The interior of your home is a secret domain, a place which only those who are invited get to see and admire.

However, the garden is a very different matter. Your front garden can be viewed by absolute strangers as they pass by your house whilst your back garden may be seen by neighbours and their visitors too.

As an extension of your own personal style and taste, gardens are increasingly being seen as an area of extreme importance when it comes to design. Whether you opt for formal landscaped greenery or a more natural effect, your garden is an area which shows the world whether you have style.

If you don’t have green fingers it might be very tempting to neglect your garden but with the right kind of set up, you don’t have to spend a fortune - or a lot of time - keeping it looking just how you want.

rattan day beds

An interesting rattan daybed in the shape of an apple

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As well as flowers and shrubs, furniture plays an important role in creating a theme for your garden and rattan is one of the most popular choices . Strong, durable and natural looking, rattan is a classy choice which reflects well on your property and personal style.

There’s lots of choices when it comes to the type of furniture you may want to feature and much depends on who uses the garden and how often, as well as the outdoors dimensions too. One rather alternation option is a rattan daybed, a very contemporary choice which can be fun, relaxing and also very sociable.

We take a closer look at how you could create a garden that’s the envy of all your neighbours and just how a rattan daybed could be the centerpiece you need.

Use your space wisely

A garden crammed with colour may look eye-catching but it’s a huge amount of work and effort and only really looks its best when the blooms are in flower. The rest of the year it runs the risk of looking stuffed full and crowded, not the elegant impression you were undoubtedly hoping to create.

A low maintenance alternative is to use the space in your garden far more cleverly, putting less into your space and in turn somehow making it seem far more roomy and imposing as a result.

One way to do this is to use flat reflective surfaces, such as water and mirrors. Don’t be tempted to use mirrors designed for use indoors, they don’t work as well in the garden and will deteriorate very quickly when exposed to the elements.

Some outdoor mirrors placed at strategic points around the garden will reflect the light and create a real illusion of space, just the way they would when used in the right way inside a house.

To get the best effect from the use of mirrors in the garden, make sure they are reflecting the spaces which are uncluttered and clear. If you use mirrors to reflect space in your garden which is jam-packed and a bit disorganised, you will have the opposite to the desired effect.

Another trick to heighten this effect further is by installing some small ponds around your garden. These reflect the light in a far more subtle way and can work beautifully in tandem with the mirrors.

Think colour

You might love the look of brightly coloured exotic plants but this can make your garden look chaotic and messy. It’s entirely possible to still have brightly coloured flowers and plants if that’s what you want, but being far more restrained about how, when and where you plant them means you will get a far better final result.

To have a garden that looks truly sophisticated, neutral tones at its core work the best. This is good news for rattan furniture, as the majority of pieces are made from colours which are natural and low key. Think soft greys, beiges and ecru and you’ll have made a good start. Of course there are far more options to pick from if you want, but muted colours are a popular choice with those buying rattan furniture.

This is generally because rattan is a natural product (or a synthetic copy which is identical in appearance) so complementing the colours and textures of the vine by sticking to natural tones makes the most sense.

rattan seats

Natural coloured rattan daybed

Therefore, even if you have a large and flamboyant piece of furniture such as a rattan daybed in your garden, the effect will still be classy and elegant because of the colours used in the design.

Once you have set up the basics in your garden, and have a soft palette of colours in place, you can then work on brightening it up. Adding vivid bursts around your garden creates a far more visually pleasing effect than a swarming mass of colours all jumbled up together, particularly when combined with the background neutrals.

If you have a particularly small garden, sticking to cool primary colours can be a good idea. Blues and purples such as hydrangeas and hyacinths can add depth and a splash of colour without appearing to be dominating. You can still use reds and oranges, but experts suggest if your garden is more compact, keeping them restricted to small splashes of colour scattered throughout your garden in a more strategic design.

Maintenance

If you want a garden that reflects well on you and your property, keeping it tidy and well weeded is only a small part of the battle.

If you choose to have flowers and shrubs, you will need to learn about what they need and how to keep them looking their absolute best. Having a garden which isn’t well tended or is clearly dying from lack of attention is worse than one which is bare!

Therefore, if you’ve opted for lush greenery and colourful blooms you will need to learn how to look after them. This means finding out what kind of soil they like, how often to water or feed them and how they will respond to different environmental conditions.

If you want the option of having plants and shrubs dotted around your garden without the hassle of a full flowerbed, you could always opt to have pots and planters instead. These are far easier to keep on top of, and additionally, provide you with far greater choice and control about where to put your flowers.

