A well-designed backyard makes all the difference during summer, whether you plan to have friends and family over frequently or to do some projects out here by yourself. It’s always inspiring to look at designs and ideas that have been implemented in other similar environments and to come up with custom strategies based on your own needs and preferences. With that in mind, we have a few backyard seating concepts that we’d like to share with you today.
A sunken conversation pit
Because this is an outdoor space, it can look and feel exposed and thus not as cozy and comfortable as you would like it to be. However, that’s not the case with a sunken conversation pit. This is one designed by Weber Arquitectos for a beautiful home situated in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. It’s built into the deck, just outside living room and dining area and is covered by a pergola which offers shade and also allows the space to feel like a natural extension of the indoor areas.
Floating on water
If your backyard opens onto a lake or if we’re talking about a beach house, it would be really cool to take advantage of that in a unique way. A very inspiring concept in this case is the one proposed by the W Retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand. Here studio MAPS Design created a series of amazing seating areas that are floating on water. The design is very similar to what you would find in a regular backyard, with greenery all around instead of water.
Built into the deck
This seating area is still very much exposed, with lots of open space around it as well as a big swimming pool. Nevertheless, it looks and feel very warm and cozy due to the fact that it’s actually built into the deck and of course to the fact that it has a fire pit at the center. There are comfortable benches on three sides and additional seating space around them and there’s a wooden rim around this area which is darker in color compared to the rest of the deck. That creates a clear distinction. This lovely sunken pit is part of a design created by Hufft Projects in Springfield, Missouri.
Although concrete is not a warm or very welcoming material, it does really suit modern and contemporary designs. In that sense, a concrete seating area could look beautiful in a backyard or a garden where it would surely stand out and contrast with the surroundings but in a nice way. You can take inspiration from this lovely conversation pit found at W Hotels Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island which had its interior designed by Patricia Urquiola.
Colors that blend into the surroundings
As you can see for yourself, this sunken seating area blends in perfectly and that’s partially due to the color palette which matches the deck perfectly. Also, notice how all the seating perfectly covers all four sides and the backs are at exactly the same level as the floor of the surrounding area. It’s a lovely design created by John Robert Nilsson for a house located near Stockholm. This could potentially give you an idea of how to furniture your own backyard seating area to help it blend in better.
Wood and concrete combo
Finding a good way to incorporate the seating area into the overall design of the backyard is important as well. One design which we find inspiring was created by studio Electric Bowery for a house in Venice, California. There’s a really big open deck at the back of the house which incorporate a variety of functions, including this sunken fire pit area. This is where wood and concrete come together and ensure a smooth transition between the adjacent spaces.
A circular pit
Like everything else, a backyard seating area can take many different shapes. In the case of sunken conversation pits these are usually very simple and basic. A circular design such as the one chosen by architect Marcelo Montoro for this house in Brazil helps to create a more warm and friendly environment by allowing everyone to be evenly spaced around the central element, in this case a small fir pit.
Utilizing the space on the roof of a house is usually a great idea when there are beautiful views to be enjoyed or when the site is small and doesn’t leave room for a proper backyard. This house on Non Nuoc Beach in Vietnam completed by MIA Design Studio has a rooftop terrace with a big seating area at the center, greenery and glass railings. It’s right on top of the indoor living area.
Shaded by a pergola
Whether it’s attached to the side of the house or further out in the backyard, a pergola adds a lot to a conversation nook or an outdoor lounge area. This beautiful seafront house in Corsica has several designated areas which serve as extensions of the indoor living spaces but can also be looked at as independent areas. They’re shaded by pergolas and they’re breezy, comfortable and inviting. This place was designed by architects Vincent Coste and Bruno Fléchet.
Sunken lounge within a pool
Fire and water coexist here in a very unexpected but also inspiring setup. This is something that studio Randy Angell Designs created together with Pool Environments and consists of a swimming pool with a sunken lounge surrounded by water and floating stepping stones going across the water. The lounge has a small fire pit at a focal point and comfortable seating placed around it.
A sunken courtyard
Another idea is to design the backyard on different levels. This works out well if the house is sitting on a sloped site. A nice example is a design created by studio Wittman Estes Architecture+Landscape. This beautiful backyard has a set of stairs which lead down to a separate seating area with benches placed against the fences and lush greenery peeking from behind.
This right here is a stylish poolside area designed by Alessandro Isola for the Le Monde winery in Italy. There are several distinct spaces, including a sunken seating area with an eye-catching timber installation which makes it seem as if the floor is curving upwards and unfolds to become a shade for the area below. This gives the space a very organic and sophisticated look.