Whether you desire a quiet oasis to relax with your morning tea or a spacious outdoor dining room to gather with friends, a seating area is essential to relaxation and enjoying the landscape. These space-making tips will help you craft the perfect garden room for any occasion.
Form Follows Function
You’ve likely heard this axiom from architect Louis Sullivan. It means the purpose of a building, or in this case, an outdoor space should be the starting point for its design. When creating your seating area, imagine how you intend to use the space. How many people will gather? What mood do you want to establish? These questions will help you size the space accordingly and establish the appropriate atmosphere.
Location and Size
For dining, the layout of a house generally dictates the logical placement of a seating area. You want to be close to the kitchen for ease of access. If you like to grill out, consider the typical wind direction and plan accordingly. No one wants to sit downwind of a smoker or charcoal grill.
If you desire a more intimate or relaxed setting, consider pushing the seating area a little farther out in the landscape. Tuck a cozy reading chair among your favorite shrubs or set a cocktail table in a secret garden. Other considerations include shade and views. Finally, match the size of the space to the intended number of users. Remember to include enough room to slide chairs out from a table and walk around it comfortably.
Set the mood in your new seating area by varying color, plant materials, and the degree of enclosure around the space. A more enclosed space feels intimate, perfect for a romantic evening retreat, while a more open patio design facilitates gatherings. Vary the degree to which the edges of the space are defined to control the degree of enclosure.
A room’s edges can be defined with anything from a row of container plantings to a solid fence or wall. Plant materials offer the most flexibility in defining space. Play with plant height as well as the density of a planting. The seating area in this garden makes use of the jut-back in the home’s design and masses of shrubs to frame the patio area while maintaining a feeling of openness.
Color is a great tool for establishing the mood of a space. Cool colors like blue and green are calming, while reds, yellows, and oranges are energetic. Our patio is lively and open, a great place to sip coffee while greeting a brand new day.