Outdoor living space with two sofas and a coffee table
· On-Deck · Outdoor Design

Designing the Perfect Outdoor Oasis: Patio Furniture Space Planning Made Easy

Having an outdoor area where you can unwind and host gatherings is so important. However, the process of designing and planning a patio can be overwhelming, with countless options and considerations to take into account. One of those tricky tasks: patio furniture space planning.



The Benefits of Proper Patio Furniture Space Planning


Investing some time in patio furniture space planning can work wonders for your outdoor space. When practical considerations are made, you'll notice how easy it becomes to move around, whether grabbing a meal or just wandering through your garden.


Plus, there's the bonus of your outdoor area looking like something out of a home design magazine. With the proper placement, your furniture can accentuate the natural beauty of your surroundings, creating an inviting atmosphere. Even if your space is quite small, careful space planning helps you make the most of it.


Key Factors to Consider in Patio Furniture Space Planning


Whether you're aiming for cozy, elegant, or simply functional, these key factors can help you make your patio the ultimate hangout spot.


1. Assess the Available Outdoor Space


Outdoor space with a pool


Before diving into any patio furniture shopping spree, take the time to assess your open outdoor space. Measure it accurately, sketch it on paper, or use a digital design tool. This will serve as your canvas for planning the perfect outdoor setup.


2. Determine the Primary Functions of the Patio Area


Friends clicking wine glasses together


Consider how you intend to use your outdoor space. Is it a place for al fresco dining, entertaining guests, or a cozy retreat for you and your family? Defining the primary functions will help you decide the type and number of furniture pieces you need.


3. Consider the Desired Seating and Dining Arrangements


Mainstay Dining Table and Seats


Consider the seating and dining arrangements that suit your lifestyle and needs. Do you prefer a large outdoor dining table for family gatherings, or is a more intimate bistro set your style? Your choice of furniture should align with the activities you've identified.


4. Incorporating Storage Solutions


Mainstay Bar Credenza for storage with TV and coffee table


When crafting the perfect patio retreat, it's worth considering storage solutions for your outdoor cushions, unwieldy garden tools, and various accessories, as they have a knack for crowding your cherished outdoor oasis.


With some smart storage solutions, you can artfully stow away your belongings, taking back your patio in style. Consider weather-resistant storage coffee tables or chic bar credenzas, which not only serve a practical purpose but also add a touch of elegance to your alfresco space.


5. Determine the Focal Point and Traffic Flow


Beautiful and spacious outdoor space


Identify a focal point in your outdoor space, such as a lovely garden view, fireplace, or beautiful outdoor art. Arrange your furniture around this focal point. Additionally, plan for an easy traffic flow that keeps the seating and dining areas intact.


6. Select the Appropriate Patio Furniture Pieces and Accessories


Outdoor living space with large sectional with blue cushions and pillows


Choose furniture that complements your outdoor space. Further, pay attention to materials, colors, and styles that harmonize with your surroundings.


Ideal Spacing Between Various Outdoor Furniture Pieces


Appropriately spacing between outdoor furniture pieces can create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere when setting up your outdoor oasis. Whether you're arranging your chairs, tables, or chaise lounges, getting the spacing right can elevate your outdoor space to a whole new level.


Furniture Spacing


1. Space Needed for Walking Pathways


  • Reserve 2.5 to 4 feet (30” - 48”) of space for high-traffic areas. 

  • You can reduce this measurement to 2 feet (24”) for areas with less foot traffic.


    2. Distance Between a Wall and Dining Table


    For optimal spacing, aim to leave a minimum of 3 feet (36") clearance between the dining table and surrounding walls or other furnishings, ensuring that chairs can be effortlessly pulled out.


    3. Distance Between a Dining Table and an Entrance


    To facilitate smooth entry and exit from the room, maintain approximately 4 feet (48") of space between the table and any entrances.


    4. Vertical Space Between a Dining Chair and Dining Table

    • Ensure a comfortable 7" gap between the chair arm and the table apron.
    • Chairs and their armrests should have no trouble sliding comfortably beneath the table.


    5. Space Between Dining Chairs


    For the best experience, aim to have approximately 2 feet (24") of space between chairs to avoid elbow clashes and ensure smooth chair movement without accidental bumps or knuckle bruises.


    6. Distance Between a Sofa and Coffee Table


    • To provide ample legroom and easy access for setting down drinks or reaching for appetizers without discomfort, maintain approximately 1.5 feet (18") of space between the table and the sofa's edge.
    • Coffee table heights can vary significantly, but a helpful guideline is to ensure that the table and seat height are within 4" of each other.


    7. Side Table & Sofa Height


    An end table should have a height roughly equal to the armrest of your sofa or chair. This allows guests to sit down or reach for drinks without straining and lends a more cohesive feel to the room.


    8. Distance Between TV & Sofa


    A distance of approximately 7 feet should be maintained between the TV and the seating choices.


    How Much Space Do You Need for Outdoor Furniture?


    The space you need for outdoor furniture depends on your available area and how you intend to use it. In general, you should leave enough room for people to move comfortably between furniture pieces and for the free flow of traffic.


    Bringing Your Dream Outdoor Oasis to Life


    Patio furniture space planning is the key to creating your perfect outdoor oasis. It improves functionality, enhances aesthetics, and maximizes the use of your space. So, go ahead and start measuring, sketching, and planning. Your dream outdoor oasis awaits and is well within your reach with the proper patio furniture space planning.


    Let's make that dream backyard a reality for you! No matter where you're hitting a roadblock, our team of outdoor design experts is here to assist you. They're eager to steer you toward your ideal backyard. You only need to set up a free design consultation to kick things off.


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