Table and chairs
If you’re planning on enjoying a meal (or a drink) in the garden, you’ll likely be looking for that old staple, the table and chairs set. The good news for those with a big garden or the need to accommodate more people is they come in all sizes (and budgets) to seat four, six or more.

Where room is short or you fancy something extra-chic, a bistro set is the stylish combination of a small table and pair of chairs – perfect for enjoying drinks or snacks. Some are even foldable to make them more space-saving and practical. Regardless of their size, table and chair sets come in a range of materials such as rattan, wood or aluminium, with wrought iron being the most durable option. The Newbury bistro set from Argos is a particularly stylish wooden choice, or you might prefer the Dakota Fields Farnhurst set in striking, blue steel.

Are you sitting comfortably?
If you have more of a living-room than dining-room vibe in mind, a corner sofa might be your best bet. These L-shaped units sit neatly on the decking or paved areas of your garden, and often come with a matching coffee table. With large cushions, they‘re ideal if you want to put your feet up and really chill out, and can accommodate between four and eight people. It’s important to remember that corner sofa sets take up a lot of room, so they might be better suited to bigger gardens, though, Habitat’s mini corner sofa could probably squeeze into most areas.

Where space is tighter, a garden swing seat can be a good alternative to a sofa set. These two-person seats allow you to gently rock back and forth to really ramp up the relaxation. They also have a built-in canopy to protect against the sun on warmer days. Metal-framed seats usually cost very little, or you may wish to invest in a sturdier wooden one. Outsunny’s swing chair, made from Russian larch wood, is a simple yet elegant example.

Lounging around
If all that still doesn’t sound quite relaxing enough, there’s perhaps little better than a sun lounger for all-out tranquility. You’ll find plenty of choices on Gumtree, from lightweight, foldable ones to sturdier, wooden or rattan versions. The style selection is equally varied, from ultra-modern options to timeless classics. And if old-school cool is your thing, you could even go for a traditional deck chair – John Lewis offers a budget-friendly, retro range that doesn’t compromise on style.

For some, the perfect vision of relaxation involves kicking back in a hammock, à la tropical island. You won’t need a couple of palm trees, though, because garden hammocks come with their own stand. Our favourite choice is from VonHaus because it’s big enough for two and the striped, cotton fabric is timeless, yet it doesn’t cost the earth.

Feeling inspired to get your garden ready to dine alfresco, spend time with family and friends or just wind down after a busy week? Why not check out our garden furniture listings for some more inspiration?