We're well and truly into British Summer Time, everyone is getting excited for t-shirt weather, and this year hospitality businesses have been gearing up to re-open from mid April with outdoor seating areas. Having seen a bit of a surge in external area projects and consultations over the last couple of months, I thought it would be well worth doing a blog post on outdoor furniture ideas for any small business planning on creating a new outdoor seating/dining area for their hospitality space, or wanting to refurbish an existing one.
Commercial outdoor areas can be as simple or as detailed as you want, with plenty of different design elements and spatial planning to consider. Today I'm focusing on loose chairs and tables as these make up the foundation for any successful hospitality outdoor space.
But before we jump into all things outdoor furniture inspiration, here's a few nuggets of advice when deciding which commercial outdoor furniture to use in your outdoor seating area:
Think about how suitable the outdoor furniture material will be in certain weather conditions. Wood table tops always look great, but bear in mind that they will need regular maintenance like re-oiling to prolong their use and keep them looking nice and fresh. Powder coated metal finishes can give a layer of protection to outdoor furniture (as well as a fab range of colours), but if you're choosing darker colours like black this can make your outdoor furniture very hot if sat in direct sunlight all day, so that's another thing to think about. And if you've got cushions and seat pads for comfortable seating, make sure they're upholstered in a waterproof fabric or at the very least are removable so they can be stored indoors when required.
Speaking of storage, this is another important aspect to consider - what happens with your outdoor furniture when it's not in use like wet and cold seasons? Or even when it rains in the summer in the UK! For most small businesses ample storage space, particularly for outdoor furniture, is a luxury. So to maximise on what storage you have look for chairs that are stackable or foldable, and tables with a flip top design can also helps with space-saving storage. Some outdoor chairs can be stacked in higher numbers than others, so this might be a determining factor for your small business and its outdoor space. If you have outdoor furniture that needs to be brought in everyday when closing up - businesses like cafes that have outdoor seating on a public street - weight is definitely something to consider. Heavy or awkward shaped tables and chairs that need more than one person to lift are probably worth ruling out if this relates to your small business.
So here we are then, some commercial outdoor furniture below to help you with ideas and inspiration for your hospitality outdoor space.
Commercial outdoor chairs
01. I think we can all agree that this is a unique design for a wooden outdoor bench! What I really like about the Amaze Bench is the ergonomic shape and placement of the wooden slats that make up the seat and back. The overall look and finish oozes minimalist, contemporary luxury.
02. The Nolita range is potentially one of my favourite outdoor furniture collections manufactured by Pedrali, with a great variety of chair types to choose from in the range. There's also a good selection of colours to choose from and you can also order the chairs with seat pads. Overall it's a really versatile outdoor chair that will work well in any type of hospitality outdoor space.
03. The combination of the chair style and and its polypropylene i.e. plastic material really reminds me of the 'iconic' white plastic lawn chair (come on, you know the one). But the Tatami Armchair has a much nicer, fluid shape and has some really lovely muted colour options that make it look much more expensive than it actually is.
04. What's not to love about the Tribeca chair range. Just like the image above, you can create a really successful layout and outdoor area scheme for your hospitality business through the different colour options and various chair designs available in the range. I personally love the woven design to the seat and back.
05. Thanks to restaurants like Dalloway Terrace and some of The Ivy outdoor seating areas, the woven outdoor cafe chair design (like the Isabel Armchair shown above) has surged back into popularity in hospitality interiors over the last few years. And I don't think it'll be going away anytime soon.
06. The Mom Chair has a really lovely playful, contemporary design in a large variety of colours - there's lots of muted and neutral colours that make the chair look high-end contemporary in the right hospitality outdoor space. I really like the visual contrast between the round, tubular frame and the flat sheet seat and back with its striking linear cut-out design.
07. Getting all the summer time, holiday abroad feelings from the Emma Armchair with it's woven design. The included seat cushion is also available in a whole variety of fabric colours and patterns. The woven pattern to this outdoor chair looks and gives off high-end hospitality energy.
08. A great thing to know about the Capri Armchair above is how customisable its finishes are, meaning you can create a bespoke outdoor chair that's unique to your small business. The aluminium frame can be finished in any RAL colour you want, and there's so many upholstery patterns and colours to choose from.
09. If you want to be able to use a commercial chair that looks great both indoors and outdoors then something like the Agave Side Chair is a good shout, allowing you a seamless transition from indoor seating to outdoor seating at your small business.
Commercial outdoor tables
01. The Darwin Flip Top Table comes in a square or round table top and (as its name suggests) is also a flip top, making it is much easier to store in winter months or if you're a small business that needs to store its outdoor furniture inside at the end of each day. It's no-fuss design allows it to integrate into any hospitality outdoor space.
02. I think the selling point for me with the Cambi Round Table is the large table top sizes available and it's sturdy base design, minimising any risk of it toppling over from being top-heavy or when there's strong winds. With quick-changing weather conditions in the UK, it's always worth factoring it in when choosing outdoor furniture for your small business!
03. It's not often you come across an outdoor coffee table with a ceramic top. As well as the different ceramic top finishes to choose from, I also like that the Terramare Coffee Table comes in three different sizes of varying height so they can be placed closely together in a tiered formation (as shown in the image above).
04. I absolutely love the perforated metal base to this Arena Coffee Table - it gives a really nice contemporary feel to it. There's so many powder coated colours to choose from, you can even choose a porcelain top finish if you wanted to. Plus, there's a good range of table top sizes.
05. Another flip top table perfect for storage when not in use. I really like the four-leg base design and the over-emphasized round corners to the table top edge, giving the Grace Flip Top Table a playful aesthetic.
06. Nothing says statement outdoor furniture like this Heaven Dining Table. I love that it has a glass top (you don't see that all too often in commercial outdoor furniture, it feels very fancy), as well as being able to purchase it with a typical metal top finish.
07. Okay so I seem to be a bit of a sucker for a unique table base design! As well as the feature table base, the Paradiso Table also has a square top version and much like the Arena Coffee Table has so many colour finishes to choose from, so you're bound to find one that works perfectly for your hospitality business and outdoor space.
08. I really love the clean, minimalist design to the Linear Metal Table, and the interesting detail of the table top being formed with two separate pieces. It's available in a couple of fun colours as well as the off-white shown in the image above, and you can also get a matching metal bench in the same range, finishing off the minimal, high quality look.
09. And last but not least, this lovely teak table top finish to the Copenhagen Teak Table. It looks really high quality and also has a relaxed, understated feel to it - I think it's the fact that the table top is made up of individual planks rather than one solid table top.
So there's some commercial outdoor furniture inspiration and advice for you! If you have a favourite chair or table from those above let me know in the comments, I always love to know what you think. I've also published some other hospitality interiors related blog posts, like 9 wooden side chairs that cost less than £150 each, if you need some more interior inspiration and tips for your hospitality business.
If you are to looking to create an outdoor space with plenty of impact for your small business with fixed joinery/structures, lighting and planting etc and need more guidance, we can bounce ideas off each other and discuss your space in detail with a one-to-one consultation. If you're interested in working together just get in touch.
Cover image by Ricardo Lucon via Pexels. All other image credit courtesy of The Contract Chair Co.