There's a new design trend for sculptural outdoor benches – here are the 9 that instantly elevate your backyard

Backyard benches can bring so much to your outdoor space, from a sculptural element to a quiet place for contemplation

An outdoor bench
(Image credit: Lisa Romerein. Design: Assembledge, Susan Mitnick Design Studio and Fiore Landscape Design)

The addition of a simple backyard bench can bring so much to your outdoor space, no matter the size of the backyard you have. Whether it's a small slither of balcony, or a larger space, your outdoor space can be given some extra meaning and focus with a backyard bench. 'Garden benches quietly suggest an invitation to repose, observe, and connect to nature, people and their surroundings,' says Susan Mitnick of Susan Mitnick Design Studio. 'Their presence can  create a poetic moment and add an element of sculpture.'

Whether you're looking for a moment of quiet contemplation in your backyard or something sculptural to bring a decorative flair to your alfresco space, read on for my favorite shopping picks from the best outdoor furniture brands.

Oonagh Turner
Oonagh Turner

Oonagh is an interiors writer and editor, and expert at keeping up with trends from the world of interior design. For this story, she's scoured the web to find the best benches for any type of backyard.

Sculptural outdoor furniture

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Your bench can really become a standalone work of art if you pick the right piece, lending your outdoor space a focal point. Here are three of my favorites.

A red bench with cushions

(Image credit: Design Within Reach)

Best for relaxing 

A bench is a perfect moment for quiet relaxation and tranquility, Picking the right bench for this task is also about finding the perfect spot in the backyard, and checking that your outrdoor bench isn't facing the wrong way, towards a view or a relaxing focal point. Here are three of my favorite benches to relax in.

Best for backless style

A backless style bench takes on a simple shape and might just work to shine a light on a quiet spot in the backyard without taking up too much visual clutter. These modern outdoor furniture pieces also worked well tucking neatly under your outdoor dining table.

A backless bench

(Image credit: Design Within Reach)
Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.