Ideal Home Newsletter
The Home Of Great Ideas For More Than 100 Years
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'Tis the season to set up and enjoy your outdoor space as the days get longer and warmer. Finding the right garden seating ideas for your area will make all the difference in terms of stye, comfort and practicality.
Whether you're looking to provide seating for outdoor kitchen ideas, relaxed entertaining zones or quiet nooks to relax, there are options to make sure you get what you need. There's a plethora of styles to explore, from traditional benches and dining sets, to corner sofas, egg chairs and in-built solutions.
When choosing seating for your garden, terrace or balcony, it's key to first assess your needs. What zone is the seating for, how many people would you like to accommodate, and what mood would you like to achieve. For example, a bistro set, however sweet, won't allow you to cater for large numbers. While a couple of large, plush sofas take up too much space if you're trying to create a space simply for yourself.
Garden seating ideas
Sit back, relax, and explore a plethora of garden ideas that will make the most of your space through seating.
1. Integrate seating with raised beds
Save space while simultaneously creating good looking garden ideas. Make your raised beds work harder by building on benches, providing you with seats without using up much extra square footage.
You can take things a step further by working in waterproofed storage underneath the seating, perfect for tidying away cushions and blankets.
Make sure to plant sweet smelling flowers or herbs in the beds so you have an atmospheric aroma, or on-the-go drink garnishes.
2. Create a cohesive scheme
Stylish schemes aren't just for interiors, so make sure your garden has a theme, too. Learn how to choose outdoor furniture to work out what you need and where. Then link together different seating types or areas by limiting to a restrained colour palette and using the same materials throughout.
For added impact you could even plant using these same colourways.
3. Take it low
Not every space needs, or responds well to, a dramatic seating moment. Low stone walls and garden borders are perfect for adding a simple wooden bench. This type of design works well with narrow or small garden ideas, but can also offer additional seating zones in larger spaces.
4. Create a flexible space
When choosing your garden seating ideas it can feel like a toss up between fitting everything in and still leaving room outdoors. If you have a shed or garage for storage, you can get more flexible with your plans. An in-built bench works wonders year round. Then, when you're ready to host summer soirees, add in a table and outdoor dining chairs. You'll get everything you want, whenever you need it.
5. Mix and match
For a fun and eclectic vibe, enjoy mixing and matching different colours and materials. Metal chairs, wooden benches, raffia pouffes can all sit together to create a relaxed space. Ensure they don't seem too disparate from one another by linking with similar soft furnishings, like cushions and throws.
If you're a little nervous about this style of garden seating ideas, perhaps simply mix colour or material to dip your toe in the trend.
6. Create a border with your seating
Double up your outdoor seating with garden edging ideas. This will visually separate different zones in the garden, while also providing a place to rest. Choose or build a bench to match the shape of your borders to make this addition feel organic.
7. Choose informal dining furniture
Let your furniture choices dictate how you use the garden, by choosing a more informal and laid-back dining table with a corner sofa sets the scene for casual dining. A comfy corner sofa at the dining tables helps to make the area feel more inviting at alternative times of the day – not such while you're serving lunch or dinner.
8. Make multipurpose seating work for your outdoor space
If you have a small garden or are looking for budget garden ideas, opt for multipurpose seating solution such as pouffes and floor cushions. They can be used as extra seating when required but remain useful as alternative accessories - a footstool is the perfect accompaniment to a garden armchair, to pop feet up and enjoy a snooze in the sunshine.
9. Swing in style with a fashionable egg chair
Hanging chairs are the dream for achieving a feeling of complete relaxation. When you take a seat in a suspended chair you are quite literally taking the weight off, creating a sense of floating – and when you close your eyes that sense can be heightened. In a garden this calming feeling is enhanced by the sounds and sights of being surrounded by nature.
A smart idea, as seen here, is to concealed the frame within a planted border to add to visual effect of the chair freely floating in the space. Great for small gardens, as the free flowing space beneath the chair helps to make it feel less imposing.
10. Build a brick banquette
One good way to incorporate seating into grassless garden ideas without it taking up a lot of space is to make it part of a retaining fence or wall. If it's a fence, you could build a simple bench in a matching wood stain. And if it's brick, you can build a more substantial banquette, topped with stone slabs and cushions for comfort.
11. Build seating around a fire pit
Build a seating area around a fire pit, and you'll be able to lounge around for longer on summer nights. Build a central fire pit a safe distance from where you wish to place your seating, whether that be a built-in pallet corner sofa (like the one above) or existing outdoor furniture which can be placed against the wall.
