When I saw the Luzio azure blue bench above on Dalani.co.uk - an interiors site that has become my latest obsession for its tightly curated flash shop - all discounted! - and daydreamy magazine of gorgeous ideas and inspirations, my brain quickly scanned itself for legal ways I could immediately come up with the nearly £900 it cost, on sale. Believe it or not, I came up short. The sale ended, and now I only have this photo to remind me of just how beautiful a garden bench can be. It makes me want to become a carpenter like my grandfather, although I would be hindered by my sensitivity to wood dust. And physical labour.
I do have a bench of my own on its way, a traditional, all wood style thanks to Groupon who gave me some vouchers to spend on items to review. I've ordered some pastel stains from our local hardware store and I'm planning to paint my bench and transform it, maybe with alternating planks in coastal and beaumont blues to create a striped look. I'll share the process and results in a few weeks.
The Luzio is a tough act to follow, but here are a few more that caught my eye for being colourful and pretty:
Ingrid Jansen of Wood & Wool Stool is a fan of Fermob and had one of their peony benches displayed in her house for a few days before moving it outside - I think it looks right at home inside!
I'm not a fan of iron in silver or black, though it can be the right look depending on the garden, and the person. It's just not really me. But with a can of spray paint it can be easily transformed into something light and playful.
PATierney put the question out on her Flickr for colour ideas for this garden bench:
In the end, she went for turquoise and lime - what a transformation! It's been given a completely new look, it's so fresh. This is making me reconsider my decision to go with the all-wood option for my bench, I think I could have done something really cool with the other style which was a back in iron and wood, with ornate iron sides. Oh well, I will just have to make mine so good-looking it won't matter!
I don't feel right calling this vividly painted piece a bench, so let's call it a small, iron loveseat. It's quite exotic with its classical Greek detailing, and although the cushion surely makes it nicer to sit on, it would look much better bare:
A garden dining bench with what looks like a marble-top table set in pinks, to match the flowers - too bad the (I'm assuming) gorgeous umbrella on the left got cut out of the shot!:
From House to Home
The ever-popular distressed/vintage look which has likely been hand-finished in the photo above, and I think is the real deal below judging by the style of the iron work: (I've lost my links and am still trying to credit these photos!)
Gorgeously ornate in ivory, this painted cast iron and wood bench is also the real deal (and sold unfortunately!), from Antiquated.co.uk