As an added bonus, there’s some great rattan planters around which can co-ordinate with your rattan daybed, helping you to pull together the overall design with the minimum of effort.

tall rattan garden planters

Victorian rattan planter, available to buy from our site

Using furniture well

Many people may have table and chairs in their garden but not as many will have a rattan daybed, a truly indulgent piece of furniture which can set your outdoors area head and shoulders above the rest.

With a woven rattan base and a deeply padded seat, a day bed offers the chance to truly stretch out in style and relax, whether you are on your own or with family and friends.

Offering the possibility to convert into a bed if you want the ultimate in relaxation, there’s also plenty of room on a day bed to chat with friends in comfort.

There are lots of different day bed designs and picking the right one to suit your garden is important.

If your outdoors space is relatively small, you might want a might discreet design but if you have a large and commanding garden, you could opt for an extravagant day bed if you wanted to.

Just like other types of rattan furniture, daybeds are great for use in the garden because they are so strong and durable, and don’t need to be packed away at the first sign of any rain.

Synthetic rattan is typically used for all outdoors designs because it is far better equipped to deal with the ravages of the British weather. It doesn’t fade when exposed to sunshine and can also handle freezing temperatures, frost, rain and even snow without threatening to crack, split or break down.

This makes it the perfect material for use in the garden as you can leave it standing all year round. You will need to protect the upholstery from the worst of the weather but a stylish way to do this is to use one of the rattan storage boxes. This allows you to keep the cushions and upholstery close at hand and protected from the effects of the weather, but still looks stylish. A rattan storage box will match the rest of your garden decor but provides practicality too.

rattan table stroke storage box

Rattan storage box

As well as being extremely durable, rattan is also very low maintenance. It doesn’t require expensive treatments, creams or waxes in order to stay in immaculate condition. A wipe down with a damp cloth is generally sufficient to keep it looking clean and sleek and as pristine as the day you bought it.

If any cracks or splits do appear, using boiled linseed oil can inject some much-needed moisture back into the material. Brush the oil on until no more can be absorbed, then wipe the surface with a cloth. Let the oil dry; as it hardens it will expands, filling any cracks and splits.

Rattan furniture is typically woven around an aluminium base; this is rust proof but light weight providing a much greater degree of flexibility about where you want your furniture. A day bed may look like an imposing piece of garden furniture, but made from rattan it’s surprisingly light and easy to move around.

Different styles

A daybed is a piece of garden furniture guaranteed to turn heads and wow; it’s not for the demure. Exuding class and sophistication, a garden with a daybed isn’t afraid to attract attention.

Smaller styles of daybed might include a chaise longue, more suited to being occupied by one person and creating an elegant space to read or simply relax.

A more traditional daybed provides an extended area to sit, with a supportive back and sides, but also lots of room to put your feet up or stretch out. These are often large enough to fit several people, even when lounging around, so make a great social space for friends to hang out and chat in.

If you prefer a more discreet setting, daybeds where the sides extend upwards to provide a covered roof might be more suitable. These are typically known as ‘pears’ or ‘apples’ depending on the exact shape of the final design. As well as affording more privacy, they also provide more shelter in rainy or hot weather. The rattan roof provides excellent protection which means these could be viewed as a more flexible design suitable for use all year round.

All of the cushions and covers which come with a rattan daybed are shower proof but can be unzipped and cleaned in the washing machine. There’s no need for expensive dry cleaning; they are economical and easy to wash whenever you need to. This includes the curtains which some models of daybed come fitted with, the ultimate in privacy and relaxation.

Get the most from your garden

Many of us use our garden during the summer months but as the nights start to draw in we abandon it for another year.

Don’t forget the impression your garden provides even during the colder weather; it needs TLC all year round!

Of course, with a bit of preparation you could still use your garden in the winter months.  Threading some outdoors fairy lights throughout your shrubs and trees and investing in a patio heater or two can make your garden a magical place to be, even when it’s frosty and cold.

grey rattan loungers outdoors

Rattan daybeds can help you make the most out of your garden

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Rattan daybeds will still make a comfortable place to relax, and with the warming effects of the patio heater, you could enjoy a whole new look to your garden during another season. Wrap up warm, and enjoy a hot toddy or a warm drink and celebrate just how good your outdoors space looks all year round.

Image Credits: Kami Sue McGregor and Laly Medina