Furnishings play an important role in the way your outdoor spaces look, feel and most importantly, how they work. Designing environments that satisfy your needs requires understanding your space’s current and future uses. In this post, we’ll share the considerations we work through with clients when designing built-in or purchasing freestanding outdoor furniture for them.


Begin by thinking how you envision using your outdoor space for. Will it be a space for intimate family dinners?  Or hosting cocktail parties for a crowd? Answering the question of how your space will function will help guide the appropriate layout for traffic flow and best amount of seating. Don’t skip this step!

Our clients wanted a spot to sip wine in the evenings. Vintage Brown Jordan “Kantan” chairs are comfortable without cushions, and a custom fire pit offers enough surface area for appetizers — or feet!

Make sure to measure your space and account for enough space to navigate around furniture comfortably.

Some rules of thumb:

  • Allow three feet of walking space for efficient pedestrian flow.
  • Room between seating and edge of coffee table or firepit: 18 inches
  • Floor space in front of chair or sofa: 18 – 30 inches
  • Space for (occupied) dining chair from edge of table to back of chair: 18 – 24 inches
  • Between dining chairs: 30 inches
  • Floor space in front of chair or sofa: 18 – 30 inches

Is your space tight? Built-ins can be a great way to maximize space because each piece is customized to fit exactly, while freestanding furniture gives you the flexibility to move things around according to your needs.

We designed a custom built-in bench that is perfect for parties, and our clients added chairs for flexibility.

We’ve found that refurbishing vintage furniture can be both budget and environmentally friendly. We especially love powder coating as a way to create a durable, long-lasting finish in broad range of colors.

Our clients inherited a wonderful client of vintage Russell Woodard “Sculptura” furniture that were powder coated in mint and paired with a contemporary dining table.
This vintage table was powder-coated a steel blue for a client’s patio.

Clients are often surprised to learn that outdoor furniture can cost as much – or even more – than interior furniture.  The old adage, “you get want you pay for” applies even more to outdoor furniture.  The reason being that quality materials and construction will ensure your furniture can last and withstand weather.

Most metal, teak, cedar and all-weather wicker furniture wear well. Conversely, furniture made from soft woods such as pine or particle board, will succumb to the elements quickly. High quality outdoor fabrics not only feel more like indoor fabrics, but repel grime and spot clean easily.  There are more companies than making durable and beautiful outdoor furniture, and we love helping find that perfect piece.

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