Low walls have earned their reputation as one of the most versatile hardscaping structures. Not only do they serve as casual, convenient seating, but also serve to outline the perimeters of outdoor rooms, and provide alcoves to house lighting or shelter delicate items from the elements. Here are a few things to consider when designing your sitting walls in State College, PA:
The shade and range of textures displayed by the surface of a sitting wall is one of the most important aspects of its design. Certain materials are better suited to certain aesthetic themes, and should be selected to complement the surrounding home and hardscape. For example, a beautiful classic home with authentic historic architecture can be accentuated by large, rugged stone or concrete units with convincing antiqued surfaces. Alternatively, a relatively modern home might be better accentuated by sleek concrete wall units that mimic the unique luxury of granite.
Once you label a low wall as a sitting wall, coping becomes increasingly important. Sitting walls require smooth, comfortable coping that won’t damage delicate clothing. The coping should also be relatively wide to ensure a comfortable seat. You should also consider slanting your coping slightly so that rainwater doesn’t accumulate on its surface. Puddles of rainwater take much longer to dry - a period during which nobody can use the walls as seats - and can even cause staining.
Experiment with different shapes when planning the layout of your sitting walls. While contemporary homeowners often opt for geometric walls in square or rectangular formations, curved walls can add a playful element to the hardscape design. A curved wall offers visual softness that will pair harmoniously with the surrounding softscape, and can be constructed using natural stone for a more natural look and feel.
Low walls create an effortless, but incredibly clear, divide between two areas. You should, therefore, place sitting walls carefully. Building sitting walls between two outdoor rooms with vastly different functions and atmospheres, like the outdoor kitchen and poolside, can be wonderfully effective. However, placing a sitting wall in the center of a room can create confusion and make the space appear cramped. That is why sitting walls most often used to neatly enclose patios and outdoor rooms. Try to pinpoint the coziest, most inviting corners of the hardscape and place sitting walls there. Any area near a fire pit or fireplace is always a good candidate, as guests will be able to enjoy its subtle warmth and soft light.
Low walls are renowned for being multipurpose structures. Therefore, your sitting wall can be fitted with a few subtle add-ons that enable it to serve an array of additional functions. For example, creating hollows in the center of the low wall and enabling the top to hinge open will provide the homeowner with additional storage space. One could use this convenient space to store the pillows used to decorate the sitting walls and enhance their comfort. You could also punctuate sitting walls with short, flat-topped pillars that serve as charming end-tables for drinks and snacks.
Image courtesy of Unilock.