7 laid-back outdoor seating ideas

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  • Whether you're a sun worshipper or prefer to lounge in the dappled shade, this season's country-style pods, swings, loungers and sofas provide the perfect place to chill out and enjoy your beautiful surrounding

    1 Outside winner
    ‘This garden furniture collection scores
    highly for both function and form – it needs very little attention to
    keep its elegance intact for years to come,’ says John Sims-Hilditch,
    Co-Founder, Neptune. ‘Crafted from galvanised steel, it will fare well
    come wind, rain or shine and its comfy water repellent cushions have
    washable covers. Add a matching coffee table so you can enjoy a relaxed
    al fresco breakfast or afternoon tea.’

    2 Fringe benefits
    What better way to while away a free weekend
    than in a shady spot beneath the trees, rocking gently in a
    country-style hammock, its crochet and tassel edging swaying in the
    breeze? Made from cotton and mixed fibres, this Ella James hammock from Not On The High Street has a broad
    spreader bar to keep it in shape and loops to attach it are provided,
    though a length of rope might be needed depending on the distance
    between trees.

    3 Natural beauty
    ‘Eucalyptus wood has always been a popular choice for outdoor furniture,’ says Nicola Gidlow, Buyer for Outdoor Living, John Lewis.
    ‘It doesn’t tend to fade as much as other wood and offers good value
    for money. We are seeing eucalyptus being used more often as there have
    been advances in the types of finishes that can be applied to it,
    lessening the natural pink tones and giving a more luxurious feel.’
    Invest in a large footstool along with this rocking chair for the
    ultimate in relaxation and to lull you into an indulgent mid-afternoon
    slumber.

    4 Hanging out
    ‘Rattan furniture is very fashionable at the
    moment as is grey, and here you have the perfect combination of both,’
    says Claire Krier, Owner, Idyll Home.
    ‘A hanging chair has a soothing rocking motion and modern look but the
    rattan gives this one a more casual organic impression, softening the
    effect. The chair is made from real rattan and painted, so bring it in
    after the summer as I don’t think it would last a British winter
    outdoors.’

    5 Mid-century style
    It’s always a treat to see classics revived to suit the moment, and these 1950s-inspired Acapulco-style chairs from Cox & Cox are no exception. The light, elegant and surprisingly comfortable design, with sunray spokes radiating from a central point, would make an eye-catching addition to any country patio. To create the chairs, durable plastic ‘string’ is woven onto a strong metal frame. Don’t leave them out for long periods – they’ll look just as good indoors.

    6 Double daybed
    Indulge yourself with a peaceful afternoon on
    this eye-catching pod-style daybed, made for two and ideal for a larger
    country garden. ‘The daybed offers plenty of space to relax and enjoy
    the beauty of an open garden and countryside surroundings,’ says
    Caroline Harvey, Garden Furniture Buyer for Wyevale
    Garden Centres. ‘Since it has an aluminium frame and is constructed
    using a synthetic weave, it can be left outside though the cushions will
    need to be packed away.’

    4 Recline in comfort
    If the shape looks familiar, it’s because these distinctive slatted-back loungers from Next are based on traditional Adirondack chairs. They need to be assembled but once it’s done, you can while away many an afternoon in absolute comfort, with your feet up on the leg rest. These recliners are made from acacia wood, then painted or given an oiled finish. After use, simply fold them away to store them.

    Like this? For more ideas and inspirationvisit the Country homes & Interiors homepage.

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