The easiest way to make your patio space feel like an outdoor living room is to mirror the layout of an indoor living room. Choose a central point of focus, using the fire pit instead of a fireplace, to place a sofa and a matching armchair opposite each other.
Keep things simple with a set of sleek grey garden furniture. However, grey doesn't have to mean boring. Add a pop of colour with accent cushions in neon yellow and navy blue, pair with a woven orange blanket for those chilly evenings.
13. Use a quite corner to carve out a reading nook
An arbour placed in the corner of a garden creates the perfect place to escape and loose yourself in a good book. Choose a design where you can encourage climbing plants to grow around the frame, to enhance the feeling of being immersed within the garden. Paint the structure an on-trend dark shade to make the surrounding greenery really standout.
14. Make the most of every available space
Make the most out of every alcove in your garden by building in a bench between two flower beds. Surround the little bench with gorgeous scented plants to make this the perfect place to hide away with a good book, stimulated by nature.
A few lanterns won't go amiss, either, allowing you to enjoy the space as dusk settles.
15. Cleverly use courtyard corners
Use every inch of outdoor space to its full potential with clever seating ideas. A courtyard area has the potential to feel quite enclosed, simply by the nature of surrounding brick walls.
Using clever corner seating will not only use the space most effectively, the high-back design will also hide a large portion of the imposing walls.
16. Furnish your decking
We all love a garden deck, but unless there's some carefully placed garden furniture on it, the chances are we're not actually going to spend too much time on it. Cue a humble wooden garden bench, a few choice homeware accessories and the addition of some day-to-night lighting. And voilà, you've got a usable outdoor seating space that you can truly call your own.
17. Build your own pallet sofa
If you're always humming that DIY ditty 'If I Had a Hammer', this could be the way to go. It's surprisingly easy to learn how to build palette furniture and it also costs very little compared to off-the-shelf solutions. Plus, it can be configured to seat as many – or as few – as you and your space dictates.
DIY stores like Homebase and B&Q will sell everything you need to get going – including those all-important seat pads. Our top tips? Sand carefully to prevent splintering and always coat your finished seats in a protective stain so they'll look just as good next summer.
18. Relax in style on a modern lounger
Faded yellow plastic loungers? No thank you. Sophisticated dark wood teamed with dark grey upholstery and a hooked-up pillow that won't move out of position for an all-together classier and more comfortable recliner. Surround yourself with potted plants so you ca truly immerse yourself in the lush greenery of your garden... and relax!
19. Commandeer a corner with a quaint bench
Thoughtfully use every corner of your garden, such an otherwise wasted space in a corner by popping in a bench and plenty of potted shrubs to add colour and foliage.
The combination of trailing plants and pretty blooms helps to create a secluded, tranquil corner. Adding a small coffee tables creates a welcome space to sit and take five minutes with a cup of tea, appreciating a view of garden beyond.
Dress the bench with cushions, to add a decorative touch as well as comfort.
20. Set up a breakfast nook with a bistro set
We think it's a good idea to set up a few different seating areas around a larger garden, so you can enjoy different aspects of your space throughout the day. Take advantage of the sun first thing in the morning and pick a bright spot where you can place a bistro table and chairs. OJ and avocado on toast, coming right up.
21. Nail casual entertaining with a sofa set
Capitalise on a corner with an L-shaped sofa where you and friends can take in the whole garden. Add a chiminea and blankets so that you can enjoy the space long into the evening without a chill spoiling your fun. This is the perfect type of seating to retreat to after enjoying garden bar ideas.
22. Make outdoor dining the focus
In a long, thin plot, accommodating a dining table can be tricky. But if you love to host with garden party ideas, there's an argument to make your table the focal point of the garden. Here, raised beds enclose the area for a cosier feel. It's a good idea to plant scented flowers nearby, alongside herbs that can be picked fresh to use as garnishes.
23. Set up a casual garden office
You might not want to go the whole hog and use your office as a shed – we need somewhere to store her tools and lawnmower, after all. But you could set up a small table and chair on the patio for impromptu studying. Keep your back to a busy plot so you're not distracted by gardening jobs to do.
24. Fill the floor with cushions
You don't need lots of space or lots of money to incorporate more garden seating. Here, a shed has been commandeered as a bohemian sitting room, with cushions and stools scattered around so that there are multiple spots to settle down in and relax, in both the sun and the shade.
25. Use seating to add colour
Enjoy an evening drink a deux in armchairs that pop as brightly as your most colourful flowers. Clash if you can – either with a contrasting coffee table or cushions and throws – for more fun and drama.
