How much space do you need on your patio for a 4-seater garden dining set?

We’re analysing how much free space you need on your patio for a 4-seater garden dining set from a design perspective and how you can get perfect scale and proportion…

Last week we published the ten decision-making criteria that will help you choose the perfect 4-seater garden furniture set, and in it, we discussed how important it is to measure the space to check you have enough for the garden table and 4 x garden chairs.

Buying furniture too big or small is a common mistake many of us have made, and the amount of space needed for 4-seater garden dining sets can vary depending on the size and design of the furniture, as well as personal preferences for comfort and functionality.

In this article, we want to look at “space” from a garden and patio design perspective. We will discuss the reasons why and how you can achieve perfect scale and proportion, and talk you through how much free space you need on your patio for our 4-seater garden dining sets.

4-Seater Garden Dining Set from Lazy Susan 

Scale and proportion are the key design elements that help us to achieve a space that looks good and functions correctly:

  • Those with small patios or outside spaces often buy a set that fits the space but leave it feeling a little cramped to eat at and difficult to move around.
  • Those with the luxury of a large garden or patio will purchase a set based on the number of seats they need and it ends up getting a little lost in a sea of paving or decking.

In interior design, achieving proper scale and proportion is crucial for creating a visually pleasing and harmonious room. The same is true in our outside spaces, and in the context of a 4-Seater Garden Dining Set they are defined as:

1. Scale 

Scale in the garden design world refers to the relative size of objects on a patio surface in relation to the property itself and/or the wider garden.

It involves ensuring that the size of the 4-seater set you choose works with the main architectural elements around it and that the set is appropriate for the defined outside space you want to place it.

Garden & Patio Design Scale

The key to achieving good or proper scale is:

  1. Furniture Size
    Start by choosing 4-seater garden dining sets that fit the patio without overwhelming it or appearing too small. With our range as long as you have free space or a dedicated patio area that is 3m x 3m you can select any set. The smallest 4-seater sets we do is our round Jill set (around 235 cm diameter of floor space is needed for the Table + Chairs + Working Space) and the oval Elise set (around 231 cm x 286 cm of floor space needed for the  Table + Chairs + Working Space). We will look at the dimensions of all our tables and chairs and the space needed later in this article.

  2. Patio Size
    Free space on a patio is defined as the area you want to put the furniture and it could be a dining zone on a larger patio, a dedicated patio dining area, a terrace, a balcony, etc. Consider the dimensions of the space and how that fits with the main architectural elements around it. This could be the property itself if connected or features such as walls, steps, walkways, etc. Larger properties can often accommodate larger-scale dining sets, while smaller patios might benefit from a smaller set to avoid the space feeling cramped. Our range starts with our 2-seater Bistros and goes up to our 10-seater plus tables, so if 4 isn’t going to work, we have a set that will.

  3. Create Balance
    Balance is another element that helps to contribute to good scale, and it refers to things like the way we arrange the furniture and décor to create balance and visual harmony within the space. You want to avoid overcrowding or leaving large empty areas, aiming instead for a layout that feels comfortably filled without being cluttered. Striking the right balance creates harmony and will help the space “naturally” flow. When the table set complements its surroundings, it creates a cohesive and visually pleasing outdoor living area. Imagine a small bistro set dwarfed by a massive paved patio, or a large dining table in a delicate, flower-filled space – not what we want!

2. Proportion

Scale and proportion in garden design are often used interchangeably but they do have subtle differences.

Whilst scale refers to the size of an object compared to a fixed reference point such as the house itself, proportion deals with the size relationships between all the multiple elements we put on the patio; such as the planting, furniture, pathways, hardscaping, grills and any other features you can think of.

A good analogy you’re often taught in garden design is to think of the scale as how a shirt fits you, while the proportion is how the other items of clothing, like the shirt, jacket, trousers, and shoes, all come together to create a well-coordinated outfit.

Garden & Patio Design Proportion

Proportion relates to the relationship between the various elements on your patio, ensuring they harmonise with each other and the rest of your inside/outside space.

