Affordable Garden Seating and Fire Pit Ideas Quick ways to seat it up & heat it up

Affordable Garden Seating and Fire Pit Ideas
  • Posted June 5, 2014

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?


Adirondack Chairs
adirondack chairs

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
ceramic garden stool
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
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.

Fire Pits

Stationary Pits
adirondack chair and fire pit
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
movable fire pit
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.

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Nancy Stebbins
About the Author

Nancy Stebbins is a proud Michigan State University alumna, a landscape designer, and horticulturist at MasterTag – a horticultural printing company.

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Affordable Garden Seating and Fire Pit Ideas

“In this friendly circle, around the fire, man becomes himself. Here there is no social caste. All are on the same level, looking each other in the face. A ring speaks of strength and friendship and is one of the great symbols of mankind…” 

-Jens Jensen, Landscape Architect