Garden tables may be used for dining sometimes but, in the northern hemisphere where the season is short, outside tables have to earn their keep by looking good. In small gardens they may be the main visual focus apart from plants. In other words they need to look as good as a piece of sculpture – as well as being robust enough to live outside, support party-loving owners and, occasionally, make do as a garden workbench.
This table, and the matching chairs, are from a range called Heaven, by Jean Marie Massaud. Made from galvanised tubular steel, the table, which measures 75cm high and in diameter, has a 8mm toughened glass top and costs £1,091 ($1,781). The stackable chairs are 80cm high and cost £239 each. The company will ship worldwide.
One to Sit’s table, from its Naturals collection, is made in a choice of iron, copper or bronze. The iron finish will eventually rust to ochre while the copper will accumulate a green layer of verdigris. A rub of black wax to the bronze table gives a rich deep tone which accentuates its organic shape. The fibreglass construction makes the 4m-long table easy to move.
www.onetosit.nl, from €3,000 ($4,257)
Smania’s Nettuno’s honey-coloured teak table has sleek tapered legs on feet of stainless steel, reinforced with a steel plate. The top is divided into three pieces so that water can drain through, ensuring it does not warp – natural oils in the teak will also help protect the wood from rain damage. The Nettuno table is generously proportioned with a width of 100cm and length of 240cm, allowing seating for up to 10 people.
www.smania.it, from €2,832
Jason Champion’s art deco-inspired laser-cut aluminium table is powder-coated in a range of colours in either matt or gloss. The thick, tempered glass top is detachable, so the table is easy to clean and light to move. Lighting this piece at night creates deliciously spooky shadows.
www.jasonchampionoutdoor.com, from $4,500
Mexican designer Joel Escalona’s “V” outdoors table is constructed as a single folded metal frame. Handwoven, weatherproof and UV-resistant resin wicker is then applied to create a table that is strong, elegant and lightweight. There is a range of colours, from neutral grey or brown to vibrant pink, orange and green.
www.joelescalona.com, from $720
Timothy Schreiber’s award-winning E-volved table has cast stainless steel legs which have been hand-polished to form this highly reflective base. Table tops can be commissioned in either coloured or etched glass, though transparent glass allows for the most impressive view of the base.
www.fueradentro.com, from €4,800
The round table
Dirk Wynants of Extremis has created a table that encourages sociable dining. The Arthur table has a diameter of 2.4m which allows for conversation with the person directly opposite without the need to shout. Made of easy-to-clean, weather-resistant laminate, a central portion swivels, allowing for easier access. There are tables designed to seat eight, 10 or 12 people, and a parasol along with an oil-burning torch which can be installed at the centre.
www.extremis.be, from €3,480