26. Pop a bench in a narrow spot
Go old school with a bench, especially handy in small outdoor spaces. You never know when you might need a quick five-minute break after a strenuous gardening session, so a bench offers a convenient spot where you can a breather.
Pop it in shade – under a tree or against an external wall – so that you can stay cool. The table next to this bench doubles as a drinks cooler, handy for keeping some thirst quenchers ready and waiting, too.
27. Squeeze more people in on benches
A bistro set is an obvious choice for a small balcony or courtyard garden. However, as most come with only two seats, three instantly becomes a crowd. Switch in some benches, however, and suddenly you have room to host four or more. It's cosy, yes, but definitely more fun.
28. Install a sheltered seating area
Take advantage of a neglected part of your garden by installing a gazebo for gossiping with the girls (or boys), away from the main house – it will provide shelter from showers or bright sunlight, making it a useful garden shade idea too.
Teenagers might also appreciate a spot where they can chat with friends without Mum or Dad or younger siblings interrupting.
29. Paint to protect and repurpose
If your budget is tight try this nifty upcycling idea. Repurpose a dining table and chair set to provide the perfect spot for dining alfresco, all it need is the right paint to protect it from the elements. Prepare the wood with a clean and primer (if required) before adding your chosen colour to give the set a new lease of life for a garden patio.
30. Set the scene for a snooze with a day bed
Place a traditional day bed in a secluded spot of the garden for the ideal place outdoors to take an afternoon siesta. Line the iron bed frame with comfy cushions, showerproof fabrics would be ideal, to make it irresistible for spending an afternoon relaxing in the garden. Store it in shelter during prolonged rainy spells, to prevent the frame from rusting.
What is a garden seat?
A garden seat is technically a seat in your garden! However, there is much more available than simple folding wooden chair.
'If you are looking to entertain family and friends, you are likely to opt for more casual dining options over a traditional dining set,' suggests Tim Penell, Head of Sales & Marketing, Bramblecrest (opens in new tab). 'These offer the versatility of dual height tables (simple to switch from coffee to dining height) or consider a set with a firepit table and feel warm long after sunset.'
'If you are looking for outdoor furniture for summer pool parties, then why not serve cocktails from one of our bar sets or keep the beer chilled with an ice bucket coffee table?
Lounging is of course an essential part of summer living – furniture options include daybeds, loungers and recliner sets.'
How big should garden seating be?
'If you’re limited on space, don’t think that you’re limited for choice,' says Francesca Hadland, Product & Content Executive, Bridgman (opens in new tab). 'Look for smart, space-saving flexible furniture like stackable chairs, bar stools and even loungers that can be stacked on top of each other and stored away when not in use. Pair with a foldable table for a set you can effortlessly move to one side whenever you choose.'
'If you’ve got a larger space to work with, choose a beautiful dining set with enough seats to comfortably host your loved ones. Or, configure your perfect modular sofa arrangement to make the most of your patio or decking area.'
'For tricky spaces, think outside the box. For long, narrow gardens, consider placing your furniture diagonally to suit the space better. Or, embrace this year’s contemporary, curvaceous garden furniture favourite with a curved modular sofa set that fits into unusual spaces.'
One of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of establishing boundaries is to take advantage of existing structures, such as your home or garage, to define the perimeters of a seating area. You can also create boundaries using plants or built elements, such as fences, arbors, trellises, or screens.What is a garden seat called? ›
Garden benches are similar to public park benches, but are longer and offer more sitting places.How do you build a seating area on grass? ›
How fab are these chairs. So this particular makeover the homeowner wanted a Vegas side seriously.How should I set up my garden? ›
- Site it right. Starting a garden is just like real estate it's all about location. ...
- Follow the sun. ...
- Stay close to water. ...
- Start with great soil. ...
- Consider containers. ...
- Choose the right plants. ...
- Discover your zone. ...
- Learn your frost dates.
- Install a built-in barbecue.
- Splash out on an outdoor shower.
- Create a shady spot.
- Add privacy with a living screen.
- Warm up the space with outdoor heating.
- Mix Up Your Seating Plan. ...
- Catch Your Customer's Eye. ...
- Find Zen With Water. ...
- All Of The Lights. ...
- Dividing Walls. ...
- Music Makes the Vibe. ...
- Bring the Bar Outside. ...
- BBQ in Full Effect.
Garden furniture, also called patio furniture or outdoor furniture, is a type of furniture specifically designed for outdoor use. It is typically made of weather-resistant materials such as aluminium which is rust-proof.What height should a garden seat be? ›
Garden seats should be around 45cm above ground level to produce a comfortable sitting height. Allow 45cm as a minimum for the seat depth if the seat includes a back support.How wide should a garden seat be? ›
Width and Depth
When it comes to the bench's width, there aren't many set guidelines except a starting point. The bench should be at least 51 inches wide if you plan on having two people sit on the bench, but it can be 60 inches or more.
