John Slatter of Chairs and Tables on what to look for in outdoor furniture

 The top choice for outdoor furniture is teak, says John Slatter. ‘It is a very hardwearing wood – they make boats out of it,’ he says. ‘The deck of the Titanic was made of teak and it’s still there and intact.  It’s a very strong and durable timber and any stains or marks can be sanded out.’ Talking about the effects of weather on teak, John reveals that the wood only gets better with age.  ‘You don’t need to treat it as it goes a natural silvery grey over time.  You can leave it out for 20 years and take an electric sander to it to make it good as new.’ At Chairs and Tables all the teak is sustainably sourced, being grown on plantations in Indonesia, where the material has been produced for over 200 years.  There is a wide range of teak furniture from Chairs and Tables including the Turnworth table, which has a tabletop of concentric circles and boasts a lazy Susan on the larger models making it great for dinner parties.  Then there are the unusual Asmara garden chairs and sofas which come with waterproof seats and cushions that are completely washable. John’s top tip when buying outdoor furniture is to understand what you want to use it for.  ‘Extending tables are becoming especially popular because you can accommodate a few friends or a large supper party equally as well.’

 What’s so great about teak

Other advantages of teak furniture are:

  1. It doesn’t splinter or expand too much.
  2. Good quality teak won’t crack.
  3. It lasts at least 20 to 30 years.

 These factors mean that purchasing patio or garden furniture made from teak really is an investment. ‘You are paying extra at the point of sale,’ John says.  ‘But you’re getting something that will last.  On a per year basis, it’s good value for money.’

Taken from Suffolk Magazine April 2013