The Best Outdoor Furniture 2018: Your Definitive Summer Guide

Find the best outdoor furniture that will perfectly complement your backyard, courtyard, deck or patio and make the most of summer this year.

Head outside, enjoy nature and take advantage of your outdoor space. Being outdoors has been found to improve your physical and mental health. And while ‘forest-bathing’ may not fit into everyone’s daily schedule, you can still get back to nature at home.

A beautiful and inviting living space in your backyard will give you a new place to relax, unwind, dine and entertain friends and family. Here are our tips for how to best use outdoor furniture to transform your outdoor space.

Outdoor Furniture and Styling Trends for Summer 2018

The best outdoor garden furniture this year is relaxed, sleek and very chic. These are some of our favourite trends gracing home and garden magazines, Pinterest and designer portfolios in 2018.

Go Retro-cool with Mid-Century Outdoor Lounge Sets

green modern outdoor furniture

Mid-century modern is a style trend that originated in the 1940s. Mid-century furniture is beloved by many for its sleek lines and fluid curves. Its popularity endures and shows no signs of letting up.

Mid-century furniture was a post-war style that emerged as an American reflection of international design movements like Bauhaus. It aimed to bring affordable, modern furniture into suburbs across America.  

When it comes to outdoor furniture, mid-century modern garden furniture looks especially impressive against neatly manicured gardens or contemporary native gardens.

Glam up with Soft Textures & Relaxed Embellishments

multiple textured grey furniture

If you’re not sure why your outdoor space is not hitting the mark for you, it may be because it’s lacking some personality. Luckily, 2018 is all about glam embellishments.  

Turn a bland space into a cool and exciting space with some cushions, a textured throw, a tray with candles and terrariums, a statement pot plant or a couple of books. These are just a few of the options available, which can add a little panache where needed.

The trick with adding outdoor accessories is to complement or contrast the main colours in your outdoor space. For example, if you have lots of bright coloured flowers in your garden, consider matching furniture accessories or finding bold, opposing colours that work.

Dine Alfresco with Modern Timber Tables & Chairs

a modern outdoor dining set made of wood

Wine and dine guests under the stars with some sleek modern wood outdoor furniture. A well-made timber table can be a focal point of your outdoor space and a real talking point.

Modern outdoor dining sets look suave and can provide textural balance if your space is primarily concrete, brick or stone.

Modern, clean wooden outdoor furniture is always in. But in 2018, this design aesthetic is popular because of its earthy look and because it can be well protected against the elements. And with so many hues to pick from, you’re bound to find wooden outdoor furniture right for your home.

Make a Statement with Kaleidoscopic Colour

colourful outdoor wicker furniture

Technicolour craziness has moved from fashion magazines into our homes. The trend in recent years has been to unleash your inner wild and experiment with eclectic, rainbow palettes. The best looks balance out the zany colours with some neutral shades and natural textures.

Add a pop of colour with vibrant blue or green wicker outdoor furniture. As we’ll explain in the next section, wicker is known for its stylish curves and contemporary designs. It’s also weather resistant and lightweight.

Combine Industrial Metal Outdoor Furniture with Greenery

Industrial outdoor furniture and patio set

There is something about human-made shapes against a backdrop of wild greenery. The contrast is artful, yet amazingly easy to achieve.

Embrace the current trend of shades of grey, slate and black sitting neatly against an overgrown vertical garden. This stark contrast is sure to impress fellow lovers of design and give your outdoor area an opulent feel.

What Outdoor Furniture Materials Should I Choose?

Choosing outdoor furniture materials usually depends on your sense of style.  However, some furniture materials are easier to clean and look after than others. This is a rundown on the best furniture materials so that you can make the right choice for your home.

Weather-Resistant Wickera water resistant outdoor patio set

Polyethylene (PE) wicker outdoor furniture is made from synthetic fibres but looks like natural fibres. The main reason for using synthetic fibres over natural fibres because it’s more weather resistant.

