It’s been a while since I wrote about the garden after our recent landscaping project, so I thought I better put that right. After all, I imagine you’ve been wondering about how my wood is doing and how big my bush has grown…
The last garden-related post I wrote mainly talked about the furnishing and accessories that we’d got for the top decked area, including deck chairs, spot lights, candle and a lantern. In that, I made reference to the fact that we also needed new furniture for our lower decked area – which was to be our main dining spot – hence the point of this post.
First, let’s start with Toddler L. It’s not taken her long to take over the garden. To be fair though, the point was to create a kid-friendly outdoor space in the first place, so I guess garden toys were always going to be on the cards. One of the first things we wanted to get her was a playhouse. There’s some awesome ones out there of all shapes and sizes, but we just needed something pretty compact which wouldn’t swamp the garden. We found the perfect thing with the Little Tikes Cape Cottage, which I reviewed on the blog back in May.
For the first few months of having the garden done, we continued to use our old table and chairs. This was a smallish round table with four folding chairs. Although they did the job, they were bought six years ago and we always planned to upgrade these with something a bit more fitting for the new garden.
We spent a fair bit of time looking for the perfect table and chairs for the lower decked area. We wanted something that looked nice, was hard wearing, didn’t take up too much room, but would be big enough for having family and friends around.
We found exactly the thing we were looking for at Lakeland Furniture when we stumbled across the Mijas 8-Seater Rattan Cube Set. Made from weatherproof rattan with a steel frame, it sounded like it would stand the test of time in the unpredictable British weather. The thing that drew us to it though was the clever design – the four stools and four chairs neatly store away under the table, meaning that it has a minimal footprint- but it can sit eight people should we have anyone over.
As I’d worked with Lakeland Furniture previously, as I reviewed their leather dining chairs, they kindly agreed to offer me a discount on the rattan cube set. As the item was already on sale, this meant that we spent around £400 on the set compared to the RRP of £700ish. They also asked if we wanted to review a parasol too, which I’ll come on to shortly.
The cube set arrived in three separate boxes and required assembly. This was a pretty labour and time intensive process, particularly when you have a toddler ‘helping’ you out! In total, it probably took eight hours to put everything together, which I did over a number of days. Each item consisted of separate panels, so assembly required me to screw each panel together in order to form the seats, stools and table frame.
I struggled a little bit with putting the table and some of the stools together. For instance, annoyingly some of the holes which you put the screws through were blocked with the staples that hold the rattan weave in place. Similarly, I needed to get the hammer out and use a bit of brute force in order to make the rattan table panels fit into the metal frames. However, I got there in the end and am really chuffed with the results.
A photo posted by The DADventurer (Dave) (@the_dadventurer) on
The table and chair set fits perfectly into the space on the lower level of decking. The fact that the stools fit underneath the chairs, which in turn fit underneath the table is awesome. This means that the footprint, when everything is stored away, is 120cm by 120cm – this is bigger than our old table, but but still allows enough room to walk around so doesn’t create dead space.
I really like the versatility of the cube set. Should we have a number of people around, we can use a combination of chairs, stools and bench along the fence – with Tasigne Bench Cushion we bought from Ikea for £28 – meaning we can fit between eight and ten people around the table. We don’t have gatherings like this too often, but the fact that we have the option of extending, without losing extra space, is fantastic.
If it’s just the missus, toddler and I, we just need to move one of the chairs and stools to make room for Toddler L’s high chair. The missus and I can then either sit on the bench so we don’t have to shift anything else, or we can take a more comfortable seat on the rattan chairs. All whilst the food cooks on our Outback BBQ which we bought a few years ago and nicely fits into the gap along the fence in between the end of the bench and start of the soil.
Each stool and chair also comes with a thick, removable cushion for comfort – although they’re still comfortable without. These too can be stored away within the cube set which is pretty ingenious. I really like the look of the table in our garden – the black matches the fences, balustrades, shed etc – and the contemporary design means that it’s not going to look dated in a few years time.
In the centre of the table, we have a Cambridge 2m Crack and Tilt Garden Parasol (RRP £54.99) which fits through the metal parasol holes and was was provided to us for review by Lakeland Furniture. As our garden is a proper suntrap, we wanted a good quality umbrella which would protect us from the sun when eating. Assembly of the parasol took seconds – all I needed to do was insert one pole into the other. My only slight complaint is that it is a bit more grey than the advertised cream.
We had a cheap umbrella with our old dining set, but it never really did the job. It let sunlight through, was cheaply made and couldn’t tilt. Our new parasol is totally different though – it feels really solidly made, provides great protection and has a crank and tilt design. This means that you use a crank handle to easily put the parasol up and down, but also a button which you can press to tilt the top of the parasol to help block out the sun.
Since having the garden done and getting this furniture, we’ve spend so much more time in the garden than in previous years. We’ve been enjoying playing, alfresco dining, BBQs and the occasional quiet beer in the evening when the toddler has gone to bed. Here’s to a lot more sunny days – cheers!
N.B. I was provided with the Garden Parasol by Lakeland Furniture, as well as a discount on the Rattan furniture, however all views are my own.[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_text=”Like what you’ve read? Want more? Pop in your email to get all of the latest posts.”]