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Check out this guide for 20 superb garden seating ideas to truly bring your garden into the 21st century.

To prepare your garden for summer, you need to make sure your garden seating area is optimised to its fullest potential, for you and your guests. The right garden seating ideas can transform your garden, terrace, or balcony into a place of relaxation and outdoor enjoyment. In this article, you will learn about the best features to include in your garden seating areas to maximise space and storage, style, accessibility, and much more. 


1. Set Up a Casual Garden Office

garden seating ideas outdoor office

Did you know that you can also transform your garden seating area into a casual garden office?! This can easily be done using a table and wooden garden chairs in a style and aesthetic that suits you. Of course, this will be most effective in the summer when the weather is great and is bound to spark imagination to help you with your work. 

Position your workspace to face away from the rest of the garden, as this will help to minimise distractions.

2. Add Built-in Furniture

built in furniture for garden seating ideas

When maximising your outdoor space for garden seating ideas, especially on a small terrace, consider integrating modern outdoor furniture. For example, selective wooden garden lounge furniture is made from teak which enables it to withstand outdoor weather conditions all year round for long lasting results. 

You should also consider mixing in elements such as terrazzo-clad cushioned banquettes, and movable furniture. Ensure that the furniture that you integrate into your garden seating areas matches the height of other garden furniture to maintain functionality. The average garden built-in seat should be 15-17 inches high. 

3. Choose Informal Dining Furniture

informal dining for garden seating ideas

Sloane, E., (2023) Teak Oval Dining Set With Chairs. [online] Available at: https://www.gardenbenches.com/8-seater-extending-oval-table-set  [accessed 25/10/23] 

Your garden seating ideas can undoubtedly set the mood for you and your guests. For informal events, use laid-back dining tables paired as well as a corner sofa for a casual and inviting dining experience. A comfortable corner sofa adds warmth and allure to the area, creating an inviting ambiance throughout the day.

4. Customise a Retaining Wall

retaining wall for garden seating ideas

Don’t let a small garden limit your garden seating ideas. Therefore, you should divide your garden by introducing a retaining wall. For example, a white concrete retaining wall can be transformed into a customised seating area, which is perfect for all year-round use.

During winter, a garden wall can remain bare, but in the summer, add seat pads and backrests along it with a whimsical touch like a couple of charming flamingo garden ornaments, to create a tropical oasis for socialising or relaxation.

We recommend that you build furniture around the perimeter of small gardens, as this will make better storage solutions for your garden whilst keeping the centre open and flexible.

5. Create Bespoke Metal Industrial Seating

industrial seating for garden seating ideas

For a contemporary and distinctive garden focal point, use industrial metal seating. Galvanised steel tubes and clamps offer strength and a cool industrial vibe. Customise your garden with industrial seating that suits the aesthetic. 

Or why not try recycling scaffold boards to construct your own seats. Use our teak protection for your outdoor teak dining furniture.

6. Craft a Low Bench

low garden bench crafting for garden seating ideas

When designing your garden seating ideas, adequate seating and space saving is important to create the best results. A low wall, for example, can serve as a versatile bench, providing additional seating for garden events such as gatherings, parties, or a perch for children. When not in use, this bench can double down as a stylish ledge for potted plants, which will add a touch of greenery to your garden seating areas.

7. Balancing Hard and Soft Surfaces

hard and soft surfaces for garden seating ideas

While it’s convenient to have seating on a terrace next to the house, you should also consider adding more seating in sunny spots throughout the garden. Multiple garden seating ideas will help to cater for different moods throughout the day.

Make sure to be considerate when balancing hard and soft surfaces in your garden seating areas. Bring plants closer to the house and place seating within the garden to create an immersive experience. This will work just as effectively in small garden spaces too.

8. Vintage Style Aesthetics

vintage style aesthetics for garden seating ideas

You shouldn’t be afraid to get creative with your garden seating areas; after all, this trend has increasingly become more popular for gardens, and it is only going to get bigger. For instance, using garden bench cushions will make your outdoor seating more comfortable for relaxation in the summer. You should also try adding a low garden teak coffee table and a mirror for a more vintage style effect, as well as more character.

