1. Outdoor living spaces are more popular than ever. When you're selecting seating for your yard, patio, or deck, don't overlook benches.
2. A simple wooden-slat, backless bench is a classic. Set one up near a water feature for a charming waterside seat. Push one up against a wall or fence if you want to lean back. Or just place one under a shady tree for the perfect spot to take a rest while you're gardening or watching the kids.
3. To get more use out of your bench, you could go for a planter seat combo. These backless benches generally have a planter box at each end and a bench in between, but they can be expanded to fit your space much like a sectional sofa.
4. You can also use benches at a table, in place of chairs. For crowds, long backless benches do the trick. For smaller gatherings, benches for one are also available. Seat cushions add some comfort.
5. A carved stone bench brings a little more formality to a garden setting but still provides seating if you need a break. Some stone benches can be engraved for a personal touch or a wonderful gift.
6. Backless benches are also available in wood, metal, or recycled plastic for commercial or public settings.