Home Lifestyle Making a Turkish seating area using pallets

Making a Turkish seating area using pallets

by LaurettaCWright
Turkish seating area

Some 13 years ago, VIP and I were buying Turkish cushions in a rug shop in Fethiye, Turkey.

I had envisaged a Turkish seating area in our garden – and whilst in the country, I seized the opportunity to grab the fundamentals I needed.

Sadly, that Turkish seating area didn’t happen straight away; we ended up moving house and, well, life just got in the way I suppose.

It was only when VIP decided to become a teacher and I left my job in London did we start getting our great work/life balance back. And then after being diagnosed with breast cancer and unable to go away on holiday this summer, I suggested VIP built that Turkish seating plan I’d long hankered after.

And he did. And yes, it’s wonderful and everything I wanted – and more. So I thought I’d write up this post to show you just how he did it – for a bargain price!

Here’s what we got – and why it works:

Pallet galore!

I love upcycling projects (check out the upcycled garden bar that VIP created) – and pallets are such a versatile option when it comes to creating unique projects.

I knew that traditional Turkish seating areas are typically low level and by stacking pallets this would work a treat when recreating the look.

Keep your eyes peeled locally: great places to pick pallets up are garden centres, scout camps, large eateries and builders’ merchants. It’s worth calling them up beforehand to see if they’ve got any – and if so, if they’re free to take or if there’s a small fee.

Turkish seating area

Some of the pallets we used were sourced for free from our local Toby Carvery and others were found at a nearby pet store who charged us just £3 for each of them.

Pinterest is a great place for getting ideas for pallet seating. I took loads of screenshots on my phone to show VIP the look I was after (a U-shape in the corner of our decking area).

The pallets are one thing, but you’ll also need to think about having a back to the pallets so that you can truly sit back and relax. Again, you could use pallets to create a backrest, but VIP decided that he was going to use studier decking boards.

This was probably our most expensive purchase, but we wanted it to look nice and also be strong enough to lean back on without worrying about breakage. Our neighbour kindly gave us some decking board off cuts, which we used to make one side of the Turkish seating area, but we still had to do the other two sides.

Decking board typically costs around £11 for a 2.4m length if you go to a garden centre, but a cheaper option is to source them from a timber yard where we found the same length wood for less than half the price!

Our area was about 10 metres so to create a backrest all the way round would cost us about £100 (including creating a planter for behind one of the sides to display grasses). As I mentioned, there are cheaper ways of doing this of course – by using pallets for one – but it’s worth thinking about the end quality, given that it’s going to be out in all weather.

Turkish seating area

Turkish seating area accessories

Sourcing the lighting was really easy – I just went to one of my favourite shops, TK Maxx, and spotted some colourful lanterns. I bought four of them – three for £7.99 and one for £12.99.

On the same visit I decided to check out the rugs and managed to pick up two 6ft X 4ft rugs for £30 each. They had a very ethnic feel to them and would fit into the scheme nicely. When you’re putting together a Turkish seating area, rugs over the seats make the whole scheme much more authentic, as this is what they do in Turkey.

For the actual seat padding you can use foam – but when it rains this will get wet. An alternative would be cot mattresses as they’re waterproof and then you can lay the rugs on top. I bought 4 hospital mattresses from Amazon for £120. The reason I chose hospital mattresses is because they’re waterproof!

The cushions that I picked up in Turkey all those years ago were the size of a single pillow, so I bought two sets of 6 hotel style pillows from Groupon (which came to £25.99 including delivery), but got 12.5% back from Top Cashback bringing the total to £22.74.

The two rugs on the floor were picked up at my favourite French shop – GiFi. Unfortunately, GiFi hasn’t yet made it to the UK and, as far as I know, you can’t order it online to get UK delivery. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it means I get to plan a quick getaway to France for a couple of days every now and then – just to scour the GiFi shelves! Each of the outdoor flog rugs cost 15 euros, but again there are plenty of online options.

Turkish seating area

The finishing touches

On one of the backs of the Turkish seating area, VIP suggested putting a planter section behind the backrest. I thought it was a great idea and would screen the shed a little.

He opted for a grass called Stipa Tenuissima (Mexican feather grass) and chose it for its interesting texture and the fact that it’s hardy. It also changes colour throughout the year and has a feathery texture to complement the Turkish vibe.

They cost from around £2.99 if you’re growing them from seeds or you can pick up established plants from around £8 upwards. There are other decorative grasses you can use as well, but try to opt for ones that are hardy if you can as they’ll last longer.

About seven years ago I found some wooden crates for sale on eBay and picked 20 of them up for just £15. The only drawback was that we had to travel down to Canterbury to collect them (just under 100 miles away!). It was a good move though as they’ve served us well. And they came in handy again for the Turkish seating area – we screwed them onto the brick wall behind one of the sides and I decorated them with lanterns I picked up in TKMaxx.

Other decorative accessories you can use to complete the Turkish seating area theme include mosaic tealight holders, Mediterranean style bowls and shisha pipes – sourced easily online!

