15 garden seating ideas – cosy, stylish, budget-friendly looks for your space

Beautiful garden seating ideas – take your big or small patio space to the next level, without overspending.

DIY garden seating area with paint
(Image credit: Sandtex)

We’re not all blessed with acres of lawn or patio space in which to place our garden seating. In fact, most of us have more compact spaces like patios, balconies or even just a small lawn... If this is the case, it’s wise to nod to those garden seating ideas that will not only fit your space comfortably, but also add to your outside decor too.

After all, seating needs to be flexible (and comfortable), to suit your home life and to work around the other garden ideas you love to fill your space with, especially in the warmer months. Here’s our roundup of our favourite outdoor seating looks for this year. 

1. Look for designs that store easily

Wooden garden seating

(Image credit: Dunelm)

One of the main benefits to choosing a bench and table set is that you can get more ‘bottoms on seats’ - and no chairs to pull in and out. The other design aspect to look out for is ensuring that the benches will easily slide under the table when not in use, this will free up oodles of space. Choose a design that fits your aesthetic too, the charcoal grey balcony matches the metal legs of the set perfectly. 

2. Mix built in with freestanding options

Relaxed modern outdoor seating space

(Image credit: Interior Fox)

This fabulous corner has a great built-in area that naturally marks out the outdoor living space of this garden. Designed by Jenna, Co-Founder of Interior Fox. ‘The brief was to create a patio fit for entertaining and to bring the indoors, outdoors. The seating is social and large enough to host plenty of guests and with an abundance of cushions the seating is super comfortable to take guests through to the evening.’

3. If sofas aren't your thing...

Relaxed outdoor lounging area with bright cushioning

(Image credit: Neptune)

Sofas in gardens are a relatively new option, and one that isn’t for everyone. As a more trad option, look into having four comfy chairs around a coffee table instead. The symmetry is a design winner and you can plump them up with cushions and throws for extra comfort. This kind of layout will work well on a good sized patio. 

4. Swing it

Set of boho style hammocks

(Image credit: Graham & Greene)

This new version of a hammock will have you lulled into sleep on a hazy summer’s evening in no time! Cosy yet strong, these swing Seventies style chairs are made from up-cycled cotton and pine wood. Hang from a sturdy branch in the summer and your bedroom ceiling in the winter. 

5. Colour block your spot

Bright colored blocking behind an outdoor breakfast spot

(Image credit: Habitat)

This great sunshine yellow bar set can also be used for breakfast time when the weather allows. it’s also space-saving as it will sit neatly in the corner of your patio or balcony. Yellow looks great with black and shades of grey so mix up your space and turn it into a modern garden area for you and your guests this summer.

6. Put your feet up

Laid back sun lounger with cushioning

(Image credit: Moda furnishings)

There’s nothing nicer than lounging on summer’s day listening to the breeze flow gently through the trees...and what better way to do that than in a comfy lounge chair with a matching footstool? Look for a design that has a super padded back for added support. 

7. Fill a corner with teak

Deep-set grey corner sofa

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

Modern and stylish, a corner sofa set is the perfect choice for a corner of your garden, be it up near the house on the patio, or at the bottom in a sheltered spot. The combo of teak and metal is a winner and gives a design a contemporary feel - as well as being long lasting. All you need to add is a beverage of your choice.

8. Put dining in comfort first

Dark colored seating for drama

(Image credit: Next)

Sofa - check, comfy stools - check, dining table - check. This amazing set will really ensure you can dine in style - from your sofa! The dining chairs are ditched and instead you have squishy stools and a plush sofa to sit on while you eat in style. Team it with some lighter coloured accessories to contrast with the dark grey. 

9. Never neglect side tables

Modern chairs in contemporary outdoor area

(Image credit: Go Modern)

You use them inside, so why not outside too? They are ideal for drinks, nibbles, books and lighting and are just as essential - maybe even more so when you have guests round. We love table nests as they’re easy to store when not in use, choose a mixture of shapes - both circular and ovals shapes are spot on trend wise. 

10. Chill, you're on trend

A cozy hanging chair sets the mood

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Hanging chairs are all the rage right now - they cocoon-like quality is pretty irresistible and you can gently swing whilst reading a favourite book or having a snooze. They’re also compact enough to fit on a small patio or balcony - win win! 

11. The full set

Urban full seater for all seasons

(Image credit: Wilko)

Buying a set is often the most economical way to purchase garden furniture, and there are some great options to choose from. You can roughly work out what size will fit your patio space - anything up to a 4-seater should fit and a 6-seater if you’re lucky. Round tables work well in small spaces as they take up less room and foldable chairs are worth considering as when autumn comes around they will fit neatly into your garden shed storage or garage space.

12. Repurpose and repaint

DIY garden seating area with paint

(Image credit: Sandtex)

If you're on a budget then get clever with paint and upcycle. You can give your garden patio a whole new look with only two colours - one for the walls and one for your chosen pieces of furniture. If you use a wood shield paint on your wooden furniture it will last well and can survive outside during the winter months - this day bed style sofa looks fabulous!

13. Bring in the sunshine

Bright garden seating for happy vibes

(Image credit: Dobbies)

If you haven’t already noticed, sunshine yellow is one of the key colours for this summer so get on board and embrace it with this delightful bistro set that will brighten up your space instantly. This style of furniture is perfect for teeny patios, decking and one of the cutest balcony ideas also as both the table and chairs fold up after use. 

14. Choose classics

Subtle but statement pink iron garden bench

(Image credit: Rockett St George)

You can’t beat a garden bench, and with its traditional peacock style metal frame and pale pink powder coated finish, this beauty will add a decorative touch to your space whatever its size. Curvy arms add to your comfort and add in a few cushions too for extra decoration. 

15. Keep the kids happy

Garden swings in large outdoor landscape

(Image credit: Solvej Swings)

Kids love swings as much as us, so if you have a good strong branch then pop up a couple of these classic made swings crafted from canvas and wood. They are super safe, durable and functional with stainless steel fittings. Suitable for ages 3 - 90 you could even buy one for yourself!

Seating set up = done!

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.