A Guide to Planning Outdoor Seating

Dated: 07/01/2020

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Sitting out by the fire pit. Burgers on the grill. Marshmallows ready for toasting. While many of our fun summer events are not happening this summer, enjoying the outdoors is one activity we can all enjoy. 

Whether you envision family night, a backyard getaway from the rest of the household, or are thinking to the future when you can invite more guests to your backyard, this guide can help you plan a welcoming outdoor seating area. 

Vision

Start with your vision. What do you want to accomplish with your outdoor seating?

  • A quiet space to relax on your own. 
  • A peaceful area to hang out with your family or as a couple. 
  • A space for a large number of people to gather together once social distancing is no longer required. 
  • A combination of these goals. 

Now imagine the activities taking place in this area. Are you:

  • Reading a book? 
  • Playing lawn games with guests?
  • Grilling out with your spouse and kids?
  • Having a glass of wine and an end-of-day chat with your spouse after the kids went to bed?
  • Hosting a gaggle of teenagers?
  • Doing a combination of the above activities?

Once you have thought through how you plan to use your space, you can begin to think about what other factors impact your seating choices. 

Factors

  • Comfort.

If you're planning to cozy up with a good book, that super sleek bench might not be your best bet. Try cushioned seating. You may want cushions just for the seats or for both the seat and the back of the chair/bench, depending on how you plan to use it. 

  • Convenience.

If you expect to be busy wrangling toddlers; driving teenagers here, there and everywhere; or working long hours, remembering to bring seat cushions inside or cover delicate furniture could be unrealistic. Consider hardier options. 

  • Maintenance.

If you do not enjoy seasonal/annual painting, washing, sealing of furniture, be sure to choose options that are easily maintained.

Options

Garden benches, bubble chairs, Adirondack chairs. There are many, many options out there for your outdoor seating area. Here are a few that sound appealing to us:

  • Hanging seats.

Hammocks, bubble chairs, and swinging seats can be ways to get both motion and comfort. Don't have a large tree near where you want to sit? No problem. Most hanging chairs can be purchased with stands. No tree required.

  • Built-in.

Built-in seating offers a sleek, unified appearance. Built-in seating is especially nice for smaller yards because it can use up less space. If you frequently move furniture around inside your house, you may find that you want to do the same outside. In that case, steer away from built-in seating that cannot be relocated easily. 

  • Around the tree bench.

An around-the-tree bench offers both seating AND tree protection. It's also a nice way to enjoy the shade. 

  • Storage benches.

We love the idea of a multi-use bench where you can store gardening tools, kids' toys, lawn games, or sports equipment.


We hope this guide helps you plan an outdoor seating area you can enjoy now and in the future.  

If there's anything LW Reedy can do for you and your family, whether it's tips about homecare or discussing housing market concerns, please reach out to us. 

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