Simple Modern Outdoor Chair

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 05/21/2020 - 11:03
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Stylish modern wood outdoor chairs in a compact footprint!  Reclined seat and back for comfort, wide armrests.  Fits a standard size chair pad.  These chairs are smaller in size, more of the size of a dining chair, not oversized like a living room chair.

modern wood outdoor chair


This plan has been updated, the original plans are still available here.

diy wood slat chair plans

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modern outdoor chair

Wood chair outdoor dimensions
Lounge chair size, seat height is 13" when finished (good for a cushion on top). NOT suitable as shown for a dining room chair, seat height needs to be increased by increasing leg length by 2" and moving seat supports upward by 2".


Shopping List
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 10 feet long
  • 2 - 1x4 @ 10 feet long
  • 36 - 2-1/2" pocket hole screws for exterior use (can be used as the "longer screws" in this plan)
  • 40 - self tapping (star bit) exterior screws, length at least 1-1/2" long (used for attaching the back and seat slats to the frame, referred to as shorter screws in plans)
Cut List
  • 4 - 2x4 @ 20-1/2" (for use with a dining table, cut at 24") - legs
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 27-3/4" - arm rests
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 24-3/4" - side supports
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 20-1/2" - front/back aprons
  • 3 - 2x2 @ 20-1/2" - seat supports
  • 5 - 1x4 @ 25-1/2" - back slats
  • 5 - 1x4 @ 20" - seat slats

Cut the longest boards first to make sure you get all your cuts out of the boards called for in the shopping list

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

Build the arms using the longer screws (or Kreg Jig on the 1-1/2" setting with 2-1/2" exterior pocket hole screws).  The two legs are built identical.

Step 2

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on each end of all the boards in this step, and attach with 2-1/2" exterior pocket hole screws.

Step 3

Attach the 2x2 seat cleat with pocket hole screws inside the chair frame, place screws on bottom or sides (NOT top to prevent water pooling inside the pocket hole)

Step 4

Lay out the chair back and attach to the chair back base with the shorter screws.

Step 5

Set the chair back inside the chair, leaving a small gap for water drainage from the seat base 2x2.  Attach with the longer screws to the arms.

Step 6

Lay the seat slats inside the chair and attach with the shorter screws, two screws per joint, with 1/2" spacing in between.

Project Type


nillabeans6 (not verified)

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 12:23

Yeah!!! I won't have a naked country porch anymore, especially when the loveseat/ couch goes up!!!! Thank you a million times, Ana :O)

Kate (not verified)

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 13:25

I cannot wait to make this. I'm currently away from home finishing a fellowship. When I get back in a few more weeks I'll have such a backlog of things to try!

danahollis (not verified)

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 03:19

I love this chair. I told my husband I wanted to build some Adirondack chairs and he grimaced & grumbled - guess he's not a fan of that style. LOL. But this one I know he'll like.

I think they'll be great to have around our fire pit.

Can't wait for the sofa and loveseat plans! :)

Thanks for all the sharing you do. I still think you need your own HGTV show. THAT would be AWESOME! :)

Jill (not verified)

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 04:25

I've found a usable Adirondack chair plan - love that style - but I've put off using it for two years as it's not an easy project. Guess what? I'm scrapping that idea and am going to build your chair instead! Read through the plans and can tell it's going to be simple! Thank Ana. Know what would look good with two chairs on my deck? A love seat! Thanks for all you do for us readers!

Heather - Hope… (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 16:57

Tackling this one tomorrow, and I'm already thinking I need a small table to go with. I'd like to build 2 chairs and have a place to set the wine glasses between us. :)

Cristy (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 19:08

I just saw a similar chair on and the chairs were $69 each! Thanks for helping me get the chairs I want, for a price I can afford.

Sweet Peaches (not verified)

Tue, 05/11/2010 - 03:30

I want to make this collection as my first projects, but have no idea where to start on picking my wood? Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

Alana (not verified)

Tue, 05/11/2010 - 06:59

I love this chair! I want to build it this weekend, but in looking at the supplies, I want to make sure to get everything i need... what is the 4th item supposed to be?

6- 1x4 8' Length
2- 1x2, 8' Length
1 - 2x2, 8' Length or scrap 24" long
1 1
2" Screws


Ana White (not verified)

Tue, 05/11/2010 - 08:12

looks like the cut list is covered and there is no fourth item, just a typo. I will update.

Another note, one reader built this chair and thought that the chair back recline was too steep. I followed the dimensions for the West Elm Chair, and I think the idea is to have a loungy chair, but if you find your chair back is reclined more than you would like, simply place your 1x2 back suppport to the insides of the chair back legs instead on the back side.

Rachel (not verified)

Tue, 05/11/2010 - 14:16

i think the "typo" was you started to write out 1 1/4'' screws... because those are needed :)

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