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The great thing about picnic benches is that, wherever you stumble across one, they provide the optimum use of space no matter how large the surrounding area. With a table attached to bench seating on both sides, picnic benches offer a number of seating options perfect for family dining, with the intimacy of a dining table all built into one structure. Typically born from the standard garden bench which offers seating in a row, picnic benches take the wooden garden bench a step further by facing two seating area towards each other, separated only by a large table space. And while picnic benches are popularly found in country parks and along well-known walking routes, the quantity of home buyers and members who are looking for picnic benches for their own garden is on the rise.
The versatility of a picnic bench
Picnic benches may be named after the informal lunchtime picnic basket filled with all your favourite treats, but that’s not to say that they can’t also provide the perfect space for a formal dinner or a celebration. The beauty of picnic benches is that most are made from thick planks of wood – making them easy to dress up or dress down depending on the occasion. One great way to create a focal point of the picnic bench in your garden is to hand fairy lights in the trees above it; ensuring a practical eating area by day and creating a romantic atmosphere by night.
Making your own picnic bench
For those interested in a little DIY, making your own picnic bench from wooden planks is a relatively straightforward – though time consuming – process. If you’re looking at making your own, consider a picnic bench where the seating benches are separated from the central table structure, as this will make transporting your bench from its creation space to its ultimate destination much easier!
Revamping an old picnic bench
One thing we often get asked is how to revamp and bring to life an old picnic bench which may have seen better days. Traditionally made from either wood or metal, picnic benches tend to sit outside all year round due to their size and heavy structure, and as such are unlikely to be moved or stored away during the Winter months. That means that when the weather turns, they are likely to get a battering! To breathe life back into an old picnic bench, first look at the space you want to put it in, and consider the best base colour – whether a natural finish can be achieved with varnish and wood sealant, or if a coloured wood paint would be a better option. Either way, both of these solutions can be sourced fairly cheaply and applied at home. Then comes the fun part – accessorising. And this is where you can use your imagination, searching through our retailers specialising in outdoor living to find the very best furniture cushions, table accessories and outdoor planters – to name but a few!
Where to find the best picnic benches
When it comes to purchasing a picnic bench, remember that the price will inevitably be higher than you might expect from a typical garden bench – but that for your money, you get not just seating but also a table area all in one. The best retailers include garden centres and homeware stores which stock and specialise in outdoor furniture collections, with the best time to buy being early in the season to get the best selection, or else late in the season when products are likely to be discounted.