These days, it is the norm to convert every nook and cranny of your home into a livable space. So much so that the great outdoors too easily become a part of the home, sharing its ambiance and beauty. So, it is only natural that the turn of the season evokes a giddy rush to throw open their doors to nature.

Outdoor furniture and accessories are numerous and come in a boggling variety of styles, colors, material and make. You have outdoor chairs, dining sets, lounges, sofas, lounge with cushion and side table, hammocks and gazebos, to name a few. Of these, the most unpretentious and easily available are the ubiquitous park benches. While some people want to soak in the welcoming heat, others want to socialize, meet and party under the sky. Regardless of your objectives, outdoor park benches are a minimum requirement if you want to breathe life into the park or garden.

Park benches come in a large variety of material, shapes and make. At one time, wooden benches were the most popular varieties. These were a welcome addition to any park space, as immortalized by the umpteen numbers of romantic movies where two people discover love on a deserted park bench.

However, with changing times, rustic wooden park benches too felt the heat. Soon, these were replaced by lightweight, weather resistant benches made from materials like recycled plastic, aluminum or wrought iron. The advantage of these materials is that they are more amenable to a variety of designs and colors. More importantly, they are highly portable and durable. Manufacturers often offer long warranties on plastic benches.

In general, park benches are available in a variety of styles. Some benches are just that - a board of wood or plastic with four unassuming legs. Then you also have benches with backs, benches with arms, benches with wrought iron legs, cushions, team benches and so on. Your criteria in choosing the appropriate bench for your park would be:

*Usability

*Looks

*Durability

It is a good idea to keep the number of children/people in mind while choosing the size of the bench. If you expect a good crowd of people or children, it is a good idea to use a number of garden benches. For young children, a sturdy design is a must.

Since park benches sit out in the open, it is necessary to choose something that merges with the layout of the park. Complete visual harmony can be achieved by going for colors that merge with the park or other elements in the park. On the other hand, it is possible to achieve a breathtaking effect by opting for items that stand out in stark contrast.

It is obvious that durability plays an important part in the selection of park benches. Outdoor and indoor furniture is generally bought to last for many years. Since your outdoor furniture is exposed to extremes of weather conditions, it is recommended that you choose items that last in spite of the beating rain, blowing wind or the harsh rays of the sun.