If your patio could use a pick-me-up, consider the transformative powers of an outdoor loveseat. Built with more petite proportions than outdoor sofas, loveseats fill the sweet spot between patio chairs and sofas, making them ideal for yards of all sizes and uses. While outdoor loveseat designs were limited a decade or two ago, it’s fair to say that today’s manufacturers are feeling the love. Overwhelmed by the abundance of options? Let us play matchmaker! We’re spotlighting some current loveseat trends, plus, giving you the details on some classic options and materials to consider. 

RELATED READ: Bright Ideas for Your Indoor-Outdoor Space

Outdoor space with wicker loveseat sofa with white cushions
Design by Eclectic Home New Orleans / Photo by Jared Kuzia

Popular Loveseat Styles 

Loveseats have undergone a style transformation in recent years. Big, boxy silhouettes have bid adieu to make room for more sculptural forms. With the turn toward more shapely forms, outdoor loveseats are increasingly difficult to tell apart from their living room counterparts. The trend has been a boon for materials that can assume shapely forms like wicker, fiberglass, and foam covered in stretchy upholsteries.

Neutrals, which have long been the color scheme of choice for outdoor couch designs, are also also on the outs. Replacing them are bold, high-wattage hues that evoke a retro resort feel. Metal is among the best vehicles for no-fade color, so metal loveseat frames decked out with cushions are definitely having a moment in the sun. 

Rooftop deck with wood and upholstered outdoor loveseat
Design by Found Design Studio / Photo by Joyelle West

Make it Chic with Teak 

Tough enough to withstand a wide range of atmospheric events (from blistering heat to torrential downpours), teak has long been a favored construction material for outdoor furniture. Most teak loveseats follow a similar blueprint — a perpendicular frame with a platform seat that accommodates rectangular cushions. More ornate designs, often subtly inspired by Middle Eastern or Southeast Asian design, are also available.

Perhaps the most alluring thing about teak is its versatility. With teak’s minimal grain and medium tone, most loveseats are fairly style agnostic. Pair them with a proper English garden, a coastal-inspired terrace, or even a sparse desertscape. 

Patio with outdoor metal lovesest and chairs in the style of Brown Jordan
Design by MLK Studio / Photo by Roger Davies

Make Way for Metal

Metal outdoor loveseats can be sourced in a wide array of styles, ranging from antique to modern. A large portion of antique metal loveseats date back to the 19th Century, and include Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Art Deco styles. The Peacock chair, the famous fan-backed rattan throne that debuted around the turn of the 19th Century was adapted into metal loveseat versions, and today they’re perfect for lending an element of bohemian joie de vivre to a yard. In the mid-20th Century, metal loveseats got a modernist twist, courtesy of makers like Salterini and Homecrest. While most of these early metal seats were crafted of black iron, today’s metal seats are more likely to be crafted of colorful, fade-resistant powder-coated metal. 

It’s worth noting that metal love seats aren’t generally meant for hours-long lounging. Padding them with pillows can help, but unless it’s a newer model with a cocooning cushion (similar to a Papasan cushion), metal pressure points are likely to rest against your body, limiting the amount of time in which you can sit in it comfortably. Metal loveseats’ rigidness is offset by their versatility, however. Their profiles tend to be compact, making them a great fit for space-challenged balconies, patios, and porches. 

Outdoor loveseat in a slipper style with black and white striped cushions
Photo by John Merkl

The Plush Stuff 

Recent developments in outdoor fabrics have made pillow-y outdoor sofas and loveseats a reality. If you’re looking for an indoor counterpart to compare these ultra-plush sofas to, try Ligne Roset’s Togo Sofa or B&B Italia’s Le Bambole sofa. Curvy and cozy, outdoor sofas that envelope and cradle are among the most popular trends today. Designs can run high-end or remarkably affordable. For a cost-effective option, try the search term “outdoor bean bag sofa.” Many of these sack-like seats even feature removable, washable covers.  

Like indoor floor-level sofas, these modular, floor-level loveseats work well as solo statement pieces. Pair one with a low coffee table and you’re more or less set. If you want to incorporate an entire seating area, consider scattering around a few low-profile poufs or stools. Try tossing on a throw or piling on a few outdoor pillows to soften these pieces’ imposing silhouettes.  

Texas ranch porch with wicker outdoor loveseat and Moroccan tables
Design by Wills Design Associates / Photo by Kerry Kirk

Wicker Wonders

Wicker has long been a standby when it comes to outdoor love seats. Breathable and blissfully lightweight, wicker has endured from the Victorian era onward. Today, wicker loveseats can be found in a myriad of styles, ranging from breezy, open-fretwork to tightly-woven pieces that assume funky, trompe l’oeil shapes. Use different styles to evoke different moods. Airy pieces, for instance, are perfect for setting a barefoot bohemian vibe. Traditional wicker pieces — think Adirondack-style loves seats — are perfection in lakehouse, country, or cottage settings. 

For those looking for a fresh twist on wicker, consider a black wicker loveseat. A black finish instantly makes wicker look sleeker and more modern. Picking up a brush and doing a DIY paint job in black is also a great way to reinvent an old wicker sofa. White wicker, of course, will always be a shabby chic stand-by. Partnered with Chintz or ticking stripe cushions, a white wicker loveseat is a forever classic. 

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Lead photo design by Jen Samson Design / Photo by Mellon Studio


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July 26, 2023

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