As we are all too aware, summer can be something of a fleeting season and so while the sun is shining, we like to make the absolute most of it! This means lots of entertaining al fresco and spending evenings out in the garden rather than on the sofa. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that your outdoor space is as inviting and comfortable as possible for those who are spending time there. Depending on whether you’re hosting a formal garden party or enjoying a laid-back barbecue with friends, the garden seating you need will vary significantly and the Houseology team have a whole host of outdoor seating ideas to ensure you find the perfect piece for every space and occasion.
01.Family dinners - outdoor dining chairs
If you have a larger family or you’re going to be hosting friends and extended family through the summer months, benches might be your best outdoor seating idea. Benches or picnic tables are a great solution for communal seating and tuck away neatly when they’re not in use. Place your bench in a sunny spot for a garden bench idea that can be used all year round.
Look to hard-wearing materials such as teak or powder coated aluminium if you plan to keep your furnishings outdoors all year round too. Teak’s natural oils will prevent pieces from being damaged but it is best to cover items during the winter months to stop furniture aging quickly.
02.Alone time - garden hanging chair ideas
Entertaining outdoors is lots of fun, but sometimes when we have a little time off, we would secretly rather spend it alone… If this luxury is on the cards, a hanging chair can be the perfect outdoor seating solution. Tuck away for a lazy afternoon with your favourite book and a glass of something chilled for ultimate summer vibes.
If solo relaxation isn’t on the cards this summer, Cacoon offer a suspended tent for two as well – wonderful for romantic sunny afternoons in the garden.
03.Fun and informal - outdoor bean bags
For outdoor gatherings that are a little more laid-back and relaxed, create a space in your garden that encourages people to really unwind. A cluster of bean bags layered with comfy cushions and throws creates a cosy den-like area for people to gather in for a few drinks as the sun goes down - add lanterns and candles for ultimate ambience. “Bean bags and cushions are perfect for adding pops of colour to your outdoor space too," says interior blogger Stacey Corrin.
04.Outdoor seating for sunny spaces - stylish sun loungers
Sunbathing is not often an option but when the clouds do roll back and the sun appears, we want to be ready! This is why a couple of luxury loungers are a garden seating essential if your outdoor space is a sun trap! Wooden loungers work perfectly with both contemporary and classic garden spaces and will never go out of style - opt for teak for a warmer scheme or consider oak or pickled teak for a more neutral look. Upholstered loungers add a touch of luxury to the space and guarantee maximum comfort while enjoying the good weather.
05.Small garden seating - hanging chair ideas
Even the smallest outdoor space can be transformed with some smart outdoor seating ideas. A stylish swing seat is perfect if you are limited to only one piece of furniture as they make a fabulous focal point and are super practical too. Unwind at the end of the day with a good book and enjoy the relaxing swaying motion. Complete your small garden space with filled planters, window boxes and contained shrubs.
06.The outdoor living room - garden sofa ideas
If outdoor living is going to be a key part of your summer, it's worth really bringing the inside out and creating a luxurious outdoor living room, complete with super comfy outdoor sofa! Consider how many people are likely to spend time in this space and arrange the seating accordingly. An outdoor corner sofa is fantastic for larger groups, combine it with a couple of armchairs for a layout that encourages conversation and arrange the seating around a focal point such as fire pit or outdoor coffee table.
07.Unplanned gatherings - easy to store outdoor furniture
If your outdoor parties tend to be spur of the moment affairs then it might be worth investing in some additional seating that can be easily stored away when it's not in use. Folding deck chairs are one of the best options for this as they are lightweight and can be easily be brought out when needed. The Fatboy Lamzac garden seating solution requires almost no storage - when inflated the Lamzac will provide a comfortable seat for two or three but also folds down into a tiny bag for super simple storage - definitely a favourite product for the summer!
08.Al fresco dinner party - comfortable outdoor chairs
Outdoor seating that is comfortable will encourage your guests to linger and unwind so for more formal dinner parties in the garden consider the shape and material of your outdoor dining chairs. Woven finishes can be softer and more pleasant to sit on than wood or metal so consider a rattan-style look or add plump cushions to firmer seats.
09.Summer drinks - garden bar ideas
Stylish tipples in the garden with your own al fresco bar - what could be better? Complete your garden bar with tall bar stools that work with the height of your bar unit so that you and your guests can sit comfortably without reaching or stooping - don't forget to keep the fridge well stocked!
10.Ultimate relaxation - hammock ideas
It doesn’t get much more relaxing than a hammock so don't miss out on this summer essential if you're hoping to do some serious ray-catching this year! If you have plenty of anchor points in your garden then consider hanging your hammock between two trees. Alternatively invest in a hammock stand and lie back and dream of a tropical paradise...