Make The Most Of Your Summer With Great Garden Seating

We have seen a renaissance in gardening over the past few months during lockdown and it’s great to see so many people transforming their gardens.  And after all that hard work, many people are adding the final finishing touches to their garden.  What better way to sit back, relax and admire your hard work, than to create a garden seating area that’s unique to you?  An outside seating area provides the ideal spot for entertaining and enjoying your garden.  Benches, seating, entertainment areas, hammocks and chairs come in all shapes and sizes.  Here, we’ve created a simple guide to choosing and installing a garden seating area for your space and budget.
  • garden seating ratten

Garden furniture for everyone

A garden seating area is the perfect addition to any garden or outside space.  For busy gardeners, a simple wooden bench or stone seat provides the ideal resting spot to sit back and admire all your hard work.  Sofas, rattan furniture, sun loungers and hammocks create a comfortable seating area for individuals, couples and families alike and there is no limit to what you can achieve.  From permanent seating areas built into garden walls or sunk into ground, to foldaway furniture that can be stored away depending on the weather, there are thousands of ideas to suit your individual taste.
  • popular garden seating

This year’s most popular garden seating ideas

The four most popular garden furniture ideas of 2020 are:
  • Furniture sets
  • Corner seating
  • Egg chairs and hammocks and bean bags
  • Outside entertainment areas
  • garden seating area

Al fresco furniture sets 

Structured furniture sets have been popular for several years now and we can certainly see why.  Bringing living-room inspired sofas and tables into your garden is the easiest way to create a truly comfortable and cosy al fresco space.  Arranged on a patio, underneath a gazebo or a pergola, furniture sets instantly create a smart, designated space to relax and entertain.
Modular corner sofas help add structure and style and are available in a range of materials including the increasingly popular rattan.  Team with brightly coloured cushions and throws for an instant pop of colour, or create a stylish, elegant space with muted colours in brown, grey and cream.
  • Haddonstone Curved 52 inch Bench Seat

    bench seat

Cosy corner seating ideas

Adding a simple corner seat to your garden will fill an empty space and provide the ideal place to admire your garden.  Lutyens inspired wooden and metal benches are found in quintessential English gardens around the world and work well as a corner seating option, or along the side of a border.  A curved garden seat can also work well in a corner as its smooth lines will soften the space and work well nestled amongst flower beds, shrubs and overhanging branches.  Curved stone benches also work well in corners as they can be installed permanently, allowing you to incorporate it into your planting scheme by creatively plant around, above and underneath.
  • outside entertaining area with BBQ

Outside entertainment areas

As we predicted, our 2020 Gardening Predications, permanent entertainment areas have become increasingly popular this year.   Whilst these outdoor areas do require a little more effort and usually require professional landscaping and building work, the results really can be outstanding.  Outdoor kitchen zones with all the mod cons, sunken seating areas and roofed outside lounges for entertaining and outdoor living when the weather is warm enough are popular.  For smaller spaces and budgets, a fire pit or chiminea will provide a great alternative and instantly create a designated focal point.  They also offer the added bonus of keeping you and your guests toasty warm as the evening sun fades!
  • hammock

Best of the rest – egg chairs, hammocks and bean bags

Probably the easiest and most budget-friendly way to get comfortable outside this summer!  Egg chairs have been growing in popularity over the past few years and it’s no surprise why.  Fun, portable and on trend, the egg chair provides a nod to mid-century style, with a modern twist.  And this year, if you can’t go to the beach, why not bring the beach to you, with a super-comfy hammock?  Most hammocks can be bought with a sturdy frame which means they can be positioned anywhere in your garden without the need for a palm tree (and they can easily moved depending on the direction of the sun!)  And finally, when it comes to garden seating, bean bags are the ultimate cheat! Super-sized bean bags are springing up in gardens around the country and are loved by children and adults alike!
  • bean bags

Tips for choosing garden furniture

The main considerations when choosing your garden seating are your budget, the size of your outside space and its intended position.  Garden furniture can be a real investment that will last for years so it’s worth spending a little more on good quality seating and tables, if you can.  This will help ensure your furniture is made from high quality materials that are weather-proofed and can stand the test of time – especially the good old British summertime!  Be careful to measure your space before making purchasing as larger seating sets and even smaller benches can easily dwarf smaller outside spaces.  Thinking about where your seating will be position will prevent any problems later on.  Rattan furniture and dining sets will need an even base on which to safely sit, so a patio or decking can be good option, whatever the weather.
  • Influencer Katy Smith with Haddonstone Scrolled Bench Seat

    katy smith

Where is the best place to position my garden furniture?

Whether you opt for a small garden bench or a significant outdoor entertainment area, choosing where to position your sofa, table, or chairs is key.  Firstly, think about the main purpose of your garden seating area.  If you are creating an outdoor dining space, you will probably appreciate an element of shade throughout the day, so position tables and chairs under a mature tree, or to the side of the house.  If this isn’t possible, create shade with a large parasol, gazebo or strategically positioned tall trees.  Position on a patio, decking or gravel for an even base.  Stone and wooden benches and seats can be positioned almost anywhere.  Sun worshippers should check the movement of the sun in their garden throughout the day to benefit from prime sunbathing opportunities!
  • garden seating plants

Which plants work well in a garden seating area?

Choosing a selection of plants that complement your seating area will help bring it to life with colour and scent.  Patios can benefit from small trees that will offer shade during the day, whilst herbs and the richly-scented perfume of lavender will create an inviting space to relax and unwind.  Corner seating areas can be transformed into a cosy cocoon with clever underplanting and the softening of grasses, irises and hydrangea.  Plant medium sized trees, colourful verbena or sweet honeysuckle and clematis climbers to add colour, scent and texture behind.  Modern seating areas can be transformed with the structural planting of Phormium or Yucca, Buxus pyramids and balls, and Pyromania™ Orange Blaze.
  • pallet furniture

How do I build a garden pallet seating area?

If you are feeling creative, building your very own bespoke outdoor area is a fun way to create a truly unique space.  Pallet seating is a new trend in upcycling old wooden pallets and all you need is a few discarded pallets, some cushions, paint and a little bit of imagination!  Stack pallets horizontally and vertically to create a seating shape, ideally nailing together for safety.  Customize by painting in any colour of your choice and scatter cushions and throws to create an inviting, cool place to kick back.  Complementary vertical planters and bars are popping up in gardens this year too and are a great, environmentally-friendly and cheap way to create your unique outdoor space.
Whatever your style and whatever your budget, there are plenty of garden seating options to choose from. 
So sit back, relax and enjoy your summer!

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