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  • Writer's pictureBob Slater

12 Gorgeous Outdoor Seating Ideas for Summer

Longer days and warmer nights are perfect for entertaining and relaxing in your own outdoor space. But if your porch, balcony, or patio does not feel very inviting, it may be time to invest in comfortable outdoor seating. But that alone may not solve the problem completely. The wrong setup could spoil the view from your balcony or make dining outside cumbersome.

Luckily, the best furniture arrangement for your space and needs can make time spent al fresco more enjoyable. So whether you are hanging solo or hosting a dinner party, these seating ideas will help you make the most of your outdoor space.

1. Construct a Fire Pit With Built-in Seating

Typically when we think of outdoor seating, hardscaping is not top of mind. However, this DIY project by the duo behind the blog Charleston Crafted may change things. They created a cozy seating area consisting of a fire pit with built-in benches and planters using lumber and paver stones. The best part? Their project is assembled with construction adhesive, no messy mortar required. The result is fabulous outdoor nook perfect for roasting marshmallows on an open fire.

2. Create a Cozy Outdoor Room

You may never want to step foot inside the house again during the summer with a semi-enclosed space like this one by Anne Michaelsen Design. The goal was to create an outdoor room tricked out with comforts usually found indoors. Plush weather-resistant seating and two small faux concrete tables carve out a place for four people to kick back and relax. When it is time to watch a movie, the seats can be turned to face the outdoor TV.

3. Craft a Lovely, Secluded Outdoor Space

A favorite type of outdoor furniture is all-weather wicker as shown above because it will last all year long and hold up to the elements. A dining set like this one she adds creates the perfect setting for lighthearted coffee chats or summer celebrations among friends. While having a place to sit is extremely important, the right light at night will set the mood.

Bob suggests hanging up string lights and then surrounding yourself with lanterns and candles. Another essential element to consider is an outdoor rug. It can really help tie your layout together while providing something comfortable underfoot. Also a carefully selected a geometric print rug can easily pair with a variety of decor styles. 

4. Add Pops of Color to Your Outdoor Space

Do not forget to mix things up with pillows and throws. They can add fun patterns and colors guaranteed to punch up an outdoor space without breaking the bank. They can also be easily swapped out for different occasions and holidays.

5. Create an Outdoor Lounge

Built-in bench seating around an outdoor dining table is an elegant way to establish a designated lounge area. This example by Anne Michaelsen Design proves the point. The interior designer wanted the spot to feel more inside than out. Adding the pergola helps offer a little coverage from the bright sun and checked the box for that interior feel.

6. Spice up a Fire Pit With an Ingenious Detail

Behold this comfy outdoor conversation area by architect Michael Menn. Note the pale teal glass beads in the fire pit. They are both a fireproof and eco-friendly way to mesmerize yourself and houseguests while sitting outside. The plush red cushions on the wicker furniture make time spent in the yard even more inviting.

7. Consider Wrought Iron Furniture

Interior designer Luke Caldwell and contractor Clink Robertson are the duo behind Timber and Love and the home improvement show Boise Boys. They offer this advice for creating the ultimate outdoor room. They believe in investing in a backyard space no matter how small, will add significant value and even better enjoyment to a home.

Here they spruced up a concrete patio with wrought iron furniture (including a portable fire pit). The material is much heavier than wicker, wood, or aluminum, so no worries about your furnishings blowing away during a storm. They say it is best to look for pieces treated with a weather-resistant finish, which will keep iron from rusting.

8. Personalize Your Patio With a Custom Gas Fire Pit

Anchoring this outdoor seating area by Anne Michaelsen Design is a customized gas fire pit that provides light and heat on chilly summer nights. The al fresco space was designed to function as an outdoor lounge. Conveniently, it is a few steps away from the indoor bar located in the home's living room. Pops of greenery from the tall grass to small trees bring natural warmth to the stone patio. The string lights overhead provide the icing on the cake—they mimic twinkling stars at night.

9. Build a Welcoming Pool Lounge

This lovely home by architect Ed Parker of Alisberg Parker and interior designer Lauren Williams of Lauren Jayne features several distinct outdoor seating areas all set beneath a cedar trellis to bring the scale of the space down to a more intimate level. The spot near the pool features a sizable seating area thanks to a large wrap around sofa. Centered above is an outdoor light fixture, which throws focus to the lounge at night.

10. Curate the Perfect Spot for Dining Al Fresco

Here is another section of the outdoor space we just mentioned by the teams at Alisberg Parker and Lauren Jayne. The sunken spot features a seating section, a grilling area, and a large outdoor dining table. Another good thing to know is that it's near the indoor family room and kitchen, which makes the outdoor space feel more like an extension of the house.

11. Turn a Terrace into a Spectacular Outdoor Haven

Any terrace can be transformed into a green oasis with these ideas from Emma O'Donnell of Coolabah Designs. Strategically placed plants on this balcony provide a little greenery and privacy for relaxing and dining without spoiling the magnificent views of the city. We especially appreciate that anyone sitting on one of the lounge chairs at dusk will get a stellar look at the sun setting.

12. Maximize Your Front Porch Space

If you are using your front porch for bike storage, listen up. It is a valuable outdoor space that shouldn't go to waste. Here, Abbe Fenimore the founder and interior designer behind Studio Ten 25, used a few key pieces to create a porch worth of cozy chats on summer evenings. The all-weather blue Adirondack chairs create the ideal spot to wave at neighbors. But the piece de resistance is the porch swing that invites anyone nearby to take a load off their feet.

Got ideas for your own space and need painting help? Click Here for a free estimate :-)

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