Whenever someone steps outside to enjoy your patio or deck, one of the first things they’ll notice is the layout and flow of your patio furniture and outdoor living space. While it might seem like a minor thing, that’s easy to arrange, the layout of your patio space is very important. It is crucial to the functionality of your space and sets the atmosphere of your patio or deck, and can make your guests feel instantly at ease.
If coming up with the perfect arrangement seems overwhelming, and you don’t know where to start, that’s where our exterior design knowledge can come in handy.
Whether you have a coordinating furniture collection , or a variety of outdoor pieces on your patio, the most important thing to consider is how you’ll lay out the space using these pieces.
If you’re in search of inspiration, we have some tips that will help you find the best outdoor living furniture layout for your patio or deck, which are guaranteed to make entertaining a breeze.
First off, your patio space should reflect your personality, design, and taste. Before you start moving furniture, take the time to think about how you’d like to present the space. Is this going to be an informal eating area, focused on highlighting your outdoor dining furniture, or a place to serve cocktails and appetizers while you’re using the grill? Both are ideal for company, but it’s important to think about the atmosphere you want to create, so you can choose your layout accordingly.
If you’d like the area to be more informal, you might reconsider making the dining table the star of your patio. Instead, let your lounge chairs have their spotlight, as they rest under your patio umbrella, which are perfect for long summer days. This way, the space still feels inviting for, without coming across as too formal.
Most importantly, don’t feel like you have to nail your outdoor patio layout the first time. Take a few days to rearrange your furniture as needed, until you find a layout that works best for your space. After that, your furniture will bound to get the conversation going the next time you entertain.
Find Your Focal Point
Just like a room inside your home, your outdoor patio needs a focal point. Typically, this is the exciting and anchoring piece of furniture, fireplace or fire pit on your patio, because it’s where your guest’s eye will inevitably gravitate towards. Sometimes your focal point may very well be the view of an ocean, lake or golf course. This is ok too and should be taken into your design plans.
However, that doesn’t mean it should be your lounge chairs or even your weathered wicker outdoor couch. Maybe you have a beautiful linear fire pit you’d like to showcase or a unique wicker coffee table that belonged to your grandparents. The key is to find a statement piece to make front and center, and build your patio layout around it accordingly.
Once you find the focal point of your patio, start arranging your furniture so that chairs and seating groups face your chosen item. Keep walkways and traffic patterns in mind to keep the functionality and so your focal point will remain the star of the show.
Accommodate For Social Gatherings
You don’t want your guests, or family members, feeling like they're going against the grain of the space, so it’s important to arrange your space so it’s ready to go for social gatherings.
When you do this, consider the primary places your guests enter and exit, and be sure to angle your furniture so they’ll have a clear walking path. If you have a set of stairs near the back of your deck, be sure to leave plenty of room from your guests to walk up and down, without bumping into any armchairs or tables. You want to have distinct, clean lines that guide them around your space.
The goal is to arrange your outdoor patio furniture so your guests will walk around with ease, instead of cutting into one another’s conversations. With that in mind, it’s best to keep around 30 inches of space between your furniture and high volume areas, so everyone can spend time outdoors, without feeling cramped.
Use Your Wall Space Wisely
If you happen to have a longer stretch of wall space you can utilize on your patio, place your longest piece of furniture along that wall. Typically, this would be your couch or loveseat. You can then accessorize and decorate around the couch, and your focal point, but have plenty of room to add your tables and chairs.
Having larger pieces of furniture in the middle of your patio or deck won’t help the flow of your patio. Instead will become more divided up, and appear less inviting to your guests. The more you open up the space, the more welcome they’ll feel, and the easier it will be to walk around.
Make it Feel Like an Extension of Home
Just because you’ve stepped outside, doesn’t mean your patio isn’t an extension of your home. Your outdoor living spaces should be distinct, yet inviting, just like your living room.
Group your furniture in ways so it feels like another living room, dining room, or informal sitting area. Add fun and convenient features like ottomans, end tables, and outdoor patio cushions, to make the space feel more welcoming. It’s not about how much furniture you have, it’s about how welcoming the space feels.
For those who are always hosting guests and have a large patio space, it’s a good idea to make your space more functional, and have multiple seating arrangements around your deck. This way, your guests can enjoy the fresh air, conversation, and delicious food, in multiple locations.