Check out a range of these garden accessories to mix up the style of your garden.

9. Bold Colour Palettes

bold colour palettes for garden seating ideas by mixing together flowers

Use bold colour palettes to add more vibrancy to your garden seating areas. Let your imagination run wild to make the colours last throughout all the seasons. This could be done by using bright coloured plants, or painting your garden fences and shed specific bold colours.

Consider dividing your outdoor space into various seating areas, not only for visual interest but also to match the aesthetic of your garden events. 

10. Coordinated Interior and Exterior Tones

coordinating interior and exterior tones for garden seating ideas

Sloane, E., (2023) Burford Teak Garden Large Lounge Set Cream. [online] Available at: https://www.gardenbenches.com/3-seater-wooden-garden-sofa-with-2-lounge-chairs-set [accessed 25/10/23]

For those that live in urban apartments with limited outdoor space, you should be more careful with your seating area planning. You could try making your small terrace a relaxing environment to chill in after work or during a sunny evening. Why not try bringing the inside furniture outdoors, as a lot of indoor furniture is often compatible with outdoor conditions too. 

These wooden garden furniture sets can easily be added to either inside your home, garden, or terrace. Be sure to efficiently coordinate your interior and exterior spaces to complement each other, including your decor as well.

11. Flower Beds

flower beds to decorate garden seating ideas

You don’t need to sacrifice greenery in your garden to save and maximise space. Instead, try decorating your garden with selective bouquets of flowers. Large planters at each end will provide additional room for greenery, while a slatted fence allows climbing plants to cascade. Take a look at these climbing plants for arches for further inspiration.

12. Choose Suitable Outdoor Fabrics

outdoor fabrics for garden seating ideas

When designing terraces with retaining walls, select sunnier or sheltered spots, whilst avoiding shaded areas. Add permanent outdoor seating, such as concrete benches, which will last all year-round. Make these benches as comfortable as possible, such as by adding stylish seat pads, backrests, and cushions. The cushions that you introduce should be durable, are light to carry, repel water, and are sustainable for long lasting use. 

13. Upcycle Wooden Seating

upcycling wooden features to improve garden seating ideas

Reviving your garden furniture can be done on a simple budget. Upcycling wooden pieces is a budget-friendly way to infuse your garden with rustic charm, as this will complement the natural beauty of the outdoors.

14. Corner Sofas To Curl Up On

corner sofas to spice up garden seating ideas

Sloane, E., (2023) Teak corner sofa garden furniture set. [online] Available at: https://www.gardenbenches.com/wooden-garden-corner-sofa-sets [accessed 25/10/23]

Elevate your garden seating areas with a wooden garden corner sofa that invites relaxation. Whilst you may usually find corner sofas indoors, a modern trend is to have them outdoors too, as it will increase vibrancy and leisure to your garden.

You could even try adding outdoor rugs and blankets alongside your corner sofas. Again, make sure that these will adapt to the outdoors, and add them under a sheltered area. 

15 Relax with Teak Sun Loungers

relax with teak sun loungers alongside garden seating ideas

Sloane, E., (2023) Teak reclining sun lounger on wheels. [online] Available at: https://www.gardenbenches.com/teak-reclining-sun-lounger-with-wheels [accessed 25/10/23] 

Best used in the summer, our teak sun loungers will allow you to comfortably relax in your garden and soak in the sun. For example, these reclining wooden Adirondack garden chairs have reclining features and wheels so that you can easily adjust and move them around your garden seating areas to suit your needs.

16. Seating Borders

seating borders for garden seating ideas

Sloane, E., (2023) Winchester Double Oval 120cm Teak Garden Bench. [online] Available at: https://www.gardenbenches.com/winchester-double-oval-teak-bench-120cm [accessed 25/10/23]

Double the utility of your outdoor seating with garden edging ideas. This visually separates different garden zones while providing a convenient resting spot. Use wooden benches that match the shape of your borders for a seamless and organic feel.