It again involves achieving a balance, and this is where things like table shape, etc can also come into play. You want to create a sense of visual “equilibrium”, so the key things to consider to achieve good proportion will include:

  1. Furniture & Patio Size
    Ensure that the size of furniture and decor items relates proportionally to the size of the patio. Large patios can accommodate larger dining sets such as an 8 or 10-seater, while smaller patios benefit from smaller-scale furniture like a 4-seater set to avoid overwhelming the space.

  2. Architectural Features
    Consider the proportions of the architectural elements such as windows, patio doors, and the property itself if the patio is adjacent. Choose items that complement and work with these features rather than detracting from them.

  3. Visual Weight
    An important part of creating the right proportions is carefully balancing the visual weight of objects you place on the patio to create a sense of order or evenness. Heavy or visually dominant pieces such as a dark-coloured 4-seater dining table should be balanced by lighter or less conspicuous elements to prevent a feeling of imbalance or heaviness.

  4. Symmetry & Asymmetry
    Proportion can also be achieved through both symmetrical and asymmetrical furniture arrangements. Symmetry involves balancing elements evenly on your patio on either side of a central axis, while asymmetry creates balance through the careful placement of different-sized objects. Symmetry will create a look that is formal and elegant, it is easier to execute and is great for those who want a classic and structured look. Asymmetry is a little more dynamic, it creates a sense of discovery, works well even with oddly shaped patios, and reflects the organic flow of nature, but is a little more tricky to pull off.

Achieving scale and proportion in patio design involves careful consideration of the size, shape, and arrangement of the furniture set, other decor elements, and the architectural elements within and around the space.

By ensuring that these elements relate to each other and the overall garden, you can create a visually pleasing and balanced patio space. Harmony!

Just remember that both scale and proportion are crucial for a visually pleasing and functional garden. Good or proper scale will help you avoid any over-dominant elements and ensure everything relates well to a reference point such as the house itself.

Good proportion on the other hand will help you to develop a sense of balance and harmony by considering the relationships between all elements. By thinking about both, you can create a cohesive and inviting outdoor space that feels perfectly sized and properly put together.

5 tips to get good scale and proportion with a 4-seater garden dining set

As a general rule of thumb, you want to aim between circa 2.3m x 2.3m to 3m x 3m (9.8 feet x 9.8 feet) of patio space to accommodate a typical 4-Seater Garden Dining Set comfortably, and the things you need to think about includes:

1. Garden Table Size

Alice 4-Seater Set Dimensions

The size of the dining table is the primary factor in determining how much space you need. Our 4-seater table measurements for our best-selling Alice 4-Seater Set are shown in the illustration above and are as follows for the full 4-seater range:

  • June = 150 cm x 95 cm Oval Tabletop

  • Mia = 88 cm Round Tabletop

  • Alice = 120 cm Round Tabletop

  • Anna = 80 cm Round Tabletop

  • Lucy = 91 cm x 91 cm Square Tabletop

  • Flora = 103 cm Round Tabletop

  • Hannah = 90 cm Round Tabletop

  • Jill = 85 cm Round Tabletop

  • Amy = 120 cm Round Tabletop

  • Sarah = 120 cm Round Tabletop

  • Lisa = 106 cm Round Tabletop

  • Emily = 150 cm x 95 cm Oval Tabletop

2. Garden Chair Spacing

April Garden Chairs

Each chair should have enough space to be pulled out comfortably and for people to move around them. Aim for at least 60 cm ideally up to 75 cm of space around the table for the chairs.

The majority of sets in our 4-seater range come with our April chair as standard but in the gift section you can choose to upgrade to one of our other chair options (4 x  April Garden Chairs are shown in the photo above) and the dimensions for all in the range are shown below:

Please note that the dimensions above are the footprints on the floor. All our chairs will feature a curve/angle to the backrest for ergonomics, which is why we will advise a little extra space (up to 75 cm) in terms of depth around the table.

Of course, all patios are different and often there are not four walls around them, so this is rarely an issue. These figures just act as a guide for measuring and assessing if the table and chairs will create good scale and proportion when the full set is in situ on your patio.

