Do you ever see a patio that makes you want to sit down and enjoy the evening and others make little or no impression at all? Sometimes it’s difficult to understand just what makes one space so successful.
Defining the Space – Sitting walls are the one element above others that help to define an outdoor space. Just like walls on an indoor room, the sitting walls create the boundary of the patio or terrace. Sitting walls don’t have to encompass the entire patio to help identify the outdoor room.
Seating – Sitting walls provide additional seating beyond that of the chairs that are on the patio. When entertaining a large group, the sitting walls can accommodate many people for seating and socializing. Perhaps the best thing about sitting walls is that they provide seating during the off season when all the patio furniture is stored away. If the holidays roll around with 70 degree temperatures then you can move outdoors and still have seating available.
An Element of Safety – If your property slopes away from the patio, the sitting walls add an element of safety to the guests. During a party, it’s easy for a guest to step back and twist an ankle if they step off a patio at grade or slightly above. Sitting walls provide a safe barrier for your guests. In some townships, a sitting wall is an acceptable alternative to using a railing.
If your patio is elevated several feet above the ground as shown in this photo, you can install a low railing on top the sitting wall for added safety.
Another safety element is the low voltage lighting that can be added to either side of the wall. Wall lights on the interior of the wall add enough illumination for safety but are not intrusive.
Sense of Privacy – Although sitting walls are not installed as a privacy buffer, it does offer a feeling of privacy when sitting on the patio. When you plant large shrubs or small trees beyond the wall, it creates a garden around your outdoor room. Sitting on a patio without sitting walls has a very exposed feel compared to that of a patio with sitting walls.
Test the Theory – Take notice of all the patios you visit this season and see if you enjoy the outdoor spaces with sitting walls better than those without walls.