PE wicker outdoor furniture is durable enough to last for years while maintaining its sophisticated look. It needs very little maintenance. Just hose it down when it’s looking a bit grubby, and let it air dry.

It is comfortable, with or without foam cushioning and will suit almost any interior style. Browse our collection of PE wicker outdoor furniture, which includes outdoor tables and chairs, and outdoor sofas.

Modern TimberA timber outdoor dining set

Modern wood outdoor furniture comes in a range of styles, shapes and sizes.

Several kinds of timber are great for outdoor furniture. Teak is renowned for its durability and natural weather resistance. It is one of only a few timbers that produces a natural oil that repels water. Other kinds of wood include treated pine, eucalyptus and the warm tones of Merbau.

Wood does require a moderate amount of maintenance. Modern wood outdoor furniture should be sealed with varnish to prevent it from becoming stained or warped from rain or humidity.

When buying timber furniture, it may pay to check if it’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). They make sure the world’s forests are managed responsibly.

Durable Aluminium

grey aluminium outdoor furniture

Aluminium is a great outdoor furniture material. It looks great in modern settings and can withstand rain, sunshine and high temperatures. It doesn’t rust as easily as other metals, and it is very lightweight.

Aluminium outdoor furniture requires hardly any maintenance. Clean your aluminium metal outdoor furniture with mild soapy water. A powder coating will protect your aluminium furniture for even longer. Just make sure to touch up paint chips to avoid rust.

Heavy-duty Iron

heavy duty iron outdoor furniture

Need some outdoor furniture, but can’t find any good options because your backyard is a wind tunnel? Wrought iron outdoor furniture may help. Its impressive weight prevents it from blowing away and it can be powder-coated to protect it from rusting.

Cleaning is simple, but if you ever see a spot of rust, you will need to clean it, sand it and paint it again. If you care for it properly, it will be in the family for years to come.

How to Make Your Outdoor Space Work

Before you start creating your dream outdoor living space, it’s a good idea to consider how your outdoor space will function. These tips will make sure your newly designed outdoor space answers all your requirements, even the ones you haven’t thought of yet!

Divide and Arrange Functional Spaces

a modern outdoor dining set


Large properties can suffer from big blank spaces that can detract from the ambience of your outdoor space. It’s a good idea to divide your big backyard into sections, and then create individual functions for each space.

A spot close to the house is perfect for alfresco dining, such as the wooden outdoor dining set (pictured). Place an outdoor lounge setting in a picturesque spot and encourage guests to explore.

Add Some Versatile Storage

Imagine you have designed your dream outdoor living space. It’s perfect, not a blade of grass out of place. Now imagine it six months later. Is it the same?

If you can already imagine kids toys and gardening equipment strewn about, an unruly lawn and untrimmed plants, you should probably consider your storage options. Modern wood outdoor furniture often incorporates storage within for added versatility.

Light Up Your Life and Your Garden

You should be able to enjoy your outdoor entertainment area all day and all night so add some stylish outdoor lighting to make your space much more useful and versatile.

Incorporating outdoor lighting into your garden is also a great way to show off your landscaping and diffuse harsh white light. Or consider hanging some twinkly fairy lights in your favourite tree and arrange your furniture beneath it for a romantic dining experience at home.

Choose Native & Eco-friendly Gardens

Native plants make for stylish and contemporary gardens. They often require less water and lower maintenance. If these gardens aren’t your style, try some other plants that are good for the environment. Lavender and rhododendron plants are bee-friendly and are easy to look after.

Wicker outdoor furniture is the perfect blend of new and old. It looks great in a contemporary native garden or a more traditional garden.

Set the Mood and a Fire

Your outdoor space shouldn’t lie empty for half the year (or more). Investing in a safe and stylish fire pit, brazier or chimenea will keep you and your guests warm all year round.  What’s more, an open fire also adds to the ambience of your space. Just don’t forget to pick up some marshmallows!

Browse Brosa’s extensive collection of outdoor furniture and find the perfect outdoor setting for your home. And stay in the know with our expert interior design tips and tricks on Brosa’s Design and Deliver Blog.