The History of Outdoor Living Furniture - LifestyleGarden UK




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The History of Outdoor Living Furniture

Oct 25, 2023

These days, most gardens have some kind of outdoor furniture in place.  

It’s now normal to see the likes of dining areas, sofas, garden shades and more features in modern gardens, but was this always the case?

In this article, the team here at LifestyleGarden® will step back in time and take a look at the history of garden furniture and how it has enhanced outdoor living in the UK and beyond.      


The history of outdoor furniture 

Without gardens, there would be no outdoor garden furniture, and it’s believed that the first gardens can be traced all the way back to 43 AD. These ancient gardens included hedges, fences and plants and were not a million miles away from the gardens we see today, although they did feature magnificent columns typical of Roman and Greek architecture of the time. 

Not long after the first gardens were introduced, the earliest examples of outdoor furniture could be seen. 

In ancient Greece, seats were made out of stone. While this doesn’t sound particularly comfortable, it was the main resource of the time and it allowed people to sit outdoors to relax or entertain guests. 

Outdoor furniture declined in the Middle Ages as people’s gardens were predominantly used for work purposes rather than as a space to relax. One popular feature, however, was the turf bench. Usually rectangular in shape, these benches were filled with soil and often surrounded by flowers. In most cases, people would angle the benches inwards so as to ignore the conflicts and wars occurring outside their property. Turf benches can be seen in many art pieces and paintings of the time. 

On a Turf Bench by Ilya Repin (1876)

Outdoor living furniture really started to take off again in 17th-century France. During the warmer months, it was common for people to take their indoor furniture outside in order to enjoy the higher temperatures. From here, specific outdoor furniture was invented providing people with pieces that were suitable for relaxing and entertaining. 

During the 19th century, outdoor furniture was no longer exclusive to domestic properties, with benches and seating becoming more and more common in public parks across Europe, including in the UK.  

Outdoor dining and seating  

It’s fair to say that outdoor furniture has changed significantly over the years.  While practicality used to be the most important aspect of outdoor garden furniture, now comfort is just as highly valued.  Al fresco dining is one of the most popular options, with people frequently enjoying eating and drinking in their garden during the warmer months. 

At LifestyleGarden®, we can provide customers with a whole host of recycled dining and seating furniture that can provide you and your loved ones with relaxed and sophisticated places to eat with one another. This includes our Bermuda Light, Aruba and Samoa ranges.  


Outdoor shade  

In addition to seats and tables, outdoor furniture options also include products that offer protection from the sun’s harsh rays.   

During the summer months, people may want to enjoy their garden while also remaining protected from the sun. UV rays can be harmful and often people prefer to spend time in the shade. At LifestyleGarden®, we can supply our customers with leading outdoor shade products, including pergolas and parasols that are made from the finest recycled materials.

If you’re looking for quality outdoor furniture, LifestyleGarden® is here to help. Our team of industry experts can advise on the best products for you, supplying you with quality collections that are made from responsibly sourced materials. Providing products across the UK, get in touch with our team today to find out more. 



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