Planters with benches make for a dynamic and functional addition to any space. Here’s what you need to know.
You’ve heard the old adage: it’s important to stop and smell the roses. So, when you’re creating a plant-filled oasis (whether with roses or otherwise!) at your home, hospitality establishment, commercial property, or place of business, make sure you’re incorporating somewhere to stop, sit, and enjoy said proverbial roses.
The best way to do this? By adding planters with benches into your design plan.
But first, let’s talk about the benefits of planters with benches.
3 Benefits of Benches with Planters
Planters with benches are a beautiful addition to your space, but they also offer some practical benefits as well.
Multi-Functioning Products: As we said, it’s important to stop and smell the roses. And planters with benches provide somewhere for you, your guests, or your clients to stop and enjoy your carefully-selected greenery. This means you get a trifecta of benefits, including a place for people to sit, a way to add plant life (and all the advantages it offers) to your space, and the aesthetic-boosting power of beautiful planters.
Maximizing Space Efficiency: By using planters with benches, you can save a ton of space by combining otherwise separate elements into one holistic and cohesive piece of your design. The project we did at Southcentre Mall in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is a great example of custom square and rectangular planters being used to flank benches in hallways.
Adding a Unique and Unexpected Look: Another great benefit of planters with benches, particularly in yards and residential spaces, is that they offer a unique and unexpected look since they’re not frequently used in these contexts. But while uncommon, this can actually be extremely beneficial, partly because they can help you make the most out of your space but also because they act as permanent seating additions that don’t need to be moved indoors or relocated.
Now that you are equipped with an understanding of the benefits of planter benches, the next step is to learn the four key elements of great design ideas for planters with benches.
1. Planter Placement Locations
Leather bench between two Modern Elite Cube Planters in a mall
When you start thinking about design ideas for planters with benches, you should consider where you plan to place your planters with benches.
A few common locations include:
On the Lawn: Planters with benches are a great addition to your lawn area as they offer an extra touch of flowers or small trees, a pop of design, and a comfortable seating area in an otherwise open setting.
In a Garden: Placing planters with benches in a garden can make for a calming place to take in your lush green oasis.
On Cement Surfaces: Adding planters with benches onto cement surfaces is a great tactic for bringing a burst of life (and extra seating) to an area that might otherwise be lack.
On Roof Decks: Planters with benches are often used on decks, especially to line the perimeter. You may need to consider weight constraints if you’re going to be putting planter benches on your deck.
The location you choose will be the most big-picture decision you’ll make in the process of coming up with design ideas for planters with benches.
2. Planter Materials
Wood and metal bench sitting between Modern Elite Custom Planters
Next, you’ll want to consider the type of planter material you’d like to use. This will depend in large part on the look you want for your space, where you’re placing your planters with benches, and the material you’re using for your benches.
Common planter materials include:
Aluminum: Aluminum planters are lightweight and extremely durable. At PureModern, we use marine-grade aluminum because it’s specially alloyed for strength and resistance to corrosion — even when in contact with seawater. They’re lightweight with a high strength to weight ratio compared to steel and other planter materials. For planters that need to withstand frost, wet environments, UV rays, or underwater areas, marine-grade aluminum is the choice. Another benefit of aluminum planters is that they can be customized to fit any dimension of bench. If you’d like to see an example of this in action, check out the custom aluminum planters with benches we created at our Westfield Valencia Tower Center project.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass planters are lightweight, durable, and versatile. They come in a variety of colors and designs, with matte, glossy, or faux stone finishes as well as metal-infused that will patina over time. While lightweight, fiberglass is still long-lasting and difficult to break, and highly resistant to cracking or warping. Fiberglass is resistant to mold, frost, and color fading from UV rays.
COR-TEN Weathering Steel: Another beautiful and incredibly unique option for planters with benches is COR-TEN weathering steel (the “COR” stands for corrosion resistance and the “TEN” stands for tensile strength). COR-TEN steel planters look like raw metal when first delivered to your project location, but once the planter is installed in an outdoor location, it will patina to an orange-brown color over time.
3. Complementary Design Ideas for Planters with Benches
Once you’ve selected the location and materials you’d like for your planter, you’ll want to consider the next key component of great design ideas for planters with benches: the bench itself.
We know what you’re thinking: a bench is a bench.
While benches are generally created for use in short stints and aren’t intended for long stays, the type of bench you choose will vary based on its intended use and location.
This begs the questions: what design style to go with for your benches, and how do you pair them with the planters.
To simplify the answer to these questions, we’ve broken down planters with benches into a few common categories and included real-world examples crafted by award-winning experts.
The “Sit-and-Wait” Bench Spot: The first bench category is one where people sit and wait, such as in a lobby, waiting room, or restaurant. These benches are designed for a short-term experience. A few great real-life examples of the “sit-and-wait” bench include our projects at Schilling Place in Salinas, California, and Joey B’s Food & Drink in Manchester, Missouri.
Bench between Modern Elite Planters
The “Sit-and-Take-In-the-View” Bench Spot: Next up, you’ve got the “sit-and-take-in-the-view” bench. These are often used as a place to take a momentary pause and enjoy the scenery. As such, they’re generally understated and simple, taking up minimal space and being designed for aesthetics over comfort. You can see this type of bench in its natural element at our 30 East Huron project in Chicago, Illinois.
Noel Metal Bench on the roof deck
The “Sit-and-Reflect” Bench Spot: Last but not least, you have the “sit-and-reflect” bench. This type of bench is generally intended for longer, more relaxed stays where people can kick back and contemplate things. These types of benches are generally a bit more loungy and are designed to be comfortable. Check out an example of the “sit-and-reflect” bench at our Southcentre Mall project in Calgary, BC, Canada.
Modern Elite Aluminum Planters at Southcentre Mall in Calgary
Plants for Your Planters
Last but not least, you’ll need to think about what types of plants to add to your planters. To pick the right plants, consider things like:
Size: You’ll want to make sure you’re picking plants that will fit well in your planters. They need room to grow, and you also want to ensure they’re not top-heavy.
Litter: This term refers to how much mess is caused by a plant, whether by pollen, falling leaves, or other debris. You’ll want to determine how much clean-up you’re willing to do in maintaining your plants.
Hardiness: It’s critical to remember that not all plants can survive in all outdoor environments. So, you need to do your research on which plants will thrive in your respective climate. To make this easier, you can refer to the USDA’s plant hardiness map.
Benches with planters can make a versatile addition to any space. So, when you’re considering design ideas for planters with benches, make sure to consider these key factors when you start planning out your project.
If you’d like to learn about how to pick the right planters for benches for your space, contact us to speak with one of our experts today. We’re here to help answer any questions you might have.