You have yourself a beautiful fire pit, you have the guests invited, you’ve even bought the marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers for the epic roast that will happen! But where is everyone going to sit? Is it tacky to ask guests to bring their own folding chairs? Hmmm…yes. Yes it is. That’s why our expert landscape designer, Mark, recommends natural patio seating with fire pit wall seating! It’s the perfect solution to your seating snafu. We’ll let him walk you through all the things you need to know to elevate your outdoor living space with seat walls.
What is a Seating Wall?
A seat wall is nothing more than a solid surface approximately 18” in height that can serve as a seat or a physical barrier between spaces.
Functions of a Seating Wall
While a seat wall acts as built-in seating for the fire pit, it’s also really important to consider aesthetics and comfort – you’ll want something like Belgard’s Weston Stone Wall. We believe in Belgard products, we use them for our projects, and their repertoire of design options will help you choose the best design for your home.
Another option for seat walls would be to expand the space between the seat wall and fire pit itself so that an Adirondack chair or rocking chairs can fit. This will increase your seating options for your guests while also creating a cozy space.
Aside from seating options, a seat wall can act as a formal barrier between the fire pit and any surrounding landscape or patio surface creating a more intimate enclosed space. Seat walls also help define spaces – for instance, it can help define a separation between an outdoor kitchen area from an informal lounge space.
Seating Walls Offer Natural Outdoor Seating
For larger properties like parks and college campuses, seat walls can act as amphitheater style seating when built into hillsides. Elevate Outdoor created an engaging and unique outdoor classroom setting on the Lindenwood University campus by building natural stone seat walls into an existing hillside. Not only did these natural stone walls help retain the hillside, but they provided the perfect terraced seating for outdoor classes and presentations.
In many urban parks throughout the country, seat walls are used in lieu of traditional park benches as a way to provide ample seating throughout the park. But they also act as physical barriers to prevent park patrons from encroaching into flower gardens or protected natural habitats.
Benefits of a Seating Wall
One creative use of seat-walls often overlooked in design is it’s ability to create elevation. Here in the Midwest we are no strangers to flat sprawling yards. One way to help create movement and an engaging landscape is to create a sense of elevation change. Using a seat wall to elevate a portion of a paver patio can suddenly add dynamic and movement to an otherwise stagnant backyard.
Changes in elevation can add drama to a landscape by enticing the visitor to explore, but it also helps to create a sense of defined space. In this application, the seat wall may not be a standalone feature but rather a continuation of a retaining wall. Adding steps that “cut” through a seat-wall definitely creates movement and drama to a landscape.
Ultimately, a landscape should be dynamic and inviting whilst also serving a purpose. A seat wall can be a wonderful feature to add to your existing or new landscape to help define a space or create an entirely new space. Explore our retaining wall and seat wall options. Hopefully it will provide you the inspiration you need to elevate your outdoor living space! We’d be honored to visit with you and offer you a free quote!