We have a small patch of grass in the front yard that is south-facing so it gets tons of sun and offers an amazing view. We decided to turn it into an outdoor lounge - a grass patio. Here's what we did and how much it cost.
We live on the upside of a steep street on the side of a mountain. This means we have a great view from our front yard. The backyard is shady and cold.
Over the years we’ve found ourselves more and more sitting out front on a small grassy area enclosed with a boxwood hedge in camp chairs or cheap plastic Adirondack chairs. It’s served as a makeshift patio. It’s the best spot in the yard because it gets plenty of sun and the view is spectacular.
This year it occurred to us that we should buy some better outdoor seating and turn the area into a proper outdoor lounge.
While building a deck would be ideal, we didn’t want to spend the money so we thought buying some great patio furniture and putting it on grass would do the trick. We call it our “grass patio” or “grass lounge”.
Before the entire thing could get started, we needed to remove a garden and grow grass there. Fortunately, that wasn’t too big of a job. We ripped out the plants (my in-laws took them and planted them in their sizeable yard).
We then planted grass seed… and waited.
With advice from my friend who is known as the grass whisperer, it grew into a magnificent patch of grass in 10 days.
As an aside, his advice to me for growing perfect grass was as follows:
- Put an inch or two topsoil down.
- Liberally apply grass seed.
- Gently rake the seed into the topsoil.
- Apply more grass seed.
- Gently rake the seed into topsoil.
- Apply one more round of grass seed.
- Water two to three times per day.
Kudos to our friend the grass whisperer because the grass grew in thick. If not for him, I’d have sprinkled one layer of seed and leave it at that.
Now to the Grass Patio
This is what it looked like early in the process:
As you can see in the above photo, about half of the now grassed-in area was a garden. We thought it would be much better to turn the entire top yard area into a lush grass patio lounge which required removing the garden and planting it with grass.
The finished project
In our view, the wrap-around boxwood hedge makes it such a perfect setting for a full wrap-around sofa resulting in the top image or below:
Benefits of a grass patio?
Yes, it’s unusual to put patio furniture on grass, but we’re very happy with how it turned out. It’s a very comfortable outdoor lounge that can accommodate a small party (seats 14 people or so).
One benefit is that the ground is far cooler than a wood deck or patio. The lawn absorbs the heat.
Another benefit is the grass is a great place for kids to sit with blanket. It truly is a great outdoor lounge concept.
Is the patio sofa really on the grass?
Yes, it is. Ideally, we’d built a full deck in that space but we didn’t want to spend the money. The sofa and umbrellas cost enough as it is for now.
What kind of patio sofa is it?
We bought the modular Morris patio sofa line at The Brick (a popular furniture store in Canada).
Each piece is a steel frame wrapped in resin wicker and comes with a foam-stuffed seat. Because it’s a steel frame wrapped in resin wicker, it’ll hold reasonably well sitting on the bare grass (at least we hope so).
While Morris offers sofa/lounge sets, because of our extensive sofa needs we bought each piece a la carte. All-in-all, we had to buy 16 pieces to assemble the wrap-around grass patio sectional sofa.
While the sofa cushions can withstand some rain, it’s not a good idea to keep them out all the time. It rains quite a bit where we live so we have to hoof them in and out of the garage.
How was buying patio furniture from The Brick?
We’re actually very impressed with The Brick. This was our first furniture purchase from them. The quality of the sofa and large umbrella is beyond our expectation. The best part is they delivered the entire thing within one week of us placing the order online.
We checked out other furniture sites and delivery quotes were 5 weeks or longer which meant missing out on half the summer.
Is the large umbrella from The Brick too?
Yes, it is. We spent quite a bit of time researching large patio umbrellas. I visited a Brick store to check out their umbrella offerings and they had exactly what we thought we needed which is this solar cantilevered patio umbrella with base. Turns out that no matter where we put that large umbrella, it doesn’t provide shade for all that many seats.
What about the small umbrellas?
That’s when we turned to Plan B which is to buy 7 smaller beach umbrellas and line them along the back of the modular sectional sofa.
As you can see, the small umbrellas spike into the ground. Our ground is soft so they spike in fairly easily. I like that they are not permanent so that we can move them around if necessary.
It’s also an outdoor dining room
We also bought the matching Morris outdoor dining table that we can put in any corner turning it into a small outdoor dining room. It’s a light table so we can easily trot it out if/when we have dinner out there.
Fire pits as well
We considered buying a permanent fire pit table for the space but decided against that because it would clutter up the large center grass area that our kids use and can be a great picnic blanket spot.
However, that does not mean we don’t have a firepit. We have two portable fire pits that we can easily enough carry out and fire up.
We have two of the following:
Room for improvement
We decided that getting rid of the oddball blue umbrella would be good and replacing it with a few black umbrellas. We bought one black and one blue to compare them. While the blue is larger, the black looks much, much better.
Once we decided that, we ordered 6 more of the small black umbrellas. They just arrived and we’ll line two entire sides of the wraparound sectional sofa with black umbrellas for plenty of shade.
How much did our grass patio cost?
It wasn’t cheap but we did save the massive cost of a deck. Nevertheless, quality patio sectional sofas are expensive. Here’s a breakdown of the cost (in Canadian dollars):
- 4 sofa corner pieces: $249 = $996
- 12 armless sofa pieces: $200 = $2,400
- 1 outdoor dining table: $200
- 1 patio ottoman: $200
- 1 Modular drink cooler and cup holder: $200
- 1 Large solar-LED light umbrella: $600
- Delivery cost: $100
- 7 small umbrellas: $70 x 7 = $490
- Firepit: $250
- Topsoil: $50 (approx.)
- Grass seed: $20 (approx.)
TOTAL COST: $5,506 CAD