Garden benches work even better in a landscape when they're blended seamlessly with design choices and materials of other hardscape elements. Here, a bench serves as an ending point for the pergola as well as an extension of the trellis and its square detailing.
This country-style setting and rustic bench offers a perfect lesson in marrying both practical and decorative uses. Placed underneath a narrow window display of flower pots, the garden bench offers enough surface area for pretty colored pots, planted with big-leaf flowers such as caladium, as well as a small collection of watering cans.
Many landscapes have natural spots for stopping and taking in the view, and hardscape elements help to complement that purpose by orienting around a focal point. This traditional pergola and garden bench offer a place to rest and enjoy the garden. Classic plants and flower bed aesthetics work well with the simple lines of the structures.
Before choosing or installing a bench, think about the ways and times of day it will be used. Some benches don't require anything more than a seating surface. (Think: a patio dining-table bench.) Others, such as this comfy nook, may be used at all times of the day for more long-term relaxing, making a slim back support all the more necessary.
Sometimes, a garden bench isn't really intended for seating. In this space, the small-scale bench works as a colorful accent, offering a pop of blue hues that work well with the decorative structure and planter.
Create a sense of welcome with a bench on your front porch. This stylish element transforms a dead spot outside the front door into a useful piece of square footage. The gray tone picks up on hues elsewhere while offering a subdued contrast to the cheery yellow.
Learn how to make your very own bench-planter structure.
Looking for a perfect new DIY project? Try this colorful contemporary garden bench, complete with its own built-in planters.
How you orient your garden bench can help you get more out of your landscape and make use of paved areas. This bench dresses up an otherwise bland wall and gives it a view toward the flowerbeds and containers. The area offers flexible space -- move or remove cushions as needed for seating or tabletop space. By integrating a corner piece, it also creates a comfy conversation nook.
Not all garden benches used in one landscape need be the same type or size to work well together. This eclectic mix is a good example: A few stationary benches, set inside flowerbeds, create a triad with the modernist cubelike structures. Soften the placement of garden benches by tucking them just inside a flowerbed for a more integrated approach.
This patio-perfect piece adds lots of seating and some pretty planting spots. Four separate benches surrounding a center container create an oversize element that's a welcome addition to this expansive deck. Although this piece has a stain finish, another option is to paint the bench/planter a complementary color.
Although most garden benches are fairly stationary, having the flexibility to move a seating spot is a convenient landscape addition. This simple DIY project shows you how to make this adorable wheelable garden bench.
Raised beds are a versatile garden element that can be placed nearly anywhere in the landscape. When paired with a garden bench, the two make perfect design partners. A narrow-width garden bench offers a great vantage point to sit and enjoy the flowers and take in the rest of the yard.
By their very nature, benches are practical elements in a landscape. But they can also be useful design tools to add a pop of color or tie accents together. This classically detailed bench, which repeats the sunny-yellow color of the trellis, offers a stopping point in an otherwise neglected corner of the paved patio.
Garden benches are often used as stand-alone pieces, but thoughtful design choices easily integrate them into other landscape elements. For a more seamless setup, place accents and additions at the same height as the bench -- here, the fountain's base sits on the same horizontal plane as the bench. A short raised bed serves as a back for the bench.
A bench feels more in tune with the landscape when built with natural stone. Irregularly sized stones stacked on one another offer a base for a simple seating. When the seating is removed from other hardscape elements, it allows the rough stone material to stand out against green foliage.
This pretty, classic collection shows how to make a garden bench work well with other hardscape elements. A trellis and small pergola orient the seating space around the garden bench. Potted plants help to soften the transition between hardscape pieces and the rest of the landscape.
In a small patio, integrate storage and seating in one fell swoop. This corner unit offers lots of flexible seating (and can even stand in as a buffet in a pinch). Underneath the cushions, the bench top flips up for lots of off-season organization.
If you're already planning a hardscape piece in your landscape, take a second look at foundational features to see if you can adapt them to a garden bench or two. This grand-scale pergola offers inspiration: The garden bench deftly scales the two beams while enclosing the space to create a more intimate outdoor hangout.
Half walls and stone wainscoting offer the just-right spot for a built-in patio bench. Flexible and useful, the extra seating can also be used as a display or serving station.