Take a seat and enjoy the garden you've just created. Or maybe you're just beginning to design your outdoor space and want to choose a focal point. Adding an outdoor bench that you love to your backyard expresses your personality while adding a comfy spot to sit. We've put together this primer on the types of outdoor bench styles and materials they're made from to help you sort through the choices and find your favorite.
What style of bench is best for my outdoor space?
Your two main considerations are how you want your outdoor space to look and what you want to use your bench for. If mainly for décor, you might choose an ornate butterfly bench, a rustic stone bench, or a bench personalized with an uplifting inscription or dedication. On the other hand, a rocking bench invites your family to sit down with you and enjoy the summer breeze, a padded bench provides a comfy landing spot, and a planter bench combines your garden space and sit-down place into one. Here's a list of garden bench styles for you to consider:
Butterfly Bench – Just as it sounds, this ornate bench is shaped like a butterfly, a beautiful accent to your flower garden or a magical addition to your child's outdoor play area.
Tree Bench – Otherwise known as a tree hugger bench, it wraps around the trunk of your tree to give you views of every angle of your yard.
Storage Bench – This dual-purpose bench provides you with a spot to sit as well as space under the seat to store your pool toys, gardening tools, or outdoor games.
Planter Bench – Also a double-duty bench, it has a built-in planter or two for your herb or flower garden.
Rocking Bench – Either a rocker or glider, this leisure bench lets you enjoy a quiet moment with your spouse, read a book to your child, or a create tranquil chat with your teen.
Backless Bench – Sometimes with arms but usually not, this bench is accessible from all sides and can double as a table when needed. It's a common style for stone and concrete benches and may be curved to sit around a fire pit or paired with a garden table.
What is the right material for my outdoor bench?
Consider the severity of weather you get at home; you'll want a bench that's durable enough to last through the years. Think about comfort, too, and if you want a softer, warmer bench to invite lounging or a more stoic one to create a tone. Here are the most common materials you'll come across:
Wood – Wood benches create a warm, natural vibe to your outdoor space. Teak is extremely durable, has beautiful tones, and tends to be the most expensive. Acacia stands up very well to harsh elements and is eco-friendly since it grows in such abundance. Cedar is lightweight for easy moving, hardy, and weathers naturally to a gray hue. Rough-cut wood benches are made from tree branches and logs for a very rustic look.
Metal – Metal is a hardy bench material that creates a clean, sharp, well-dressed atmosphere to your outdoor space. Wrought iron is your most durable metal, and heaviest too.
Stone and Concrete – Garden benches made of these materials tend to be more ornate or, conversely, very rustic depending on the style. They stand the test of time and are best for benches you want to stay put for a long time since they're heavy to lift.
The patio or front porch bench you choose provides seating while adding color, texture, and personality to your outdoor space. Use it to find a moment for yourself in the early morning or enjoy stargazing at night with your favorite someone. These tips can help you discover the perfect outdoor bench that you love.