15 Ways to Arrange Outdoor Furniture

This post was updated July 2021. 

Arrange outdoor furniture with 15 different layouts

Looking for ways to arrange outdoor furniture? Whether you have a front porch that welcomes visitors or a back porch that’s private and perfect for entertaining, the way you arrange outdoor furniture in your space will set the tone for your entire space. That’s why it’s important to up your porch game with a furniture layout that functions for your needs. We’re sharing 15 foolproof ideas to arrange outdoor furniture in any space.

Arrange outdoor furniture with a sofa and two chairs

1. A Classic Way to Arrange Outdoor Furniture — A Sofa & Two Chairs

Our go-to way to arrange outdoor furniture is the classic combination of a comfortable porch sofa and two chairs. Just like your living room, this is a foolproof layout that works in a den, on a patio, and yes, on your porch too. In the porch above, we love the way louvered shutters and a chandelier really give this outdoor space the polish of an indoor space.

Arrange outdoor furniture with two loveseats

2. Two Loveseats and a Mix of Chairs

Loveseats are a great use of space because realistically, you’ll only seat 2 people to a couch (just like you will a love seat), but their shorter width allows you to squeeze in more chairs. In this space, Suzanne Kasler used her Directoire collection — two loveseats, two lounge chairs, a coffee table, two side tables, and even a little garden stool. The great thing about this arrangement is that all of these pieces can be moved around for a more versatile setup!

Arrange outdoor furniture with a corner sectional

3. Arrange Outdoor Furniture by Creating a Corner with Two Sofas

Your first instinct might be to place two sofas facing each other, and while that’s a great layout that always works, we also like to create a corner with two outdoor sofas. The result is an intimate corner where you can chat tête-à-tête. It also opens up the other side of the seating space for easier flow.

4. Use a Sectional to Create Boundaries

Alternatively, a sectional can also create boundaries and help dignify your space. Here we used our Navio Sectional to break up the space into two different sections: the lounging area and the dining area. Sectionals are also great if you entertain in large groups because they offer maximum seating.

Arrange outdoor furniture with chaise lounge into your outdoor porch

5. Work a Chaise into Your Porch Arrangement

Typically we think of chaise lounge chairs for relaxing by the pool, but they’re actually easy to work into your seating arrangement too! Here, we created an asymmetrical arrangement with our Amalfi Collection — a sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, and a chaise in the opposite corner.

Arrange outdoor furniture with an ottoman

6. Substitute a Chair with an Ottoman

If you’re short on space, consider substituting a chair with an ottoman. This space uses a sofa, one chair, but then an ottoman can act as a foot stool or an extra perch when you’re entertaining. An ottoman is more versatile than a chair which is especially helpful when you’re trying to make the most of a small porch.

Arrange outdoor furniture with dining and seating space

7. Dining & Seating in a Small Space

We often run into a dilemma when decorating a porch — do you want a dining or a seating space. What if you want both! One way to bring both into a smaller porch is to do just a pair of chairs. It’s far easier to work two chairs into a space than a full sofa and coffee table. To keep the space above from feeling cramped, we substituted traditional dining chairs with benches.

Arrange outdoor furniture with four chairs in a circle

8. Arrange Outdoor Furniture with Four Chairs in a Circle

There’s no rule you have to use a sofa at all on a porch! And no space illustrates how inviting a porch can be with just four chairs than this one. How chic is this? Placing four chairs in a circle makes the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail with friends while you’re waiting for the grill to heat up!

Arrange outdoor furniture with pieces facing eachother

9. Arrange Outdoor Furniture to Face Eachother

We’ve showed you the combination of a sofa with two chairs on either side, but for a space that’s deeper than it is wide, place the chairs across from the sofa so they’re facing one another. We’ll often use this setup when we want to allow for traffic flow through the space. With a coffee table, side table, and floating cube, there are plenty of places to place your drink or kick up your heels.

Arrange outdoor furniture with two chairs

10. Arrange Outdoor Furniture with a Pair of Chairs

You may be noticing a theme with many of these spaces — a pair of chairs. Both inside and outside, we tend to think that two chairs are better than one. Who wants to drink a glass of wine alone? For a narrow balcony or small porch space, we suggest a simple pair of chairs with a side table between them. This is a great option for narrow front porches too!

