Clever seating ideas to help you make the most of your entertaining areas
Australians have always enjoyed spending time out of doors — let’s face it, the backyard barbie is a near0sacred ritual — but with outdoor entertaining now one of our most popular pastimes, we expect a lot more from our outdoor spaces. We want them to take us from day to night and we expect them to have the flexibility to provide the perfect surroundings for small, intimate gatherings as well as large social occasions.
Seating is critical to the success of any entertaining area and in smaller spaces this can be something of a challenge. What canny landscape designers have been doing for some time now is integrating benches into other structures, such as feature, garden or retaining walls. This helps to save space and if done well can look extremely attractive in addition to being very practical. To get maximum use from these permanent, in-built structures you can also have lift-up bench tops that conceal storage space underneath.
Landscape designers have also been busily converting structures like in-built planter boxes into seating options. As long as the planter is at the right height, all you need to do is cap it with tiles or decking timber wide enough for sitting on. And on chilly nights, or for a little extra colour when entertaining, you can add some cushions. The same approach can be adapted for other structures of a suitable height, such as the surrounds of a (non-splashing) water feature.
Here are just a few examples to show you what is possible.