A bold and beautiful garden bench properly situated and in the right style, can transform your garden from lovely to exceptional. The reason for this beyond the visual juxtapostion of the colour, design and contrast to your garden the bench creates, is that it adds a conceptual layer to the garden, a place to sit and reflect and a desired goal to achieve upon viewing the garden. A garden bench immediately creates a destination in your garden while transforming it into a `room`to be enjoyed and surveyed. I love to mix a bold colour in a monotone garden, or a very crisp modern design in a Hotel chic style garden or find a brilliant and bold design to become a focal point for an area. One of my frustrations with outdoor design is that people buy whole suites of matching furniture and then populate their entire garden with the same line, something you would NEVER do indoors. When it comes to selecting pieces, mix and match! What I mean is that the bench does not, nor should it, match the furniture in your outdoor dining area or lounge areas. The bench should be a singular expression that creates a warmer more “collected” kind of feel to your garden and allowing it more personality and creates a personal signature on your design. A quirky or BOLD design bench can really add a lot of warmth to your garden, without costing a lot of money and ensuring a treasured spot all summer long for reading, lounging, entertaining, talking or just soaking in the beauty of the garden. Some of my favorite picks for outdoor pieces this season are:
The Dark Harbor Settee By Lyle and Umbach
One almost feels like they have stepped back into the Gilded Age with this stunning, traditional design. PERFECT for that Edith Wharton inspired garden for heated private discussions. The circles down the center give it a Newport feeling and the high pitch of the back make it very comfortable. The white is the perfect compliment to any formal garden design but it would be equally stunning in a clear and bold colour giving it more of a modern take on tradition.
lenggth: 66″ height: 37″ depth: 23″ seat height: 18″; material: hand-carved mahogany in yacht-enamel finish (also available in teak and custom sizes and finishes)
The Beaujon Love Seat by Currey & Co.
Elegant, sculptural, classic and conceptual are a few words to describe this stunningly elegant, visually delicate but VERY strong faux-bois stunner. When situated in a garden this piece feels more like a sculpture because of its elegant flowing lines….I can see it working equally as beautifully indoors in a front hall or sunroom as its diminutive size makes it perfect for small spaces. Left outside all year round exposed to the elements the concrete’s patina will get even better with time.
Length: 42″ height: 36″ depth: 18″ seat height: 17″ material: tubular steel and concrete in Portland finish; delivery
The Gatewood Bench from Treillage
This bench has a conceptual, deeply thought out Design that echos the past while tweaking them with a modern sensibility. It comes in a variety of colours but the black finish on the website would be stunning in a monotone garden with all green and white plantings. I love the detail of the bowed arms with the X accents below and that the bench has an ergonomic curved seat. Constructed by hand of Spanish cedar and then hand painted in neutral hues, it is guaranteed to be a gorgeous `moment`in the garden.
Length: 76.5″ height: 38.75″ depth: 23.5″ seat height: 17.5″ material: Spanish cedar in black, white, natural or toned colour palette
Montego Sofa by Room & Board
I love the modern lines and glamour of this bench, with its hint of retro style. The Montego has a deep seat and generous scale which make it feel more like an outdoor lounge chair and is totally devoid of any decorative visual frills. It’s available with cushions or without and would be a stunning addition to a clean lined modern garden with a low slung sensibility.
Length: 80″ height: 31″ depth: 34″ seat height: 22″ material: stainless steel and ipê wood
The Luxembourg Bench by Frédéric Sofia for Fermob
Punchy, modern, fresh, airy and most of all… FUN! This sums up the design for this garden bench created by Frederic Sofia for Fermob. The reason I like this one in particular is that it comes in a rainbow hue collection of vivid, mouthwatering colours that would work well in any modern or tropical garden. Incredibly durable, clean lined and made to be used…its industrial shape and lines could be used indoors as well for an entrance or hallway in an urban apartment or loft. I absolutley love the HOT Pink
Length: 43″ height: 34″ depth: 22″ seat height: 19″ material: powder-coated aluminum in orange (other colors available)