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Selecting the Right Site Furnishings

May 8, 2024 jill Blog
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By Ryan Colwell

A place of worship is more than just a building; it’s an expression of the community that uses it. But what does this mean for your church? Well, it’s up to you!

Leaders of a parish know that the way their church feels and looks has a direct impact on the way they are perceived by members and visitors alike. If your church feels warm and inviting, people will immediately notice when they enter the grounds.

From pews and pulpit chairs to tables, lighting fixtures, and even landscaping, great attention should be paid to every detail so that worshipers can feel welcome and comfortable when they come into the house of worship. And this extends to outdoor furniture, as well!

Outdoor furniture can help to express the unique character of your church and set a tone that captures the spirit of the congregation. Is the congregation traditional in nature, or does it lean toward the contemporary?

Benches, planters, waste receptacles, and tables are all great additions when creating an inviting atmosphere. They can be used to provide seating in the shade or be a space for meditation and prayer.

With so many options to choose from, selecting the right site furnishings for your space can be difficult. Incorporating outdoor amenities to create your dream space doesn’t have to be overwhelming, though. A balance between beautiful spaces and staying within budget can help bring your vision to life.


Outdoor furniture is available in a wide range of designs, with different materials offered, which allows you to pick something that fits your tastes and budget. You can find everything from rustic wooden benches to sleek metal tables to plastic trash receptacles.

Let’s go over some features of each material:


A versatile choice for outdoor furnishings, steel is known for its ability to withstand natural elements. With options like powder coat, stainless, and galvanized finishes, it offers durability and style.


While steel is generally stronger, aluminum provides lightweight alternatives. For its weight advantages, aluminum will need to be carefully engineered to maintain the strength required for outdoor furnishing applications. Aluminum boasts high corrosion resistance, making it ideal for outdoor use.


Cast iron adds decorative flair but may be more brittle and porous compared to steel, making it less preferred for some applications.

Weather-Resistant Wood

Options like Cyprus, teak, and Ipe wood offer natural beauty and durability. Ipe wood, in particular, is renowned for its resistance to weather, heavy use, rot, abrasion, and insects, making it a popular choice for outdoor furnishings.

Recycled Plastic

The material is manufactured to resemble the visual look of wood but also provides longer-lasting durability. There are generally two styles of recycled plastic. The first is standard recycled plastic. This is recycled plastic that resembles solid lumber boards and is available in a handful of colors. Then you may see embossed recycled plastic. These boards have been crafted to resemble wood more visually in color and unique grain profiles, while also having a more natural texture.

Selecting the right materials for your site amenities can really enhance the look of your space. For example, if your church has a lot of wood in its architecture, consider incorporating recycled plastic or wood furnishings to complement your aesthetic.

Furniture Options

The next step is deciding on the type of furniture that makes sense for your site. Are there any specific needs you want fulfilled? Do you want something simple or elaborate?


A bench is a great way to add seating in your outdoor space. Consider adding some new benches outside for people to sit on while talking with one another after a sermon or mass.


Bring vibrant colors to your church with a beautiful flower arrangement. Add some large planters filled with flowers or plants so people can enjoy them during their visit.

Waste Receptacles

Control litter with eye-catching outdoor trash receptacles. There are many styles and sizes of commercial trash receptacles that can maintain the beauty of any space. No matter if it’s a metal trash can, a wooden trash can, or recycled plastic material, outdoor trash receptacles should not only be beautiful but also durable.


Bring people together around commercial outdoor tables and seats. Whether your place of worship holds picnics and events or just wants to give space for larger groups of people to sit together, a collection of outdoor tables and chairs is a great addition to your space.

No matter the size or shape of your outdoor space, there are a wide variety of furniture options that will add visual appeal while providing a place to sit, reflect, and congregate.

Custom Furniture

Many places of worship will make use of religious symbols and texts for decorative design. Incorporating crosses or scripture into the back of benches is just one way to enhance your outdoor area.

There is also the option to incorporate outdoor furnishings with memorial plaques into your space. You can do this to honor someone who has made a significant impact on your community or as a memorial. This isn’t just limited to benches either; memorials can be incorporated onto many different types of furnishings, like tabletops.


Finally, think about where each site amenity will go—where would they look best? You may want the furnishings in an area where there is already some greenery, so that members of your parish are inclined and comfortable gathering there.

You could also put furnishings in a space that’s semi-secluded from other areas so individuals can have their own little corner of your grounds to pray.

You may also want site amenities that stand out and become the focal point of your outdoor space with bright finish colors or modern designs. It really depends on the atmosphere you want your grounds to convey!

Madrax Bike Racks and Thomas Steele Site Furnishings by Graber Manufacturing, Inc. have excelled in crafting quality bike racks & site furnishings since 1989 and 2000, respectively. From modern to traditional designs, the Madrax & Thomas Steele brands aid in creating customized, beautiful, welcoming outdoor oases,