Seat walls are becoming more and more popular in outdoor living, and for good reason. According to annual national surveys conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects, built-in seating has regularly been among the top 10 trends in outdoor living design in recent years.
The reason for this is simple…people are spending a lot more time in their outdoor living spaces, and they’re bringing friends. Plus, there’s only so much you can do with traditional furniture, and it typically needs to be replaced periodically due to exposure to sun, rain and critters. Whereas, a built-in patio seat wall provides a more permanent solution and can perform multiple roles within the design.
In addition to providing a place to sit, a patio seating wall can act as functional design elements to define the space itself. Whether you need to control the slope of your yard, or are just looking for a way to define the transition from one outdoor room to the next, a seat wall may be the design solution to your seating needs.
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Patio Seat Wall Ideas
Fire Pit Patio Seating Walls
Seat walls provide an excellent design solution for fire pit patios. The wall itself helps to reflect the heat to provide a cozier environment. In addition, the bench-style seating can accommodate more people than traditional chairs. For additional comfort, add pillows or cushions.
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Adding Form & Function
A retaining wall or perimeter wall can easily be embellished and converted into built-in seating to create a more functional space.
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Incorporating Natural Elements
When using manufactured stone to build seat walls, natural materials can be incorporated into the design to add visual interest.
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Terraced design lends itself well to the addition of seat walls, as a retaining wall is already being used to create the terrace and needs only to be embellished with a seat ledge.
Christi is a professional writer who has been writing about outdoor living and design for magazines, websites and blogs since 2009. A lifelong resident of south Louisiana, she is immersed in a culture that is a gumbo of music, food and outdoor activities. With her husband Pierre, she especially enjoys spending time with their two sons in their Belgard backyard. The Simoneauxs regularly entertain guests in their outdoor kitchen where the specialties are craft cocktails, grilled meats, garlicky dressings, and Cajun and Creole creations. Thanks to the local climate, there's always something interesting in their herb garden to enhance the recipes.
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We are an architecture firm and I would like technical info curved seat wall construction. Our situation is similar to third photo of a curved seat wall in front of a retaining wall with a circular fire pit.
Your request for information was forwarded to a wall design expert who will reach out to you directly. Good luck with your project! Sounds like it’s going to be gorgeous. If you’re using Belgard products, we’d love to see images afterwards. Thanks for reading the blog.
How did you do your filler base course for what became the upper tiers? I’m doing the same seating at the end of a wall and don’t know if I use crushed stone for the base of paver base?
You can use paver base to fill in… you just need to make sure to use a hand tamper to compact it. Otherwise you can use 3/4” clear stone, and you won’t have to compact.
Would be very interested in seeing further pictures of the Weston wall seating in the third picture under the Fire Pit Patio Seating Walls section of this article.
Here’s another angle of that project:
I would like to create a deeper seat for my long legged clients. What material could I use for the wall cap?
Weston Stone works well because they are solid blocks that you can lay in different directions, depending on what depth you’re trying to achieve. Many contractors also incorporate coping to add depth and a softer edge.
My contractor used Belgard Weston stone for a seat wall. However, the seating area with one horizontal brick and an cap only measures 16 inches only. This is too short to feel comfortable particularly that there is a cap along the back rest area that pushes you forward a bit. We like to use cushions for the back and seat area. I noticed it immediately after he was done but he stated that it couldn’t be fixed. So, what would you suggest to use to extend the seating area to 18 inches? I’m happy to include a pic. Thx.
Where are you located? I can have a local Belgard rep reach out to you to discuss a solution.
What is the proper distance from the fire pit to the permanent wall seating?
Typically, seat walls are placed from 3 to 4 feet from the fire pit. For more fire pit design tips, read this blog.
Do you have more pictures available of the weston wall with bullnose coping on the seat wall?
Here are some more inspirational images of Weston Stone paired with bullnose coping. Enjoy! https://apgmedia.oldcastle.com/?w=3RElByfWGi
Are you able to provide the dimensions of the Castle Manor Seat Wall that is pictured first in the blog article? I would like to re-create this same layout around a firepit. Thank you!
It’s hard to know exactly without tracking down the contractor who built it, but we can give you some approximations. It’s probably around 12’ long plus columns. The seat face should sit no more than 6’ or so from the center of the fire pit. The height of the seat should be 18”. Good luck with your project! If you’re looking for a contractor to help you, visit Belgard.com/locator to find a pre-screened contractor in your area.