How to pick the best garden bench
Investing in a garden bench is a great way to upgrade your garden, giving your family and guests a comfortable place to unwind and enjoy the outdoor space. Placing benches in your garden is one of the best ways to make it more charming and inviting. With a wide range of benches available on the market, knowing what type or style of bench you need for your space will help you make the right choice.
Ideally, a garden bench should be sturdy and comfortable. It should also elevate the look of your outside sitting area. If you're wondering which outdoor bench to choose, we're here to help you select the right piece. This guide will walk you through the various stages of choosing a comfortable and stylish garden bench.
Choosing the right material for your garden bench
Material is one of the most important things to remember when looking for the right garden bench. Your choice of material has an impact on the durability, comfort, and aesthetics of the bench. Garden benches come in various materials. Below, we take a closer look at the different materials you can choose for your garden bench.
A timeless traditional choice, a wooden garden bench always looks attractive. Wooden garden benches made from good quality wood are long-lasting. There are two types of wood: softwood and hardwood. Softwood is an inexpensive and less durable type of wood. It is best for indoor furniture as it will not withstand harsh weather conditions.
On the other hand, hardwood is robust, harder, and has a denser composition. One of the most commonly used types of hardwood is teak. It's an excellent choice for making outdoor wooden benches because of its high oil content, which resists moisture and insects. Acacia is another great hardwood you can choose for your bench.
Strong and easy to maintain, a metal garden bench looks modern and classic. Unlike wood, metal benches for gardens come in a variety of appearances. You can also find a metal bench in your preferred style or design. Here are the most common types of metal used to make garden benches.
- Aluminum: Outdoor benches made of aluminum are lightweight but not very strong. The main advantage of aluminum is that it’s resistant to rust.
- Wrought iron: Although heavy, wrought iron is a strong and durable material. Most iron garden benches are powder-coated or painted to protect the furniture against rust and scratches.
- Stainless steel: Known for its excellent weather-proofing and rust-proofing properties, stainless steel is one of the best materials for garden furniture. Unlike aluminum, stainless steel is robust and heavier.
Lightweight and versatile, plastic is one of the best materials for garden benches. They come in a wide range of colors and designs to suit your taste. Garden benches made of plastic are also easy to maintain – you only need to wipe down with soap solution to keep it in good condition.
Most plastic benches are made from hard-wearing plastic so they can withstand the elements. If you live in a windy area, you may want to mount your plastic bench seat to prevent it from being blown away by the wind.
Rattan is one of the hottest trends in the furniture industry. This material is known for its durability and natural looks. One of the main advantages of buying rattan garden benches is that they don’t require much maintenance. Looking after your piece only requires a wide down with soapy water.
In addition, rattan is weatherproof, making it a great choice for garden benches as they have to withstand the elements all year round. Rattan garden benches can tolerate extreme weather conditions while maintaining their natural look.
What outdoor bench size should you choose?
Garden benches come in different sizes, but most of them fall in a certain range of dimensions. It's crucial to find the right fit for your outside space. To determine the size of the bench you need, take into account your comfort needs and space requirements. Here are guidelines to help you choose the outdoor garden bench size.
The standard height of outdoor benches is 40cm. Depending on the height that is comfortable for you, choose heights that range from 35 – 48cm. However, you can find benches with a height exceeding this range. If you prefer a seat that slopes slightly so that the back is lower than the front, measure the seat height from the highest point of the seat or from the front.
Depth and width
Seat depth refers to the measurement from the front to the back of the seat. The standard depth of an outdoor bench is 40 cm. Backless benches have more depth to allow users to move forward or backward easily. The width of the bench should be at least 1.3 m if you intend to have two people sit on it. However, it can be 1.5 m or more. Some benches have continuous seating, such as those used around a fire pit.
Not all garden benches have a back. In fact, you may not need backs on some benches such as those you use with your patio table. When you want to buy a bench with a back, choose one with a back that extends at least 40 cm above the seat. You can choose a back that slopes backward slightly or perpendicular to the seat. If you go for the sloped back model, ensure it has a slope of about 15 degrees for extra comfort.
While garden benches don't necessarily need an armrest, choosing one with this feature is great for assisting you when getting up. It also provides a comfortable place to rest your arm. The armrest should extend approximately 20 cm from the top of the seat. You can choose any width that suits you, though a width of 10 – 12 cm works for most people side.
Garden bench ideas for your outdoor space
A garden bench is a great addition to any outside sitting area. It brings more than just a place to sit. Aside from contributing to the look of your garden, they can be used to set the tone or mood of a space or brought out to accommodate more guests.
There are many brilliant outdoor bench ideas you can implement to create the perfect outside sitting area. Here are a few ways to mix them up with other outdoor pieces to work up a look.
Add an outdoor bench to a wall
You can create a simple and beautiful solution by adding a garden furniture bench to a free-standing or retaining wall. This design idea works well in both small and large gardens. The cantilever design gives the bench a floating appearance. This installation type of this bench requires precision to ensure a seamless connection between the materials. You can also incorporate some plants around the bench to soften the scheme and give it a more natural look.
Paint your bench to match your outdoor boundaries
If you are planning to paint your outdoor furniture, choose the same color for your fences, planters, and bench. Having them painted in the same color gives them a beautiful look and the illusion of more space in a small garden.
You can also add raised garden beds with ornamental plants on either side of the bench to create a quiet and private space for relaxing and enjoying the sun.
Create a sociable space with an L-shaped bench
An L-shaped outdoor furniture bench is perfectly suited for a corner setup. The seating is spacious enough to accommodate more people. The layout is great for holding face-to-face conversations.
Whether on a sheltered spot or patio, an L-shaped piece makes a great corner garden bench. Additionally, these benches are modern and stylish, making them a good option for creating a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors.
Choose curved outdoor benches for small gardens
Curved garden benches are a growing trend among garden designers. This model makes a good option for a small garden bench as it does not take up much space. Their appealing curves give your garden a softer and fluid shape.
Curved benches can also create a focal point in your garden. Their sleek angles can be used to replace the harsh curves, creating an eye-catching effect, just what you need when selecting a design theme for your outside space.
How to care for your garden benches
After a few seasons on the bench, it may show signs of aging with stains, mildew, or corrosion. Here are care tips to ensure your garden benches look beautiful for many years.
- Light cleaning
The first step to take is to do some light cleaning. Use a soft-bristle brush to sweep surfaces as needed. You can also rinse with clean water.
- Use a gentle cleanser
Clean your outdoor bench with mild dishwashing soap. Use a soft-bristle brush or sponge to remove the dirt from the furniture's surface. Rinse with clean water and pat dry with a clean cloth.
- Try not to use harsh treatments
Do not use chlorine bleach or any harsh chemicals on your outdoor bench. If you have a new solution, try it in a hidden area to see how it works.
- Manage mold
Remove mold by scrubbing or sanding lightly. Wear gloves and ensure you dispose of the supplies to prevent the spores from spreading.
- Use furniture cover
Use good quality covers to protect your patio bench during winter. This will reduce the chances of fungi and mildew growing on the furniture.
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Interior Design Style: Rustic garden benches - Contemporary garden benches
Type: 2-seater garden benches