamide seat shell, and matching star-shaped outdoor table, is a really elegant outdoor solution for anyone living in an apartment or townhouse where outside space is limited. The table-top comes in solid wood, veneer, melamine or laminate. The chair, from €258, armchair, from €294 and table, from €634 are available to order from MJ Flood. Minima can also supply the range to order and it can also be purchased from UK-based Nest. Mjflood.ie; minimahome.com; Nest.co.uk; Vitra.com


5. Sofa specialists DFS has launched a smart, new outdoor collection that includes this good-looking, contemporary Amalfi dining set inspired by the Italian Riviera. The sleek black metal table, 181cm long by 90cm wide, is surrounded by six dining chairs in a matching material and come with showerproof seat and back cushions. The set costs €1,299 and looks especially strong when set on sandstone paving with warm terracotta brick surrounding walls and can transform a small patio or paved area into an outdoor diner. The cushions should be stored indoors when not in use and the table and seating will benefit from being covered to protect it from the elements when not in use. Dfs.ie

6. If you already have garden furniture that is looking tired, rejuvenate the pieces using cool Crown colours. The Crown Decorating Centre suggests a water-based, self-priming and self-undercoating paint in a Superdeck finish that when you apply two to three coats will be weather resistant to cope with the four-seasons-in-one-day Irish summer. You can also use it on metals and woods. Pictured is Baytree, on the metal chair and Hot Mustard, on the plant stand, but the paint specialists can also mix a colour up to your specifications. About €17 a litre. Crownpaints.ie 

7. Serve up a slice of New England charm with Bramblecrest, a new collection of all-weather rattan weave outdoor furniture that is exclusive to Celbridge-based company, The Orchard. Pictured is a modular design from its Oakridge range. It features two corner sofas adjoined to make an accommodating L-shaped seat. The small square table has recessed frost-resistant glass and the set, which costs €2,795, also includes two small stools, not pictured. This collection comes in a buttercream colour and includes the fawn-coloured seat and high-back shower-proof cushions. The blue scatter cushions are extra. The 45cm square plain blue ones cost €60, while the printed squares cost €80. Theorchard.ie

8. Ikea's whimsical styling of its summer outdoor collection will make you want to press the out-of-office alert on your email and turn your phone completely off. The Havsten, two-seat sofas , €435 each, seen here can double-job as indoor seating when the sun retires. The smart white Krokholmen outdoor coffee table is an affordable €40 and you can add on-trend wicker accents with this Mastholmen side tables (€35). Overhead, hang light-as-air paper pendant globes which come in three sizes; 22cm (€6); 30cm (€8) and 45cm, (€10) from beams, if you have such a thing, or string if you don't. The solar-powered design dispenses for the need for outdoor electricity sockets. Ikea.com/ie/ 

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors