Adding seating to your outdoor space can instantly create a personal retreat, an oasis for recharging, and a place to reconnect with family. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional. That said - if you have room for a fire pit why not add the age old allure and comfort of a “council ring” (as landscape architect Jens Jensen called them) to one of your seating areas?
The relaxed backs and wide armrests of traditional Adirondack chairs beckon us to sit. And, they come in a range of materials and finishes:
Colorful, plastic resin styles cost $18-25. They’re lightweight for easy portability and stackable for easy storage.
Wood versions are $80 and up, depending on material and finish. Some have adjustable backs, and others even have ottomans to really kick back!
High density polyethylene models (HDPE - manufactured plastic lumber) start at $240. This material is extremely durable and eco-friendly- incorporating recycled materials during manufacture and requiring little to no maintenance compared to wood.
Weather resistant cushions can add comfort to any style.
|Concrete Block Bench|
|A simple bench of stacked concrete blocks and a thick wood plank provides a place to stop, sit and relax. The blocks and lumber run about $30, and the bench could be covered with padding and waterproof fabric.|
|Ceramic Chinese Garden Stool/Barrel|
|These classic barrels can serve as seats, side tables or decorative sculpture. Buy new, or check at thrift shops and online auction sites for ones that perhaps just need a couple coats of paint to match your décor. $40-120 new|
|All Weather Wicker|
|From lounge chairs to love seats, coffee tables and rocking chairs; this nearly maintenance-free wicker will save you money through the seasons. Many also have water-repellent, UV-treated cushions.|
Nothing says “relax” like a hammock! An economical cotton hammock costs $20-40. Consider hanging it with straps that wrap around tree trunks for $15-20. A cotton hammock on a freestanding tubular steel frame starts at $60-100, and allows you to move your “oasis” to other areas of your yard.
| Stationary Pits
|No need to have a ring of continuous stone bench like Jensen’s designs; the seating could be made of short pieces of logs, individual stones, or just chairs. At the center, use concrete culvert spacers or a galvanized round fire pit ring, costing about $50. Durable cast iron rings with decorative cut-outs run $85 and up.|
|Portable Fire Pits|
|Portable fire pits allow for mobility, and are stored easily. Mobile fireplaces, as some are called, start around $75 and feature a base-bowl on wheels, with a removable lid supported by a spark screen. The spark screen often has a hinged door to allow access to the fire.|
|Fire Pit Table|
|The latest craze in outdoor entertaining is the fire pit table, a square or round fire pit built into the center of an outdoor coffee table. The pit is typically covered with a domed spark screen, and surrounded by a slate rim. Wood burning models start around $100. Gas models offering the warmth and beauty of a log fire, without the added effort, also start around $100. Many tables have seating to match.|