Well placed seat walls are a simple and low cost way to incorporate a focal point that also serves as an entertaining area, as well as a showcase for design materials such as natural stone, into any outdoor garden space.
Low Retaining Walls at seat height create enclosures and maximize ability to entertain large groups as well as adding coziness to small groups.
When you look at a rear patio, the eye focuses on vertical planes. Walls and seats add depth along with different areas of seating and gathering possibilities.
When designing gardens for entertaining, I plan the use of seat walls many ways:
- Raise patio areas to 18" to create outdoor room feel.
- Create low retaining walls to add depth to a yard.
- Flank entry steps to create a grand effect.
- Add seating adjacent to outdoor kitchen for a quick sit down alfresco snack.
- Create a raised flowering tree planter.
- Add lighting in the garden without visible fixtures.
When designing outdoor space for entertaining, I divide the space into outdoor rooms. One terrific way to create the feeling of different rooms or spaces is to create varying levels in the yards. I accomplish this by using a series of cast concrete steps and low retaining walls designed at seat height. Placing seat walls in the garden can create great focal points. Use these low, unobtrusive walls to surround and highlight a fountain or favorite water feature, create a raised tree planter, or add substantial seating area for entertaining guests.
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