A wooden bench in your garden can be a very cost-effective piece of furniture that will transition with your garden decor through the years. Benches are available in many different sizes and styles from local and online retailers. They can serve a need for seating or storage or simply add character to your outdoor space. They are a perfect addition.
Before purchasing a wooden bench for indoor use, decide how you want to use the bench. Is the bench for additional seating? If yes, what length of time will someone typically be sitting there? For instance, is it a place to sit by the gate while putting on and taking off shoes or is it for surfing and game playing? Is the bench a filler to take up space? Is it needed for storage?
If people will be expected to sit on the bench for an extended period of time, you might want to consider buying a bench with a back and/or a cushioned seat. Decide if you like the look of painted wood or stained wood. Stained wood tends to be more classical and can transition with future decor styles in years to come.
If the bench is serving a need for storage, decide if you prefer a bench with drawers or a lift-top. If you have a tendency to set things on the bench seat, then a lift-top might cause some frustration. However if you tend to keep the bench seat clear, a lift-top often has more storage options for large items such as blankets. Some of the drawer-style benches come with two or three small drawers, which will limit the type of items you can store. If you like the look of storage benches, but don’t have need for large amounts of storage, your options are practically unlimited. There are attractive storage benches with woven baskets as drawers. The problem with these is usually that they don’t hold a lot and they aren’t on a track system. But they are a good option if they aren’t used on a daily basis.
Where to Shop
Wooden benches are sold at most home stores (see here for the lowest priced rattan furniture sets). Some will have a better selection than others, but department stores, Crate & Barrel, World Market, Pier One and Ballard Designs are good places to start because they have reasonable prices and a variety of options.
Shopping at Furniture Stores
If furniture stores are your best option, then head to the dining room section to shop. Some dining room sets come with an option to purchase a bench rather than chairs. They are almost always wooden and there is a variety of options in both size and back or backless styles.