Garden swing chairs have come a long way, offering comfort and fun for every budget — Amelia Thorpe picks out some of her favourites.
When talking about garden furniture, it’s hard to know whether you’re discussing a branch of interiors or a branch of gardening.
The reality is that it’s a bit of both. The best outdoor seating is all about extending your home into your garden in as comfortable and effortless a manner as possible.
Yet garden furniture can go places that only the bravest interior designer would ever dare venture in the form of the swing seat. These perennial favourites have come a long way from the sort of thing that you remember your grandparents having in the 1980s. The rickety contraptions of two generations ago have been replaced by plush, beautifully-made and upholstered pieces, as this Old Rocker from Odd demonstrates.
There are plenty of simpler options if you think that might be a little much — take the beautifully clean lines of the Sitting Spiritually three-seater, finished in a tasteful Farrow & Ball paint:
If neither the simple nor the plush is quite right for your home, there are even perfect half-way-house options such as Matthew Tradgett’s swing bench, effortlessly stylish without taking the focus away from the beauty of its garden surrounds:
Such swing seats, while beautiful and practical, have real competition in the form of some of the more avant garde designs out there. The image at the top of this page shows the beautiful Armadillo swinging sofa, a delightful bubble of comfort to hang from a convenient tree somewhere in your garden. Beautiful.
The eagle-eyed readers will have noticed something on this page: all the swing seats featured here are priced at several thousand pounds. And why we’d always counsel that garden furniture is something where quality is worth paying for, we can understand if you balk at the idea of letting your paint/jam/mud-splattered children or grandchildren go bananas on a piece that cost the same as a second-hand car.
The answer to that conundrum is the Cacoon hanging chair from The Chelsea Gardener, a beautifully-simple device that’s capable of being comfortable for lounging and enormous fun for the kids. And at £275, it’s frankly something of a bargain that, for occasional use or a weekend home, looks just the ticket.