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Arranging Patio Furniture Is Situational

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Arranging your patio furniture does not have to be function specific.  However, if you need or want to get the most of a situation, you should consider the layout of your furniture in order to allure, engage or appeal family, friends and company.  

Arranging your patio furniture for the situation will benefit those who are using it and if it involves a social function, it will help to make it a success.

Cavalier Attitude

Many of us, including this author, don’t spend a lot of time worrying about or precisely positioning patio furniture so that it can be appreciated by others.  Nor do we worry about whether the position is what our family and friends like to see or in the positions that are comfortable or useful without having to move them.

Don’t Upset The Apple Cart

Consider this.  Most people who use or visit your patio are polite and won’t ask or move your furniture into a more useful or desirable position or place.  With that in mind, you as the owner and controller, need to consider your patio furniture layout, especially when you are having company from outside the home.

A Few Situations to Consider For Furniture Use and Layout

In determining whether you need to put some thought in your furniture layout, consider the different situations  listed below.  In thinking about these different types of use, imagine a Hollywood movie scene and what you would expect the set to look like in each situation.  

  • How many people use your furniture?
  • At what times of the day are they used?
  • Consider the surrounding view and landscaping.
  • Is the situation for casual lounging and relaxing, little or no socializing?
  • Is the situation for social business function?
  • Is the situation a couples party?
  • Is the situation a singles party?

Situational Patio Furniture Arrangements

For casual lounging and reading with little socializing, use chaise lounge chairs and club chairs with ottomans arranged so that the people using them are not facing each other.  They should not be too close to each other so that when one person moves or gets up, it does not interrupt someone that is trying to sleep, relax or read a book.  Be cognoscente of the sun and lighting.  In bright hot daylight, you want to sit in the shade.  After dinner, you might need to sit in the sun.

For social business functions you will need to make sure you have tables or pub tables and stools arranged so that people can use the tables for either sitting or standing.  At most business functions people like to stand and socialize a while before they decide to sit down.  They need a place to put their drinks and plates.   Make sure there is a lot of room between the tables for people to move easily in their attire.  If you have sofas and love seats, try to face them off with other sofas and love seats or an equivalent number of chairs.  Coffee Tables should be placed between the furniture for drinks and plates.  Pairs of chairs can be arranged in different locations with end tables between them.

Couples parties are pretty easy parties to work.  Couples start the party out together and by the end of the night, they have socialized with everyone at the party. These folks float from group to group talking about the topic on hand.  Arrange sets of four chairs in a wide dimeter circle with one common coffee table in the center.  Arrange sets of two chairs around next to one and another with an end table in front of the two chairs.  This type of set up will encourage both group and one-on-one conversation.  Set up dining tables with about 6 chairs at each table.

At a singles party, to encourage one-on-one mingling, set up chairs facing each other with an end table between them.  This will encourage face to face discussion.  A pub table and stools can cultivate a romantic atmosphere for two people wanting to get to know each other.  An outdoor bar with stools is always a nice hangout and a nice touch to any patio.


Putting a little thought and imagination into the functional use of your patio will help you choose a layout design to make it more desirable to use and have more value.  Arranging your patio furniture into useful, appealing, layouts will encourage people to use it and appreciate it.  Ultimately, you will appreciate more it if your friends and family appreciate it.

Check back for our next article to learn more about bedroom dressers.

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