11. Divide Your Narrow Porch into Two Seating Spaces

If you have a long, narrow porch, it’s impossible to come up with an arrangement where someone at one end can socialize with someone at the other. Instead, divide your space into two different seating areas. Pull a loveseat and two chairs tightly together on one end, then do a simple pair on the other end. This way, you can have a more intimate, private setting for when you’re reading a book, but when guests come over, you have a larger entertaining space too. In other words, it’s ok if one seating area can’t do it all — divide and conquer!

Arrange a separate outdoor dining area

12. Bring Together Dining and Seating

Another option for split porch layouts? Dividing them into a separate seating and dining area. In the outdoor room above, we used a large outdoor dining table to create a dining space. The outdoor rug and LED string lights helps define the space. Outdoor drapery is also a great way to help visually divide the space as it clearly indicate two different areas.

Use long sectionals on your porch

13. Arrange Two Long Sectionals Side-by-Side

At the 2014 Southern Living Idea House, Suzanne Kasler was challenged with furnishing a long, narrow covered porch, and she placed two 4-piece sectionals from her Directoire Collection side-by-side to create two distinct and equally inviting spaces — create for hosting big parties! She finished off the two different areas with mirrored coffee tables and lounge chairs.

Arrange outdoor furniture with just chairs

14. Arrange Outdoor Furniture with Chairs Only

On the porch of the Idea House Bunny Williams’ designed, she used just chairs to create a cozy but open porch. We love this because everyone gets their own seat, and with a porch as large as this, you can fit plenty of seating!

Mix up your outdoor furniture 15. Mix It Up

Why limit yourself to just one seating area? If you have a large porch (what we wouldn’t give to hang out here during the summer!), mix it up with different ways to arrange your outdoor furniture. Here, you can see a three chaise lounge chairs, a dining area, a seating area in the foreground, and a relaxing bench to the far right.

Whew! That’s a lot of porches. Which one was your favorite? Do you feel like you now have a better handle on how to arrange outdoor furniture?

Browse all of our outdoor collections and find more outdoor decorating ideas from these posts below:

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.

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  1. Avatar
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    Zoe Campos

    July 17, 2020

    Thank you for telling me that the furniture arrangement plays a huge role when it comes to my patio decoration. I dropped by at my friend’s house the other day for a tea party and realize that it might be a good idea to decorate my patio like hers. I’ll try to look for some Minka aire fans that I can use and start from there.

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    Jane Smith

    July 17, 2020

    Thanks for this article and nice photos!

  3. Avatar
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    F. Robinson

    July 9, 2020

    I agree with all the other comments, beautiful porch designs. I have one question though, the area on my porch that I am decorating is 6×6, would a rug that is 5×7 be sufficient to cover the area? By the way your outdoor rugs are beautiful as I am in the market for an outdoor rug.
    Thanks,

    • Abbey Nolte
      Reply

      Abbey Nolte

      January 8, 2021

      Yes, that size should work for your space!

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    wall art san diego

    October 16, 2018

    As there are various ideas available on the internet but you have tell amazing ways to arrange the porch as it is not easy to arrange the porch but it is not hard too also you can take the brief idea from this website as it tells everything in a fantastic way.

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    Michael Clarke

    September 1, 2018

    First of all, I must say that it’s an amazing blog post. All the ways you have mentioned to arrange furniture are looks so beautiful. Definitely wanna try out these ways at home.

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    Travis Ward

    July 13, 2018

    Nice article! Thanks for those ideas.

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    Laura Fielder

    May 27, 2018

    Nice!

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    Mrs. Eyler

    January 21, 2018

    Thank you fir this article! It is always inspirational to see design ideas with pictures AND photos! I can’t wait for spring to okay around with my screened porch design!

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    Kendall Ryder

    October 3, 2016

    I like the idea of creating corner with two sofas or with a large sectional sofa. That way you will have more space to sit around and enjoy your patio. If you have guests there often, then they will all have a place to sit and be comfortable. Plus, it makes it more appealing for you to go outside more often!

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