10 Tips for Inviting Seating Areas

Now that the heaviest gardening chores are done for the season, it's time for us gardeners to enjoy relaxing in our gardens. We all spend so much time focusing on our flower beds and shrub borders that sometimes we forget to lavish our attention on our outdoor entertaining spots. Here are ten tips for creating jazzy seating areas that invite you to linger!

Tip 1: (Above) Paint your outdoor furniture a bright color that "pops" in the garden.

Tip 2: Create a rug under your dining table with contrasting paving. This owner's orange market umbrella complements the aged brick.

Tip 3: Add mirrors to enlarge and add depth to a small space.

Tip 4: Use rustic cedar logs to create a naturalistic feel, as in this "Teddy Bears' Picnic" hideaway at Brocoli Hall in Amenia, NY.

Tip 5: Surround yourself with flowers! These adirondack-style chairs backed by a white picket fence smothered with roses invite you to relax at a Cape Cod eatery.

Tip 6: Walls and hedges make a seating area cozier, as in this walled courtyard with a boxwood hedge.

Tip 7: Decorate your outdoor living room with accessories that complement each other in style.

Tip 8: Don't have shade? Create a wire "ceiling" for climbers such as clematis that will soon be large enough to shade this dining nook.

Tip 9: Mix furniture styles for a modern flair, such as these contemporary adirondack chairs matched with a marble table.

Tip 10: Add a touch of whimsy to the garden! This succulent-topped table illuminated by twig-ball candleabras adds a playful touch to an 18th century farmhouse in western Connecticut.