Flexible furniture for small spaces

by Rhiannon James

The Kama collection from Ego Paris

Eating, drinking, cooking, working, playing – there’s a lot to fit into a small outdoor space. So when it comes to furniture, every piece has to work hard for its place. These nifty multitaskers do just that. From dining sets which turn into lounging furniture, to tables with built-in barbecues, all these products do more than one job, so you can make the most of the garden, whatever the occasion.

Multi-functional Furniture

If you’re looking to save on space, go for furniture that can adapt to the occasion.

  1. These green oak blocks can double up as extra seating or side tables, £179 each from Ingarden, www.ingarden.co.uk, 01732 832299
  2. The Kama Quattro Modular Table by Ego Paris has four fold-out sections for a seamless transition from drinks to dining, £3,135 from Leisure Plan, www.leisureplan.co.uk, 01279 816001
  3. Whip the detachable cushion from this Autograph Monaco footstool and, hey presto, it’s a coffee table, £299 (seat pad sold separately) from Marks & Spencer, www.marksandspencer.com, 0845 609 0200
  4. The hard-working Vasò can be used as a stool, coffee table, storage space or vase, €119 from Area Declic, www.areadeclic.com, 0039 0432 937065,
  5. In the same range, the Maxò 1 works as a chair or a table, €346 from Area Declic, www.areadeclic.com, 0039 0432 937065.

This National Trust Garden Collection dining set, designed by Gaze Burvill transforms into a coffee table and bench with just one turn, £1,100 for the set or £900 for the Turning Table / Seat and £450 for the Turning Bench / Low Table when bought individually, from Gaze Burvill, www.gazeburvill.com, 01420 588444.

Hidden Warmth

Everyone’ll want a seat at these tables once the flames get going.

  1. The Cole Henley Six Seater Barbecue Table features two in-built gas burners, perfect for communal cooking, £2,600 and Three Seat Bench, £700 from John Lewis www.johnlewis.com, 08456 049 049
  2. When there’s a chill in the air, lift the lid on this table, and you’ve got a firepit ready to go. The Murcia Firepit Table costs £99 from B&Q, www.diy.com, 0845 850 0175
  3. The Revolver Firepit BBQ comes with a cooking grill and a bamboo wood lid so it can be used as a barbecue, firepit or side table, £168  from Heal’s, www.heals.co.uk, 08700 240780
  4. The firepit / barbecue in the centre of this table can be swapped for an ice bucket to chill drinks. The Hartman Jamie Oliver Fire Pit Set also includes four chairs with sand-coloured cushions, around £1,099.99, stockist details are available from Hartman’s website, www.hartmanuk.com

Bright Ideas

There’s no need to bother with lamps if you can just switch on your furniture when the sun goes down.

  1. The Pentium Coffee Table, £149  and
  2. Stool, £129 have remote-controlled internal LEDs which can cycle through seven different colours or be paused on a favourite shade, from Marks & Spencer, www.marksandspencer.com, 0845 609 0200
  3. As well as lighting up the garden, the Cuub can be used as a stool or as a side table, £100 from Habitat, www.habitat.co.uk, 0844 499 4686
  4. The Pure Soft High Light planter, by Elho, is suitable for both outdoor and indoor use, £190 from Posh Patio, www.poshpatio.co.uk, 0845 603 4575
  5. This Solar Planter, which glows white, is also available in a colour-changing version, £23.48 from B&Q, www.diy.com, 0845 850 0175


Planting Potential

Squeeze some extra greenery into the garden with these plant-friendly possibilities.

  1. Half barbecue, half herb planter, the Black + Blum Barbecue and Herb Hot Pot looks like a traditional terracotta pot when it’s not being used for cooking, £99 from John Lewis www.johnlewis.com, 08456 049 049
  2. Not only is the Bloem 1 planter useful for screening, it also lights up at night, € 1,245 from Bysteel, www.bysteel.it, 07771 985765
  3. Made from lacquered aluminium, the Eneo table has a planter set into its centre, € 2,200 from Bysteel, www.bysteel.it, 07771 985765
  4. Sit amongst flowers with this Double Planter Bench made from roble wood, £399 from John Lewis www.johnlewis.com, 08456 049 049

Secret storage

To make clutter disappear, try a bench or table with hidden storage space.

  1. This Pine Garden Storage Bench has a spacious cavity under the seat, £155 from Great Little Trading Co., www.gltc.co.uk, 0844 848 6000
  2. This small outdoor table handily doubles up as a storage box. The Beehive Storage Table costs £124.95 from Sparrow & Finch, www.sparrowandfinch.co.uk, 01892 861202
  3. Lift up the seat to find the Lyon Two Seat Bench’s secret stashing place, £189.99, www.greenfingers.com, 0845 345 0728



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