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Summer… it runs synonymous with holidays, socialising and high-level exposed body terror.


Whilst we’re not in any position to help you get bikini-ready (sorry), we are most certainly in the business of guiding your outdoor seating area to a social gathering of note! As South Africans, we are blessed with long summers and a predisposed aptitude for brilliant ‘braai’ skills.

The scene is practically set – just add good friends, a cocktail and one of Wishtank’s suggested seating arrangements and Sunday lunches at your house will be more anticipated than the premier release of Game of Thrones Season 7!


I must confess: I have a mild, non-medicated, non-dangerous disorder when it comes to built-in sunken benches. I’m quite frankly obsessed with them. All that neat preciseness of measurements and 90 degree angles really speak to my inner Type A persona. Add in the flexibility of changing cushion covers much more readily than you could a sofa reupholster and my inner ADHD persona rejoices, sound in the knowledge that those easily-bored, change-needing tendencies are being looked after. Eureka!


There is something about this seating arrangement that promotes brotherhood bonding and girly gossip – a need to huddle up and get down to some serious natter. Storage-savvy owners will also remember to create built-in storage under the seats – just lift and load those cushions in the rainy season, or store some blankets under them for those breezy summer nights.


But if I haven’t yet convinced you of the beguiling ways of the sunken pit, just have a scroll through these inspirational pictures and tell me that you don’t get happy just looking at them! They’re social, they’re striking, they’re space-effective and they’re simply Wishtank-worthy!


P.s. Did anyone notice the built-in ice-box in Pic 4? Bloody genius, I say!


Here’s a very innocent way to have a swinging good time, even if you ARE in a happy and rewarding marriage!


The Swing Chair comes in many forms. There are the uber cool suspended chairs that you can buy from leading outdoor furniture shops. (see GNR or Patio Warehouse for local options). If you’ve got the dosh, I say go for posh! They don’t usually come cheap but they are utterly lovely. However, if DIY is more your game, then there are plenty of tutorials on converting an old trampoline into a swinging daybed. Or use old pallets or wood and rope to create a hanging bench. Whichever way you go, as you sway from your suspended seat of choice, you’re sure to be flying by the seat of your pants (in the best possible way, of course!).


**WARNING** Although owning a swinging seat will make you very popular amongst your visitors, the ‘social aspect’ depends entirely on your buddies’ level of social skills. If they are very civilised and self-controlled, then everyone will get their fair turn and sweet swingin’ memories will be made. But if they’re a bunch of self-serving hooligans, then understand that owning a swing-chair could test the friendship to its extremes.


Although not always the most comfortable of seats, the counter stool sets the tone that good times are about to be had. It has unspoken power like that. You’re either sitting there to talk or you’re sitting there to drink. Or quite possibly (and definitely preferably), you’re sitting there to do both. You haven’t chosen to sit on a stool to ponder Eastern philosophies or to mentally solve the strife in Central Africa.


The obvious choice for a social counter stool would be to create a home bar outside. It doesn’t need to be so big that you can comfortably host the World Cup after-party!  Small and intimate can still leave its inhabitants with a need to put their proverbial party hats on! If home bars really aren’t your thing, simply create some stacking windows from your kitchen with an extended counter top – this way, your guests get to keep you company whilst you whip up some Nigella-proud feastings.  And last but not least, even a simple structure around a supporting post (see pic no. 2) can do the trick for rendevoux readiness – add fairy lights, plant boxes and some well-placed speakers and you’ve got Social Stature of note!

So there you have it – our round-up of favourite social seating for some Summer Sizzle! With a few careful considerations, you’ll be putting your favourite bums in seats around your abode and setting the scene for soirees to remember! After all, as they say, “The tans will fade… but the memories will last forever!”