How to Design an Outdoor Seating Area


11 Aug How to Design an Outdoor Seating Area

Outdoor kitchens should always be accompanied by a comfortable seating area. Whether you have a more formalized style with a table and chairs or prefer relaxing in lounge seating with end tables, you would be remiss if you neglected to design an area for people to eat, hang out, and lounge. Here are the details necessary to figure out how to design your personal outdoor seating area.


Minimalist – For the smaller backyards, a few barstools and extended eat-in bar top are a simple way to wrap up the lounging needs. As long as guests have a place to sit and rest, you’ll be able to easily entertain while grilling up some grub.

DIY Enthusiast – A few free pallets reimagined and some cushions from Home Goods or Target are the materials you’d need to create your own chairs. Houzz has an easy to follow tutorial on how you can make a few lounge chairs for your outdoor seating area for only $10! Make sure you have at least two chairs to chill in, but optimal would be about four.

Traditionalist – If you have a larger yard, a dining table that seats six people is a perfect compliment to your outdoor kitchen. Joss and Main or Wayfair offer options that are inexpensive and beautifully designed. You could easily find a dining set that meets your style.

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 10.10.09 AMLoungerLounge seating around a fire pit makes for a multi-use space. Family and friends can hang around the fire enjoying s’mores and stories, or they can chow down on the meal you prepared while socializing about the weekend’s events. Go circular with a lounge area so the conversation is communal and flows. Big L shaped sectionals are great, but they may cause the conversations to break into different groups due to the distance between each side. Going with a circular seating area will foster a more inclusive social event.


Outdoor rooms need layered lighting, similar to interior spaces. Enjoying your kitchen and seating area should last beyond the day’s time clock, so include functional and decorative fixtures to keep the mood inviting. From a functional perspective, the kitchen needs over head lighting such as recessed cans or effective wall sconces. The seating area needs area or pathway lights along the walkway to lead guests safety to their lounging destination. Decorative fixtures for the kitchen could be colorful rope light under the bar and string lighting along the overhang. For the seating area, the lighting is more about enhancing the beauty of your landscape, while encouraging guests to hang out. In ground well lights or spot lights to highlight your flower beds and trees will beautify your landscape, and create an alluring view for your outdoor room. If you have a fire pit, the area or pathway lights will suffice for your lounge area’s lighting needs, but if not think about extending the string lights over the space.

Florals and Greenery

Don’t underestimate the power of live decor. Whether you have a large landscape with grass, potted plants, and extensive flower beds or a small patio with a few window boxes – vegetation is the best decorative element. An orchid on your outdoor kitchen countertop, a hydroponic garden for vertical green art, or a gorgeous landscape with a koi pond is the perfect compliment to the outdoor serenity you’re creating.

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