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.

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.

Fire Pit Patio Seating Wall
Add definition to an open area with the addition of a seat wall. This design incorporates a curved seat wall to coordinate with the round fire pit and curved patio.
WALL PRODUCT: Castle Manor™ Wall.

Patio Fire Pit Seat Walls
A curved seat wall helped to create a cozy alcove adjacent to the porch of this home. Bullnose coping was used to soften the seating edge of the rustic wall. To tie the design together, the same coping was used to cap the fire pit.
WALL PRODUCT: Celtik® Wall

Weston Stone Seat Walls Fire Pit Patio
This fire pit patio incorporates an L-shaped seat wall to coordinate with the square fire pit and angular patio design. Built-in arm rests help provide a finished.
WALL PRODUCT: Weston Stone®

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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.

Multi Level Seat Wall Patio Fire Pit
The slope of this yard presented a significant grade change, which required a retaining wall in order to build the pool. The designer took advantage of the grade change to create tiered seating around the fire pit, also creating the perfect built-in “movie night” setup.
WALL PRODUCT: Celtik® Wall

Patio Seat Wall Design Ideas
By adding a ledge to this perimeter wall, additional permanent seating was created to provide a conversation area for this patio.
WALL PRODUCT: Tandem® Wall.

Seat Wall Design Ideas
This fire pit patio is adjacent to an outdoor bar area. The seat wall extends from the built-in bar to defines the perimeter of the space and provide seating for both the bar and the fire pit, creating a multi-purpose entertainment zone.
WALL PRODUCT: Weston Stone®

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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.

This seat wall incorporates natural wood into the design, using wooden posts for the seat ledge and back rest. Mitered edges and a stair-stepped design soften the look and create an intimate space.
WALL PRODUCT: Weston Stone®

Seat Wall Steps Design
This design uses natural stone for the seat ledges and the stair treads leading to the back porch. The designer also took advantage of the terraced design to construct a planter wall for a raised flower bed, creating the feel of a sunken outdoor living room.
WALL PRODUCT: Weston Stone®

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Terraced Design

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.

TERRACED SEAT WALL DESIGN
A ledge wall is added to this terrace and continues along the wall of the house to create a curved seating area. The terrace and exterior wall of the home act as built-in back rests. Low-voltage lighting was installed under the seat ledge to provide ambiance during evening gatherings.
WALL PRODUCT: Belair® Wall

Celtik Wall Seating Design Ideas
A curved ledge wall was added to this terraced retaining wall to create seating for the fire pit. The designer also took advantage of the multiple grade changes to add planters at every level and create a built-in vertical garden.
WALL PRODUCT: Celtik® Wall

 

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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.

11 COMMENTS

  1. 5 Fiery Ideas for Building Your Outdoor Cooking Station – Outdoor Living by Belgard – General Contractors!

    […] home chefs out there putting on shows, why not give your audience a front row seat? Bar seating or built-in seating near the cooking station creates a cozy atmosphere to enhance the outdoor cooking experience. An […]

  2. 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.
    Thanks
    Matt

    • 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Hello
    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.

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