Stools, Chairs and Other Places Where You Can Sit In The Garden
What To Do When You Just Need To Have a Seat Outside
OK, benches are cool. And what else - comfortable, affordable, nice looking. But sometimes there is not enough space for a bench. Or it just doesn't quite fit some place in the backyard. Or whatever, maybe you just want something different. And you still need to have a seat after working in the garden. So here are some other options you have. You can arrange garden stools and chairs along with a bench or two, or you can use only stools.
Who knows why most stools you can find at this time are like the one at the picture. Cylindrical shape with some ornaments or painted like mushrooms etc. Not all stools have to be like this. You can have typical square stool made of wood or metal, similar to a bench - just shorter.
Making a rectangular garden stool yourself is not much different than making a bench. You can just use some bench plans and shorten the length a little bit. If required you may remove the legs in the middle.
Looking to buy a bunch of stools? Expect to pay between $20 and $100 per stool. The circle shaped ones are usually more expensive.
Chairs are of course more comfortable. The wooden ones may need to be covered or kept under an umbrella when it rains so they can last longer. Some chairs are good for all-weather like those made of rattan - for example the famous Strathwood furniture. Chairs made or wrought iron are particularly good. And expensive. Like $200 or more for a single one. That expensive.
When buying outdoor chair have in mind also you may need some specific accessories. Being produced for outdoor use, they aren't soft and as comfortable for sitting as the chair you are now (most probably) sitting on. So you may need chair pad. Pads add another $10 - $20 and sometimes $50 - $100 per chair.
As I already said, in order to protect your outdoor chairs from rain and snow you may have to move them inside or put them under umbrella. The easiest and most secure solution is to use chair covers. Add between $10 or $30 for each cover.
As you see, chairs are good but if you have to add 4 or 8 good ones in the garden you may have to spend more than thousand bucks. Same sitting area can be achieved with just two benches.
Low Cost Or Nearly Free Sitting Furniture?
But who said you have to spend even that much on your garden stools, chairs or benches? It was not me! Here are a bunch of other ideas for sitting furniture that's very low cost, and sometimes free:
- Using logs like on the picture above. This comes free if you have a fallen tree around or nearly free if you have to buy some. You can buy firewood which comes about $30 - $50 per cubic meter, and these few "stools" and table are 1/10 or the cubic meter. Maybe you can finish them with wood varnish to last longer, so add $10 for all.
- Concrete blocks. We used little blocks, of these typically produced for building chimneys. Each one comes at $1 - $1.50 here. Just put them on the side and you can sit on each one. Move it when you don't like it there. We will also make a bench from two chimney blocks and a board (will write another time about that).
- Plastic chairs are cheap and last few years even if left outside. If you bring them outside only when you need them, they can last more than 10 years. And are just $10 - $20 per chair. They are also light and easy to move. Relatively comfortable to sit on too. Plastic chairs are really great option except that they look a bit cheap. And some strong wind can throw them far away of your property. But still think about using plastic chairs - at least as a temporary solution.
- Lounge chairs can cost a bit more than regular chairs but are usually far more comfortable. And they don't need pads or cushions, neither covers because you wouldn't leave them outside. For the same reason they are less casual too - you would normally bring your lounge chair out with the idea to relax. It's not like the stools that just sit there so you can have a break when you get tired. Oh, and because of the price maybe they don't belong to the low cost/nearly free group!
Ideally you would have some benches and some stools/chairs in the garden so you have a place to sit every few meters. In practice most backyards have limited space so you wouldn't want to waste too much for sitting furniture. But it's good to think about all options - sometimes just a log here and there will be enough.