Choose Light Flexible Outdoor Furniture
Whether you're looking for a lounger or a whole garden sofa, bean bags will not sink into the grass. Plus, they're so light you can pick them up and chase the sun and conversation around the garden. The fabric doesn't rot if it gets wet and it's wipe clean.
Use furniture sunscreen.
If your furniture is metal or plastic, apply an even coat of outdoor furniture protector (a paint brush can make this job easier). If your furniture is wood, regular ol' paint is the best way to protect it from the sun.
Garden furniture is best placed on a firm, flat, even surface such as stone pavers or a timber deck. This will provide it with the stability our tables and chairs need. Nobody likes to sit on a wobbly chair or put drinks down on a rocky table.What makes a good garden design? ›
Symmetry and balance are two of the most important dimensions in a formal garden, along with geometric shapes within a simple planting design. Decide on your shape and keep repeating this shape throughout the garden, whether it is flower beds, paths, water, or the space between these elements.What are the 7 steps to landscape design? ›
- Plants should match your site. This is the most important element in developing a successful landscape. ...
- Succession of Bloom. ...
- Forms and Textures. ...
- Interesting Lines. ...
- Complementary Colors. ...
- Intentional Plant Height. ...
- Perennial and annual weed control.
Grid lines drawn at 45 degrees can be used as a guideline to design the garden. Rectangular themes are the most popular and widely used. They are adapted to give a formal look to the garden.How do you relax outdoor space? ›
- Clear the Clutter. ...
- Take Advantage of a View. ...
- Comfortable Seating. ...
- A Water Feature. ...
- Shade. ...
- The Right Landscaping. ...
- Design a More Inviting Patio or Deck. ...
- Create Privacy.
- Plan The Space. The first step is to measure your yard and make a plan. ...
- Create Distinct Zones. ...
- Create a Focal Point. ...
- Choose the Right Trees and Plants. ...
- Use Vertical Gardens. ...
- Play with Texture. ...
- Create Curves.
Good woods for an outdoor bench include cedar, pine or teak. Natural cedar and pine often become gray with age unless sealed or painted. They can last for years if maintained properly. Teak is a perfect choice for outdoor benches because of its high oil content that makes it resist rot and insects.What colours make a garden look bigger? ›
Light, cool-coloured paint shades in a garden colour scheme will make a small space feel larger, whereas bright, hot colours and darker shades will have a dwarfing effect. The same applies with plants.What furniture is best for outdoor? ›
Go for Easy-Care Outdoor Furniture
Most metal, teak, cedar, and all-weather wicker pieces can stand up to whatever nature throws their way.
Wrought Iron is one of the most durable and longest lasting type of outdoor furniture available, many times lasting decades. Truly an investment that keeps on giving, wrought iron furniture is also the heaviest frame.What is the hardiest outdoor furniture? ›
Opt for stainless or powder-coated steel for it's tough and rust-resistant properties. Cast aluminium is also a hard-wearing metal, however, look out for pieces with a powder-coated finish as this will improve the durability.What direction should rows go in a garden? ›
Most folks agree that planting north-south is marginally better, with the rationale running as follows: When rows run east-west, a tall crop in a south row can easily shade out a shorter crop in the next row north.How do you space rows in a garden? ›
Most experienced gardeners like to keep wide rows to no more than 3 feet wide to ensure that you can easily reach the center of the row from both sides. Keep at least 18 inches of space between the wide rows to provide access; 2 to 3 feet is even better.How far apart do you space rows in a garden? ›
For most tillers, rows should be at least 36 inches wide. This way you can go back between the rows and lightly cultivate for weed control until the crop starts to fill in between the rows. For most crops such as beans, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, okra, peas and squash, 36-inch row spacing would be the minimum.What makes a seat comfortable? ›
As a general rule, for a chair to be comfortable, it should have adjustable features, including seat height and depth, forward tilt, armrests and headrests, as well as lumbar support. Seat materials should provide adequate support for the lower back and promote a healthy posture.How deep should a garden bench seat be? ›
The depth of a standard bench seat is approximately between 15 and 20 inches but as with other dimensions, the depth you will require for your bench seat can depend on who the bench will be used by – i.e. a bench seat for young children may require a smaller depth in order to be comfortable.What size garden is considered large? ›
|Individual||100 square feet|
|Average Family||300-500 square feet|
|Large Family (5+)||600-800 square feet|
|Religious Family (8+)||1000+ square feet|
Cast Aluminium is a very strong choice for patio furniture, especially if it has been coated with a powder coated finish, as it will not fade or rust. Aluminium furniture requires very little maintenance in comparison with other metal furniture, as well as being much lighter and easier to move around.How do you keep garden furniture from rotting? ›
If the feet are really rotten you could try some wood wet rot hardener. And also some wood filler.
