Adding a beautiful garden table and chairs set to your outdoor space is without doubt one of the best ways to enjoy a relaxing and entertaining experience, in your own private space. However there are so many different types of materials available for outdoor living furniture that is can be confusing deciding which one to choose.

The most common furniture sets are made from specialist wood, such as teak, or oak, closely followed by aluminum, cast iron, rattan and wicker. The variety of outdoor garden tables and chairs available today are outstanding compared to the rather plain selection offered years ago. Outdoor furniture has really developed in the last few years to cater for all tastes and budgets and with so many companies now selling online there is a plethora of magnificent styles and designs.

When considering what you should purchase a good starting point, apart from your available budget, is to work out how often you would be eating and drinking alfresco and how many people do you actually envisage sitting around your garden table.

For example would a four seat wooden garden dining set be ample for your everyday needs or from time to time do you plan to hold a large party where perhaps eight or ten people would need to be seated around the table. It usually pays to plan well ahead before parting with your cash,

It is important also to decide whether a round, oval, square or rectangular outdoor dining set best suits your needs and, even more important, the size and shape of your garden. Take into account how much entertaining you plan on doing outside and on average how many guests you are likely to have at any one time. This will help determine how many and what kind of pieces your likely to purchase. If your outdoor space includes a pool or a spa, a bar is a quite a nice added touch, so you will need to allow even more room for your garden table and chairs.

When looking at tables, in particular, try to picture how many people you could seat comfortably based on the size and indeed the shape of the table. Many of the outdoor furniture sets include cushions and even parasols both of which can be an added bonus, especially as cushions not only increase the comfort level but also add to the general look of the furniture.

Take your time looking at all the different designs, materials and shapes until you come up with one or two that you like. If at all possible you should look for dining sets that are made of durable strong long lasting materials since outdoor dining furniture will be exposed to all kinds of weather elements such as wind and rain, even if it is under a patio cover.

Before you begin shopping seriously make sure you take accurate measurements of the area where you wish to place the furniture, so you have a good idea of size and how your new acquisition will look in the allocated space. Bear in mind also that you will need plenty of room to be able walk round your garden table and chairs with trays of food and drink and also to push the chairs back and relax. There is nothing more off-putting that a tight restricted eating area, particularly in the great outdoors where you are looking for freedom and relaxation.

If you plan on dining outside a lot during midday, when the sun is at its hottest, you might like to consider getting a table with a parasol, or even buying one separately. Having an umbrella built into the table can be a lifesaver on a hot day and serves to make conversing and eating much more comfortable. If you do buy your parasol and outdoor dining set separately, just make sure the table has a compatible mount.

Remember attractive garden table and chairs sets are a great way to make empty space into a comfortable and attractive living environment for you and your guests during the summer months. However given that we often enjoy Indian summers in this country now, with the aid of proper garden lighting and even patio heaters, eating outside can be extended well into mid October, when balmy evenings still carry the scent of late flowering roses on the evening air.