9 Outdoor Seating Ideas for Fun in the Sun
Outdoor Sofas and Love Seats for a Family Room Feel
When the weather warms up, arrange a sectional or a pair of loveseats around a fire pit or coffee table. It’s an easy, familiar way to transition your domino games outdoors. Combining this type of seating with a few surrounding poufs or garden stools will help to make this traditional homey aesthetic feel a bit more casual, perfect for letting your hair down.
Look for mildew- and fade-resistant sofa fabrics to withstand a rainy climate. You should also consider your outdoor sofa’s weave type. For example, if your seating area is under some shady trees, you’ll want to make sure the upholstery won’t collect dirt or pollen. Get the full run-down on furniture features in our Complete Outdoor Furniture Guide.
Outdoor Club Chairs for Inviting Intimacy
If you’re looking for more of an accent piece, or a super snug place to pull your feet up, make a chic style statement with a club chair. Club chairs are typically round with a wide base, so they envelop whoever is lucky enough to claim them. Because you’ll never want to leave the chair’s depths, place an end table or foot stool nearby to set your umbrella drink.
A club chair will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to style, but you can spice up your seating area with potted palms and gauzy curtains to create a breezy cabana oasis. Even when beaches and barbecues are out of season, you’ll want to make your way outdoors to enjoy the comfort of this chair.
Outdoor Dining Sets for Al Fresco Freshness
For smaller outdoor areas like a balcony, a bistro set is a quick, cute outdoor seating solution. While the shape and finish of the set can help represent your personality, throw in a colorful umbrella or a few patterned throw pillows to make your small space pop.
For more spacious decks or patios, bring in a big family-style table with plenty of swivel chairs. You can turn to chat with your neighbors and overlook your children playing while enjoying a leisurely grill-side meal. If there’s room, you can still have a bistro set to supplement your seating arrangement.
Outdoor Bar Stools for a Sunset Cocktail
If you usually end the day with a drink on the deck, bar stools are probably a good fit for your outdoor seating. Sturdy metallic stools can fit into a sleek industrial bar. For something mellow and tropical, capture sandy, tiki-torch vibes with woven stools made from wicker or rattan. You might even toss on a nautical-themed pillow to complete the look.
While bar stools with minimal armrests or backrests lend an open feel, guests will be sure to appreciate a bit of back support. If you’re placing your bar stools on a grassy area or patch or dirt, you’ll want to avoid wood legs that might be exposed to moisture and rot. Don’t forget to place a mosquito candle or two on your counter-space to discourage uninvited pests from crashing your party.
Outdoor Hammocks and Swings for a Suspended Lounge
When you want your outdoor seating to become a peaceful sanctuary, think about stringing up a hammock or porch swing. It’s a fun, creative seating option to revitalize your patio space and the perfect way to relax after a long day. Imagine gently swaying with an espresso and a scone nearby as you pour over the newspaper at sunrise. Sound good? Learn how to find the Best Porch Swings.
If stunned guests are what you’re after, a trendy tear-drop or egg-shaped swinging chair is your best bet. These arched, hanging chairs lend an unexpected bohemian touch and can be brought indoors for a soothing space to keep the winter blues at bay.
Outdoor Benches for a Garden Party Perch
You know it. You love it. The timeless staple that is the park bench. Evoke fond memories of feeding ducks at the pond with a stylishly simple piece. A classic metal garden bench along a pebbled path will do for an afternoon of admiring spring blossoms. Long wood-grained benches are perfect for Oktoberfest style dining.
Poolside, a storage bench can be used to hide floaties and towels. When you want a sunny spot to chat over snacks and sports, create a charming banquette in your sunroom by angling backless benches in a corner. Top them with pillowy cushions for an easy-going breakfast nook.
Chaise Lounges for a Swim Break Stretch
When you’re padding out to the pool in your flip-flops and hoping to catch a tan, a chaise is truly the best outdoor lounge chair for a pampered, luxurious afternoon. Nothing compares to that smooth recline. Look for a chaise lounge with wheels so you can easily rotate your outdoor seating to get the best sun. For maximum comfort, consider a sling chair or a modular lounge chair that resembles more of a bean bag.
Chaise cushions comes in a range of styles. Just make sure they’re secured so they don’t blow away. Opt for breathable materials so you don’t overheat and so droplets won’t collect as you rest between dips in the pool. As you lie out like a mermaid, be sure to also have a basket nearby for storing magazines, sunscreen, and a floppy hat.
Outdoor Daybeds for Summer Snoozing
Looking for a resort-like experience? Choose a circular sun bed to give yourself a canopied hideaway. With a retractable covering, it’s kind of between a giant ottoman and a mini gazebo. Since a daybed is mostly a nap zone, this will be your teen’s favorite hangout. You can enjoy an at-home picnic with your family or take refuge from the rain for cozy storm watching. As a totally unique outdoor seating option, its function is up to you.
If you go for a simpler couch-like daybed structure, play it up with colorful cushions and throws. If lots of barefoot summer feet are clambering into the bed, go for dark colors so your cushion won’t look dirty as quickly.
Outdoor Rocking Chairs for an All-Weather Chill Spot
Truly lean into the season with a comfy rocker, and capture that by-the-hearth coziness out in the fresh air. A rocking chair is suitable for any weather, so you can spend a lazy afternoon waxing sentimental with a lemonade or a hot cocoa. Settled into the swooped arms, you’ll finally have a quiet place to read, knit, or simply glide back and forth with a blanket across your lap.
Your rocker’s finish will determine the vibe it inspires. Choose a wrought iron for a plantation porch, a stunning rich wood for rustic lodge ambiance, or a cottagey wicker material for a calm, seaside evening at the docks. For more advice, check out our Tips on Buying Outdoor Rocking Chairs.
The best part of these outdoor seating ideas? You can mix and match any of them for a totally one-of-a-kind design. As long as your selections have the durability to last through the seasons and are comfortable enough to sink into, you can be confident in your pairings. Check out our guide to the Best Outdoor Furniture Materials to purchase the right outdoor seating for your outdoor area.
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