17. Multipurpose Outdoor Seating Work

multipurpose garden furniture

If you are conscious about your budget for your small garden, adding versatile seating options like pouffes and floor cushions will prove to be invaluable and effective. They serve as extra seating when needed and will double down as stylish accessories too. For example, adding a footstool alongside a wingback chair will be perfect to kick back and relax during the day or in the evening.

To add extra atmosphere, introduce festoon lighting and a firepit.

18. Hanging Egg Chair

hanging egg chairs

Hanging chairs in your garden seating areas are a quirky feature that can become a focal point too; they make you feel weightless! You could even try concealing the frame within a planted border which will enhance the visual effect. Have a look at these border plants for your garden to integrate alongside your hanging chairs.

19. Seating & Fire Pits

fire pits for cosy garden furniture

Sloane, E., (2023) 600mm Brancaster British Steel Fire Pit. [online] Available at: https://www.gardenbenches.com/600mm-brancaster-british-steel-fire-pit [accessed 26/10/23]

Fire pits are a great way to naturally illuminate your garden for the ultimate outdoor lounging experience. Position the fire pit at a safe distance from your chosen seating, whether it’s a built-in pallet corner sofa or existing outdoor furniture arranged against a wall.

Patio seating is ideal for gathering around the fire pit, as this will help to encourage outdoor dining and socialising. Using a fire pit during the winter in your garden will also encourage people to cuddle up more as well.

20. Sheltered Seating

sheltered seating for outdoor furniture

Lastly, you can still utilise the often overlooked areas of your garden seating areas by installing gazebos, parasols, and awnings. No matter the size, you can easily add different kinds of seating equipment inside your gazebo. It serves as both a shelter from unpredictable weather as well as a valuable garden shade solution, which will be perfect if you are attempting to host winter garden events as well.

Check out our garden gazebo decoration ideas, and learn about how to make a small garden look bigger.

Creative Garden Seating Tips

To create the perfect garden seating area, you should mix your own level of creativity alongside features that correspond well with the environment. From cosy corner sofas to trendy hanging chairs, each choice contributes to your unique outdoor experience. Consider your space, climate, and personal style when selecting garden seating that will elevate enjoyment in your garden. 

FAQs

How do I make a COSY seating area in my garden?

To create a cosy garden seating area, start by selecting a suitable location with shade and privacy. Choose comfortable, weather-resistant outdoor furniture and add soft furnishings like cushions and throws. Incorporate shade options such as umbrellas or pergolas. Surround the area with greenery for a natural feel and install ambient lighting for evenings. Personalise your space with decorative items like lanterns and wind chimes.

How to make garden seating?

Building garden seating involves selecting materials, designing the seating, constructing it, and finishing with protective coatings. Decide on the type of seating you want, such as benches or chairs, and gather the necessary materials. Assemble the seating according to your design, finishing with sanding and weather-resistant treatments. Finally, add outdoor cushions and accessories for comfort and aesthetics.

Where do you put a garden seat?

The placement of a garden seat depends on your garden’s layout and preferences. Consider placing it near a focal point like a fountain or under a tree for shade and ambiance. Along garden paths, benches can encourage leisurely strolls, while near outdoor dining areas, seating offers post-meal relaxation. If you have a stunning view, position the seat to maximise enjoyment, enhancing your garden’s appeal.

How to decorate a small garden?

Decorating a small garden effectively involves strategic choices. Use vertical gardening to maximise space, incorporating wall-mounted planters and hanging baskets. Opt for multi-purpose furniture that saves space and choose light colours to create a sense of openness. Employ mirrors strategically to reflect light and create depth. Utilise compact plants in pots to keep the garden organised, and clear pathways to maintain a sense of space. Embrace minimalism, focusing on a single eye-catching focal point to make the most of your small garden’s potential.


Sources

Amazon. (n.d.) Flamingo Garden Ornaments. [online] Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/flamingo-garden-ornaments/s?k=flamingo+garden+ornaments [accessed 25/10/23]


Garden Trellis. (n.d.) Slatted Fence Panels. [online] Available at: https://www.gardentrellis.co.uk/category/slatted-fence-panels [accessed 25/10/23]

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Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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