Etiquette expert on the garden buys which make you look tacky & it’s bad news if you’ve got an egg chair or fire pit

MANY of us have been sprucing up our gardens during lockdown and making them perfect for outdoor entertaining.

But etiquette expert William Hanson has pointed out the items that can make your home look “tacky” – but how many do you agree with?

They may be all the rage in Love Island, but gathering around a fire pit for a summer catch up may be a tad common, says the expert. 

And forget egg chairs loved by Mrs Hinch – as these are also to be avoided. 

You may wish to check this list before you head to B&Q or B&M to spruce up your pad this year.

Here, William Hanson shares his views on some of the most popular trends of 2021….

Egg chairs


Any form of chair, ovular or not, suspended from a chain is probably not a good idea after a year of reduced exercise due to lockdown.  

We all know what is going to happen at some point. Snap!

You’ll fall to the ground, the thing will break and you’ll have egg chair all over your face. 

To paraphrase George Orwell: four legs, good – one chain, bad. 

Fire pits

As if the barbecue wasn’t Neanderthal enough for most men, enter the fire pit. 

The smarter set will simply add a sensible fleece or heavy jumper if they are outside and getting cold. 

Furniture made from free pallets

These are very clever pieces of furniture to get if you don’t like your friends and family and wish for them to stop visiting. 

You may save on money but the biggest economy is on comfort, however well-cushioned you make them.

Outdoor rugs


These are one of the least offensive items on this list of al fresco sin. 

I’m not convinced they’d be seen in gardens at the smarter end of the scale but they are not as bad as, for example, hot tubs.

Hot tubs

I have said it many times before, and my position still stands.

There are few worse accusations one can level against someone than that they own, or aspire to own, a hot tub.  

The presence of a hot tub does not transform a nondescript-semi in the outskirts of Sheffield to a cosy chalet in Val d’isere.

Wooden pergolas

Another inoffensive garden item and one which is now seen in both up- and down-market gardens.  

If made from plain wood and not engraved with animals, lettering or indeed anything then they pass muster.  

They are a safe choice and even safer if you grow a climbing plant up it.

Fake grass

Anything fake or faux is always a no-no in terms of working out what is smart or not.  Unless they have a very good excuse (a near-fatal allergy to grass, perhaps) grass should always be the real deal. 

If you don’t want grass at all, go down the paved route.  

Use only old bricks or large flagstones, of course. 

If you get crazy paving you may as well be dancing with the devil. 

Patio stencilling

To start with, calling it a patio is the first social booby trap.  It’s a terrace or veranda.  

Patio sounds faintly mythic and socially sound people will have no idea what you’re talking about – or pretend not to.

Then we come to the stencilling.  

Just as with faux grass, if you want a greco-inspired terrace then rip the tiles up and put in the real deal, rather than waste time doing superficial stencils.

Patio stencilling is horticultural tattooing.  Enough said.

Outdoor cinema

This is a lovely idea.  In the south of France.  

British weather will not do anything to help families and friends congregate outside comfortably for the duration of a film.  

Avoid getting one unless you have more money than sense.

And unless you invest in wireless headphones for everyone, or live in the middle of nowhere, your filmic folly won’t win you any awards from neighbours.

We previously shared the top ten stylish items to transform your backyard.

And a woman transformed her garden into trendy chill out space for just £100 using bargains from Homebase.

 

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