I was given mine as a gift over 20 years ago. It’s lived up in the loft for most of that time, so I’m excited that I now get the opportunity to bring it out and show it off.

I’m super chuffed with my new Turkish seating area – relaxing at the weekend when the sun comes out is my new-found hobby. I might just need to invest in an outdoor heater so I get to enjoy it for longer!

Would you opt for a Turkish seating area in your garden if you could? Otherwise, what themed space would you choose?

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Here's how to make an authentic looking Turkish seating area using pallets for an affordable price


Yaya 30th September 2019 - 8:59 am

This looks absolutely fab! I would have never thought of how to put something like this together so I definitely admire your creativity!

LaurettaCWright 1st October 2019 - 10:02 pm

That’s really kind Yaya – I’d love to take all the credit but I can’t of course….only for the design 😉 x

Romina 27th September 2019 - 10:06 pm

This is such a great idea! I wish I had a garden I could do this in, I might try something similar for my balcony x

LaurettaCWright 26th October 2019 - 8:51 am

It could work well on a smaller scale on a balcony – and what nicer way is there to enjoy the views?!

Jenny 27th September 2019 - 9:23 pm

This looks amazing! I love upcycling pallets and it’s something I’ve featured quite often on my blog.

LaurettaCWright 29th September 2019 - 8:43 am

They are so versatile aren’t they? And we’re certainly not short on ideas with places like Pinterest. Well done for embracing the upcycling capabilities with pallets Jenny!

Kacie Morgan 27th September 2019 - 10:42 am

How crafty! I love that you managed to upcycle pallets to make such a trendy seating space! My mum loves doing stuff like this so I’ll be sure to share your post with her.

LaurettaCWright 29th September 2019 - 8:45 am

That’s very kind – thank you Kacie – I hope it provides her with some ideas and inspiration. It was pretty straightforward and we saved a lot of money just by using the pallets.

Alex Grace 27th September 2019 - 10:08 am

You and VIP have done a fantastic job with this – reminds me of the Wayfair pop-up! I love what you’ve done with the pallet and the shelving you’ve created on the walls. Thanks for sharing this, feeling very inspired now xx

LaurettaCWright 29th September 2019 - 8:44 am

Ah thanks so much Alex – it’s been a long time coming (I’ve waited so long!), but we got there in the end. Now just to wait for the spring again when I can start getting loads of use out of them!

Rhian Westbury 27th September 2019 - 6:52 am

This looks like such a lovely place to sit, although is it really comfortable or do you sit on the cushions as opposed to the palettes themselves? x

LaurettaCWright 29th September 2019 - 8:47 am

We sit on the mattresses which are underneath the rugs – so it’s just like sitting (or lying) on a bed! Obviously, it helps if you have storage for the mattresses (or a roof over the whole thing) as although they are waterproof – our British weather can be pretty atrocious sometimes, so it’s best to have somewhere dry like a shed to store them in.

Oliver 26th September 2019 - 7:48 pm

I like that the seating area is a thrifty alternative, and I love the aesthetic! The rugs are beautiful. It’s perfect for the summer.

Oliver x

LaurettaCWright 26th September 2019 - 9:56 pm

Thanks Oliver – it was nice to be able to do the upcycling project – and, from a sustainability stand, I felt pretty smug we were reusing materials that would have been thrown. Really happy with the authentic looking rugs from TKMaxx too 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

Rebecca Smith 26th September 2019 - 7:04 pm

The Turkish seating area looks wonderful! What a fantastic idea to use pallets and decking board. It looks ever so comfy

LaurettaCWright 26th September 2019 - 9:54 pm

It’s so comfy Rebecca – I’m most pleased with it as you can imagine. I just need spring and summer to come round quickly again!

Jemimah J. Essa 26th September 2019 - 7:04 pm

This looks amazing! When I have my own home this will definitely be something to consider! I love DIY and this would be a prefect start x

LaurettaCWright 26th September 2019 - 10:04 pm

That’s very kind – thanks Jemimah!

Kara 26th September 2019 - 6:32 pm

What a brilliant idea to recycle pallets, I never know what to do with them. Such a shame the good weather is coming to an end now

LaurettaCWright 26th September 2019 - 9:59 pm

I know! Still, something to look forward to for next spring/summer. I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time out there relaxing! Thanks Kara x

kerry 25th September 2019 - 8:57 pm

I blooming well love this Lauretta, and your ideas are fab. I would never have thought of using hospital mattresses, great idea. I love all of it! I a looking at creating a zen/meditation area in my garden. I am just collating ideas at the minute, but seeing your lovely Turkish area has inspired me to get a wiggle on!

LaurettaCWright 26th September 2019 - 9:58 pm

Ah thanks so much Kerry – I knew you would love it – it’s up your street isn’t it?! VIP came up with the hospital mattress idea. As we’ve discovered, they’re more shower proof than fully waterproof though – something to be mindful of – and we’ve had to cover them to protect them from the harsh elements!


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