Bring On The Sunshine: My Garden Sofa Edit

It's been a long winter.  Particularly here in Yorkshire, where it feels like the sun has been absent for at least six months and even the garden flamingos have faded to the colour of a cooked prawn.  Our sash windows have expanded and jammed due to them being shut for so long and the front bush (no pun intended) has gone brown on one side due to the constant buffeting of the wind.  This all faded into insignificance last weekend, however, when the temperature rocketed to 28 degrees, the sun shone and finally the flip flops were able to come back out of the cupboard.  It was a temporary respite, however, and this week it's back to 9 degrees but the knowledge that it's not going to be long until Summer and the sun is coming remains with us, albeit only a recent memory.  

My garden last year.  It was a total mismatch of second hand conservatory bamboo and Ikea.

My garden last year.  It was a total mismatch of second hand conservatory bamboo and Ikea.

One of the most exciting things about the warmer months is being able to make use of the garden.  Last weekend, B&Q was full of the joys of Spring, trolleys full of plants, BBQ's - the prospect of garden life was palpable in the aisles.  I spent Friday night sitting around the fire pit with a glass of wine and a large bowl of crisps whilst the kids toasted marshmallows.  Living the dream.  Life is so much better when the sun is out!  Plus it forcibly removes my sons from the Playstation and the nemesis that is Fortnite and out into the garden to play football.  Perfect.  

Anyway, one of the reasons that I am so excited about Summer evenings this year is that we are having two pergolas built on the patio - one for dining and one for lounging.  I can't tell you how excited I am about this plan.  We're not stupid, however, despite appearances. The pergolas will have solid roofs so that we can sit out during the less clement weather and which means that we won't have to do the mad dash in with the garden cushions the moment the sun goes in.  With this in mind, my thoughts have turned to garden furniture and in particular, garden sofas.

Outdoor garden furniture has always been a bit of an issue in our house.  Joe is a man who likes to sit comfortably.  Over the years, we've had countless arguments over the benefit of style over comfort.  In my mind an essential, in Joe's mind not even worthy of consideration.  If he had his way, our living room would consist of two 1980's brown leather sofas with electric foot rests and cup holders.  The back of the sofa would be at least to the height of his head for maximum lounging comfort with the sofa and all other objects in the room being focused solely towards the television and Match Of The Day.  The length of the sofa would be tested prior to purchase to ensure that Joe could stretch his full 5'11 frame across the seats with no boundary, the remote control would have it's own side pocket and the sofa padding would be at maximum quilt.  With this vision in mind, you can see why we rarely agree on home furnishings and why my view is the only view when it comes to interiors.  Joe's dream home would be a crime against decor that would result in lifelong imprisonment for offence to the eyes.

My pergola plans.  The top will be for lounging and the bottom will be for dining.

My pergola plans.  The top will be for lounging and the bottom will be for dining.

So when it comes to garden furniture, I've made sure I'm ahead of the game.  Let's face it, garden lounge furniture is not really for lounging.  It's a total misnomer.  The main purpose of garden furniture is to look good and to provide a solid base for socialising, crisp eating and wine drinking. No one really expects to be able to fall asleep on a garden sofa.  That's not what it's there for.  Trying to explain this to Joe is like him explaining to me the balance sheet of a car dealership. 

Anyway, what it does mean is that he doesn't really have any involvement in outdoor furnishing choices which is good news for everyone.  As a result of the new pergola construction, I've spent a fair amount of time investigating possible purchases and I've been pleasantly surprised by what's about this season.  I've tried to avoid the standard brown rattan with matching coffee table situation that always looks good but that is super popular and sought out some good alternatives that will bring a bit of individuality to the space.  Here's my top choices.

Bamboo & Wicker

Structured shape

Maisons Du Monde -  Feroe 3/4 seater wicker and canvas sofa  £787.50

Maisons Du Monde - Feroe 3/4 seater wicker and canvas sofa £787.50

JYSK - VEBBESTRUP five piece set £500

JYSK - VEBBESTRUP five piece set £500

rope weave


Artificial Landscapes -  Grass garden sofa £900

Artificial Landscapes - Grass garden sofa £900

So there's my top choices, ranging from within the budget to, quite frankly, blow the budget all the way to Australia and back. It's easy to go for the standard brown rattan when choosing your outdoor furniture, but there's plenty of other options to look at and I'm a huge fan of non matchy matchy.  For me, any of these options would look great in the garden and they all fulfil the brief.  Perfect for socialising, drinking wine and eating crisps.  What more do you need?