How do I Choose the Best Outdoor Bench?

J. Beam

An outdoor bench can make a nice addition to a garden or overall landscaping design. With a variety of styles available, benches can be bought, or even made, to suit any landscape style. Choosing an outdoor bench should probably be based on thorough consideration of your current or future landscape plans as well as environment, but you can always choose a bench based on personal preferences.

It is important to consider seasonal environment when choosing an outdoor bench.
It is important to consider seasonal environment when choosing an outdoor bench.

Outdoor benches can be made from a variety of materials including concrete, wood, wicker, and metal. Each type of material will have its various pros and cons, including the maintenance required to keep it looking nice. For example, concrete will need to be periodically power washed and sealed to avoid premature cracking and wood will need to be periodically painted or stained.

Keeping in line with choosing the right outdoor bench and material, consider your seasonal environment and the reactions of different materials to the elements. For instance, concrete responds to freezing and thawing by cracking and might therefore be a material better suited for warmer climates. Similarly, in hot, sunny areas, metal will absorb the sun’s heat, potentially making the bench too hot to sit on midday.

All practicality of material aside, choosing an outdoor bench based on landscape or garden design is wise as well. Stone, concrete, or wooden benches will go well with natural elements while stainless steel or metal benches might enhance a modernized outdoor living space. Also decide if you want an ergonomic bench with a back for comfortable seating or if you are just looking for an accessory element to enhance your garden area. If you want to add a punch of color, then consider buying or making a wooden bench and painting it a vibrant shade of blue, yellow, or red.

Essentially any outdoor space can be enhanced with a bench, whether for aesthetic appeal or for practicality. To increase seating space, it’s best to choose an outdoor bench that is both comfortable to sit on and can accommodate cushions for added comfort. You can also get creative with the incorporation of benches into existing spaces by building one from left over landscape materials, such as deck planks and bricks. You might also consider building benches into an existing deck. If you have trouble choosing or are uninspired, check out garden and landscape magazines and websites for suggestions.

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