3. Working Space

Working Space

We defined the working space in last summer’s How to choose the right size garden table set article as:

“If you are unsure which size of Lazy Susan table will fit, carefully measure the free space on your patio or in your garden where you want to put it. The key is to make sure that when the set is in situ, there is still enough room for you to safely and comfortably move around the space. At Lazy Susan we refer to this as “working space” and it will give you enough additional space around the table to sit, pull out chairs, and walk around safely. Our garden table sizes vary, so you must measure carefully and check the dimensions for the set you like to ensure it fits.”

The full dimensions we recommend for our 4-Seater Alice Set (pictured above in slate grey) are shown in the diagram below:

Alice Floor Plan

This means that for Alice to fit and function comfortably on your patio, you need around 2.7 m x 2.7 m, which is an area of 7.29 m2 on your patio, with no obstructions. Table + Chairs + Working Space = Safe and comfortable movement around the set.

4. Walking Space

On top of the space required for the patio table and chairs, you also need to maintain clear pathways around the dining set to ensure easy access to and from other areas of the patio or garden.

Patios themselves are typically considered walkways, as they are paved areas designed for us to walk on. However, whilst they create a designated surface, once we put things on them, it can become difficult to move around safely.

Having adequate walkways on your patio is crucial in helping to create scale and proportion too in that it helps the space to function correctly and flow.


However, it is much more than that. You might need walkways to allow you and your guests to move around comfortably without feeling squeezed in or having to squeeze past furniture and good flow avoids accidents, especially when carrying things like hot food or drinks.

People with disabilities or who require mobility aids will need more space to navigate, so accessibility for all makes your patio more inclusive and enjoyable for everyone to use

Leaving a little extra free space keeps things flexible too, allowing you to adjust furniture layouts based on the occasion easily, the number of guests, or the desired activity.

Plus, by leaving adequate walkways and working space around your table and chairs, you will help facilitate easy maintenance, cleaning, sweeping, and accessing plants or BBQ grills, etc.

An overcrowded patio can feel cluttered and visually overwhelming.

The free space is essential as it creates a sense of openness and balance, making the patio more inviting and aesthetically pleasing.

Tightly packed furniture will restrict movement and personal space, affecting comfort and relaxation. Adequate space allows for some breathing room and freedom of movement, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the patio for you and your guests.

As a general rule, we would recommend around 90 cm (approx. 3 feet) of clearance for walkways if you have the space to prevent overcrowding, give the patio that openness and promote safety.

5. Comfort Space

In addition to the functional space requirements in the previous section, another aspect to consider is an allowance of space for a more comfortable dining experience. Providing a bit of extra wiggle room can prevent guests from feeling cramped and enhance overall enjoyment.

Comfort is a critical component when looking to build proper scale and proportion as it helps to make the space feel open and relaxed.


A patio is meant to be a haven for relaxation, so the correct-sized table and chairs will enable you to unwind, linger for longer on a sunny day, and soak in the fresh air without cramped legs or discomfort.

Think of a comfortable patio with a dining set as an investment in your well-being and the enjoyment of your outdoor space in the summertime!

When focussed on comfort, you will naturally choose furniture that fits your space needs too. It will naturally help you to dictate the proper scale and influence how people move around and interact with the patio.

The right size 4-seater set should properly fit in relation to other patio elements like walkways, plants, and décor. For example, bulky chairs next to delicate planting will feel visually unbalanced, impacting overall proportion.

It is as much psychological as it is visual. Feeling comfortable in a space subconsciously influences how we perceive its size and proportions. If the furniture is cramped or awkward, the patio can feel smaller and more closed-in.

Proportion isn't just the physical dimensions of our furniture; it is also about visual weight and balance. The right set with proper scale feels visually proportionate, therefore, it will not only look great but create the design harmony we seek.

Good scale and proportion are intertwined in successful patio design. The right size of furniture is a critical component. Garden dining sets you can't relax on or enjoy food and drinks on in comfort will offer very little

It's essential to measure your patio accurately and consider the dimensions of the 4-Seater Garden Dining Set you intend to purchase to ensure a proper fit and optimal use of the space.

Additionally, consider factors such as the orientation of the dining set, views, and access to amenities when planning your outdoor dining space.

If you have any questions or concerns about the size of our 4-seater sets or if they will fit in your outside space, then please don’t hesitate to speak to our Customer Service Team.

If you have any photos of your 4-Seater Garden Dining Set in your garden or on your patio, we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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