Alexander Rose are one of the companies leading the way in designing outdoor furniture that's both contemporary and practical. Several of their collections such as the San Marino furniture range features single sofas for two or three people, and the Ocean furniture range which offers a corner version. They are handsomely designed with synthetic rattan upholstery, generous cushioning and a strong corrosion free aluminium frame.

Basket weave with a tubular frame is used for their Rose Cordial furniture range, this is classic summer furniture that's available in three colours, and the Monte Carlo furniture range is modular with several pieces that can be used in combination to build an attractive set. Something completely different is the Alexander Rose Ocean Wave Relax Hut complete with scatter cushions, its pyramid shape stretches to the sky and you could easily picture it on a tropical beach.

The modular Aura range from Barlow Tyrie creates a very contemporary styled six seater corner sofa, while their Equinox outdoor furniture consists of a two and three-seater settees boasting a modern angular appearance. Both aluminium and stainless steel are used for their frames and cushion covers are manufactured with water repellent Sunbrella or Textilene which are available in a huge selection of colours and are very easy to keep clean

For the ultimate in outdoor relaxation you might choose the fabulously designed Barlow Tyrie daybed in 'straw' or the darker 'Java' colour schemes, both supremely comfortable and shaped similar to a sculptured shell, or perhaps a Chaise Longue, either single or double, that offers undoubted comfort and represents the epitome of elegant relaxation.

Rowlinson offer several complete wicker upholstered sets starting with the four piece Saigon Coffee Set that includes a central hardwood table. Their Thornbury, Bunbury, Hanoi furniture ranges are comfortable corner sets with deep-cushioned sofas, stools and glass top tables, perfect to sit around on sunny days enjoying the company of family or friends. For more formal dining you'll probably choose the Manhattan dining set which has a wide table, again glass-topped, accompanied by six classically styled padded dining wicker chairs

A teak framed settee is in Westminster's range, Signature has a delightful pyramid daybed while another company to consider is Life Outdoor Living with three notable sets with a mixture of modern all weather materials and sophistication. They feature wicker and powder coated aluminium together with cushions that benefit from new fabric technology that allows rainwater through rather than retaining it.