Wednesday, April 24, 2013

hunt for a mid-century modern garden bench

We landscaped the strip of yard decimated by our bathroom remodel about 9 months ago. The contractor left a small seven foot patch of land bare of plants and specified "bench - owner to supply."

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench
Boo. Big blank spot in pretty garden to the right near the wall.

Can you see the big blank spot to the right. I have been scouring eBay, websites and Craigslist ever since.

Nothing ever really look right.

Many looked too parky.

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench
Birmingham Camelback Outdoor Park Bench

Some looked too ornate.

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench
ElleDecor The 10 Most Gorgeous Garden Benches


Others looked too traditional.

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench
ElleDecor The 10 Most Gorgeous Garden Benches

And some just too rustic (new trend).

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench
ElleDecor The 10 Most Gorgeous Garden Benches

The pickings for "modern" were pretty slim. Any anything I even kind of liked came with a very steep price tag, typically well over $1000.

Until on Craigslist I spotted this:

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench

Hello gorgeous. I looked it up. Santa & Cole is a Spanish company that re-sells industrial and modern design. They say  "curate." I don't really know what that means. I do know that it is impossible to get comp pricing online for their products, especially the benches, as very few companies in the United States seem to sell them. The only other thing I could figure out is these benches are used in real parks and are for true landscaping design. They are heavy duty. 

I took a chance and opened negotiations with the lister by offering half. With a few emails back and forth we had a deal. I also learned the bench had never been outside - the above photo was from the Santa & Cole website. The current owners were using it in their bedroom at the foot of their bed. Curioser and curioser. The owners of said bench weren't interested in me coming by to pick it up, so we did the exchange in an Armstrong Garden Center parking lot, with each of our F150's parked side-by-side. I took along my 14-year-old son for safety.

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench


Just for grins I asked the nice lady selling the bench where she got it. I was wondering because Santa & Cole is such an obscure brand in the U.S. She said she used to work for a hotel. I left it at that.

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench


And I did finally find a U.S. distributor willing to sell me one of these benches for a price of $1,236 including shipping and sales tax. So at least I have a reasonable check now. Plus if I ever want a second one, I have a better idea of how to get it.

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench
Can you see how the landscaping has matured?

I love Craigslist. When you hit it, you really hit it.

mid-century modern landscaping garden park bench
Self-satisfied shopper.

20 comments:

  1. Great find, Rebecca! Sometimes it makes sense to take a chance on a good deal!

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    1. Yes, but you never know, right? I have had these things go really south too.

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  2. You said it, sister. I love that feeling when you find the perfect thing. It was meant for that garden. Love the landscaping too. Well done!!!!

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    1. There is NOTHING like an amazing find on Craigslist. Ah the thrill of the hunt.

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  3. Looks perfect--but exchanging in a parking lot--shades of intrigue. Did you wear a raincoat and a black fedora?

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    1. They live in Costa Mesa which is really close but insisted on meeting at a location. Perhaps Craigslist makes them nervous. There have been negative news stories. It was a large enough $$$ transaction that I brought my bodyguard too.

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  4. I love your new bench Rebecca, and I'm glad nothing bad went down in your top secret pick-up from the carpark. Still for that price, all that cloak and dagger stuff was worth it. Your garden has come along beautifully. Just goes to show, with gardens (and finding the right garden bench!) it's all about patience.

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    1. Gardens are all about patience. You are so right. We are going to take on another strip of yard. I am working up energy for it. It is a big giant jungle mess. Boo.

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  5. That is the perfect bench for your yard. I love, love, love it!!! Congratulations one one of the best CL finds ever.

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    1. I love that you love it! Who is this Santa & Cole???? I have never heard of them but they make good stuff. Really pleased.

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  6. Good find - works perfectly. But also got me was the great look of the colored cobble rocks between the paving sections, and how that even is picked up (sky?) on the window frames. The whole scene is a stunning use of precious property.

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    1. Hi David...You have picked up on the fact this is the back of the house. My husband shakes his head as this is by far the best looking part of our yard. My goal is to make the rest of our landscape look like this little bit. It is my model and a fantastic landscape professional gets all the credit, not us. :) Dan Morines.

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  7. Outdoor modern is SO EXPENSIVE and so hard to find! You scored big time, Rebecca. It's so darn PERFECT!
    Your ornamental grasses are beautiful in those pictures. I'd never want to leave that spot. LOVE IT!

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    1. Isn't it expensive? And honestly, the stuff sits in the rain. I was really relieved to find it at a good price. Yippee!

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  8. Now that's an awesome find. If you were still coming up empty, I would have suggested something in teak: http://www.homefurnitureandpatio.com/899029001392-sku/11527/Infinita-Le-Spa-4-Teak-Bench---Natural-Finish.html

    But you got a steal of a deal there.

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    1. Yep. That bench would have been perfect and the price was right. Appreciate the tip when I need another!

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  9. Glad you found something you like. I would have suggested a DIY solution like Morgan's "Fence Bench" from The Brick House. I made one for my house and love it. Cheap too!

    http://www.the-brick-house.com/2010/11/fence-bench/

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    1. That is an awesome idea! I love The Brick House. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. May I ask what kind of plants are on your yard? I'm looking do landscaping in my yard.

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