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9 Brilliant Built-in Garden Benches

Corner comfort and court style with these clever outside additions

Houzz UK Contributor. Freelance journalist and interiors obsessive, renovating a… More

As more of us seek to create a home-based haven away from the daily grind, our gardens have taken on added importance as centres of relaxation and seclusion. For those who prize design and comfort in equal measure, neatly executed but practical outdoor seating is a priority. While freestanding garden sofas and benches can offer flexibility and ease of installation, nothing beats the irresistible appeal of a perfectly proportioned built-in seat. Be warned, these nine nifty examples may turn you a little green (and not just around the fingers).

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Employ space-saving style
Don’t be dissuaded from integrating a built-in bench into your compact courtyard garden – it represents a very efficient use of space. This wooden design has been painted the same colour as the walls and floor to help the whole area feel as one. By planting trees and greenery behind the bench, extra depth is created to trick the eye into thinking the garden is bigger than it is.

Which outdoor seating is best for your space?

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Keep it curved
This sweeping seat edges a terraced garden and would work well in similarly organic spaces where straight lines are at odds with relaxed planting. Constructed from stone and concrete, the bench has been given a mosaic tile treatment and has a custom-made curved seat cushion. Additional seats and a coffee table create a casual conversation area.

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Try an OTT terrace
Get ready to reveal a ravishing roof terrace with mass planting and beautiful timber seating. This bench has been designed as an inherent part of a large trough-like structure where flowers are the focus. The tangle of tulips is punctuated with olive trees to lend height and provide structure around which to showcase spectacular seasonal changes with careful planting beneath.

Browse our month-by-month guide about what to do and plant in your garden all year round

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Tip towards tropical
Make your built-in bench as creative as it is comfortable with smart scatter cushions and seat cushions with contrast piping. This wooden seat has been set to stand out against a dramatic and densely packed living wall. The blue and orange cushions tip towards tropical when combined with such lush greenery. A less extravagant version of this cute corner could be achieved with an assortment of potted bamboo, palm and fig plants.

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Build suspense
A chic suspended bench appears to almost float between rendered walls thanks to a clever cantilevered design. This type of installation requires precision and skill to create a seamless transition between materials. Additional planting can be incorporated beneath the bench to soften the overall scheme, giving a more naturalistic effect.

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Relish a relaxed retreat
This rooftop oasis is designed not to entertain hordes of friends, but to act as an idyllic hideaway from the stresses of daily life. An all-wooden combination of bench, pergola, flooring and fence unifies the different elements of the scheme and provides a neutral backdrop to enhance the eclectic mix of gorgeous greenery. For maximum practicality, make use of the space beneath your bench – as here – for storing those cushions when they’re not in use.

Need a second opinion or want to get advice on garden seating? Post in Houzz’s Design Dilemmas section

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Edge in on smart design
For a smaller outdoor space, it might make sense to frame the whole area with neat built-in seating. Here, the pizza oven is the star, creating a centre point around which to design the rest of the layout. Washed grey timber seating is subtle and sophisticated – an overlapping lip creates a functional lid to allow storage within.

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Set the scene for sublime dining
If alfresco dining is your favourite summer activity, then plan your garden with entertaining at its heart. This elegant pergola provides shade and helps to define the shabby chic setting. A corner seat with a backdrop of vertically-planted grasses gives the feel of an intimate garden room, while a statement chandelier delivers drama.

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Deliver on the details
This whitewashed courtyard has a Mediterranean feel that’s sure to lure visitors outdoors. A wide built-in bench feels extra luxe, lending itself to a lie-down in the sun. The planting palette is beautifully restrained, with repeated olive trees and agapanthus providing symmetry and rhythm.

What does your dream built-in garden seating look like? Share photos you love from Houzz in the Comments or tell us your tips.

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