Garden Bench

Most homes have ample indoor storage. Everything from closets and cabinets, to attics and garages are there to organize your life. But when it comes to outdoor storage, there is not the same kind of resources available. Certain types of garden bench come with built-in storage compartments so that gardeners and backyard entertainers can keep their tools of the trade out of sight but close at hand.

Of the many options for a storage garden bench, the building material is exactly the same for that of other types of outdoor benches. Seats can be made from wood, wicker, resin and more. Obviously, heavier materials like stone and concrete will not work as well in housing some sort of inner compartment, but even with these you can have, say, a lower shelf beneath the seat of the bench.

Many o the storage benches designed specifically for this purpose and outdoor use are made from extremely sturdy plastics and rubber, such as the Rubbermaid brand. These materials will keep your goods more protected than anything else against moisture, insects, mildew and more. However, rubber is kind of an eyesore. Wood, a classic choice for outdoor furniture also works well outside and is quite adaptable to the elements. For instance, cedar and pine, if maintained with regular oiling, are quite sturdy. The best wood money can buy, though, would have to be teak. The so-called "king of hardwoods" produces natural oils which protect against rot, insects and more, making teak furniture almost maintenance free.

If you choose to go with a wood garden bench, the design options are nearly endless. Some benches have low backrests, some are backless. A lot of benches have armrests, a lot don't. Others yet, especially indoor benches, have soft cushions for added comfort. From a functional point of view, the upper part of the bench doesn't really matter at all. It's what is underneath wherein the similarities lie. To be classified as a storage bench, a seat needs to have just that; some sort of space for storage. And there's pretty much nowhere else to fit things but under the seat of the bench.

Depending on what model of garden bench you purchase, the storage compartments vary in how they look and operate. For one, there's the hinged bench. These benches open much like either a piano bench, from the top, or from the front like a set of cabinets, operating on a hinge, and revealing a recessed space within. These benches work best indoors unless you're sure that your hinges are made from rust-resistant hardware. These types of benches are roomiest because it's one large space that covers the entire area underneath the seat down to the ground, rather than separate compartments.

There are also drawers, trays and baskets that pull or slide out. Some models of garden bench have sliding drawers that pull out on a track, like dresser drawers. The kinds of storage compartments that are not attached to the bench usually rest on a lower shelf beneath the seat. These compartments can be nice-looking woven baskets to sturdier wood buckets, the latter of which matches the bench itself. What's convenient about containers that rest on a shelf under the bench, rather than on a slide mechanism, are that they can more easily be taken out and moved around than attached drawers. Also, when separate from the bench, the baskets and wood containers can look fine on their own. If you do prefer having a bench indoors, great spots to keep one are the entryway, bedroom and breakfast nook, or wherever you need a little extra storage.

Tonya Kerniva is an experienced research and free lance writing professional. She writes actively about Garden Bench and Garden Benches.