Of course, the easy way to prevent any damage or sinking is to use another material. If cost is the reason for choosing gravel, then pair it with a couple of pavers or decking panels where you want to place the seating. Not only will it solve the problem, but mixing materials can make a real statement if done right.What can I use as an outdoor table top? ›
- Sealed wood. Either pre-sealed or sealed for water after purchase, choosing durable and water-resistant wood can make a beautiful outdoor tabletop.
- Teak wood. ...
- Glass. ...
- Plastic. ...
- Stone. ...
Furniture made of weather-resistant materials and accents that you can easily clean are a must. Look for metals like aluminum and steel, woods like teak and cedar, and all-weather wicker rattan. They're durable, rust-resistant, and can last for years with the right care.How can I brighten my outdoor furniture? ›
- In a bucket, mix 1:3 detergent-to-water solution using warm water.
- Use a soft rag to gently spot-clean each scuff mark until clear.
- Use a garden hose to rinse off excess detergent solution.
- Allow patio furniture to air dry before use.
- Don't Over Fertilize. Fertilizers should really only be used when there is a nutrient deficiency in the soil. ...
- Don't Use Synthetic Fertilizers. ...
- Don't Plant in Too Much Shade. ...
- Don't Use Broad Spectrum Pesticides.
No matter how small yours is, it can provide a space for growing flowers, harvesting a kitchen garden or simply relaxing on a sun lounger. A sprawling country garden full of flowers would be ideal, but even having a small garden, balcony or tiny roof terrace can provide solace in spades.› special › spaces ›
Summer Garden Furniture Trends – Selecting Furniture For Garden ...
Patio furniture ideas – pretty ways to furnish your patio
16 Patio Furniture Ideas to Make Your Backyard a Destination
- Choose your decorative gravel.
- Mark out the area for your gravel patio.
- Excavate the area for your gravel patio to at least 5 inches deep.
- Prepare any edging or border detail.
- Compact the base and add a layer of Type 1 MOT crushed limestone.
- Add a layer of weed prevention membrane.
So I'm going to make a garden bench it's stylish and sturdy and most importantly it's inexpensiveCan I build a garden room myself? ›
There are a few garden room companies who alongside their full installation projects, also offer their designs as self-build kits. This can be a safe way of self-building, as you are working with a tried and tested building system.
You'll start building the benches by attaching deck tie brackets to each four by four posts. OneHow long should a garden bench be? ›
How long are benches? On average, bench length can range from 42 and 60 inches (107-152 cm). A bench within the 42 to 50 inch (127 cm) range is able to seat two people.What should I put down before gravel? ›
Landscape fabric is perfect for applications like gravel pathways and driveways where strength is important. The primary way to add strength when constructing a gravel pathway or driveway is to install fabric on the graded ground underneath the aggregate.Should landscape fabric go under gravel? ›
Should landscape fabric go under gravel? Yes. Putting landscape fabric under gravel isn't a requirement, but it is recommended. When used under gravel, it provides all the positives of weed control and added stability, without any of the negatives.How do you make a simple outdoor bench seat? ›
And then putting in the next. Now I could have made the entire platform. And then put the legs inWhat is best to use on garden bench? ›
It's perfect for maintaining new garden furniture. It penetrates into the wood, replacing the natural oils that are lost through weathering. This stops the wood from cracking and splitting.
For this project we used a couple of two by fours three quarter inch white oak plywood a strip ofWhat is the maximum size for a garden room? ›
You may build without planning permission if your garden room is located more than 20 metres from your main building and less than 10m x 10m in size. You may build a garden room larger than 10m x 10m with planning permission.Can a garden room be too big? ›
According to regulations, a garden room must not exceed 2.5m in height (if within 2m of a boundary) or cover more than 50% of the land around the original house. So, if you are looking to build a larger bespoke garden room, you may need to apply for planning permission with your local council.How do I build a garden with no money? ›
- Be on the lookout for plant swaps. ...
- Shop for plants in the off-season. ...
- Start from seeds. ...
- Save seeds. ...
- Accept cuttings from friends. ...
- Build a raised bed from found materials. ...
- Make your own soil amendments. ...
- Find free mulch.