Benches are a good way to round off all those extra spaces around the house. Not only do they provide convenient seating spots, but most benches also come with extra storage for keeping those knicks and knacks that would otherwise clutter your home.
Before you get frantic trying to come up with the best benches for every room and its needs, here are 5 expert tips to help you choose a bench.
The design of the bench you choose and the accompanying decor is entirely dependent on where you plan to keep it. For example:
Children’s Room: A bench for your children’s room cannot be drab and boring. There are many benches available with imaginative designs
like a treasure chest or with cartoon prints that will go well in a
Window Seat: Benches used as a window seat make for good reading spots. Get one with storage cubicles that can be stocked with books (or your e-reader) for a cozy little library.
Hallways: The furniture and decor in your hallways are there to impress visitors. The benches that you put there should be the same, with stately and sometimes elaborate designs cut in a good quality wood.
Bedroom: Your bedroom should be the most relaxing part of your home. As such, the benches should not have sharp features or clean-cut lines, but rather be covered in fine upholstery. Avoid leather or metallic accents, but use velvet cushions in understated colors for the best results.
Dining Room: Dining benches call for a balance between form and function. While comfort is needed, these benches need to be rugged too, so go for solid benches. Wood, as well as aluminum, can be selected with a modern design for simple efficiency.
What are the Different Types of Benches Available?
Benches come in many different designs to serve different needs. Some of the popular options are:
Bedroom Benches: Benches meant for your bedroom are usually placed at the foot of the bed. They provide a place to sit and get dressed as you get ready for the day. A good option comes with hidden storage for holding blankets and other linen.
Hallway Benches: It is awkward when guests come in from the cold and look around for a convenient place to sit and remove their shoes and coats. An entryway bench near the door can fulfill that function apart from giving some extra storage for traveling gear like backpacks and winter wear.
Dining Benches: Dining benches are great for mixing things up in your decor. You can place these benches on the long sides of the table alongside your dining chairs for casual seating. These also help to squeeze in extra people when you are entertaining a lot of guests for a party.
Storage Benches: These benches come with a variety of storage options of different sizes and forms. Instead of decking out your house in a hundred cabinets for holding all those small things that remain lying around, using storage benches ensures you get storage as well as seating spaces that look classy.
What Are the Storage Options Available on a Bench?
There are quite a few clever ways your bench can be used for storage. There is no one best type; all kinds are useful in different scenarios. Here are some of the types of storage options available on benches:
Cabinet: As the name suggests, these benches cupboard like doors that hinge open to sections that can be used for storage just like a cabinet or miniature wardrobe.
Flip Top: This type of storage gives you the most space. In flip tops, the top of the bench is actually a lid that can be lifted open to give access to a hollow interior that can be stocked like a trunk.
Cubby: These benches have open fronts with multiple squares spaces partitioned in it. While offering less storage then a simple cabinet design, a cubby style bench looks much better and is easier to organize and access.
Drawer: A variation on the cubby style, these benches have closed drawers that can be slid out of the bench to retrieve and store items.
How to Measure Your Space for a Bench?
Bedroom is the easiest, simply match up the bench to the width of your bed so that it can fit perfectly at its foot.
For dining benches, make sure that the bench is slightly smaller than the dining table so that you can slide it in between its legs when not in use.
Benches lining the walls should have sufficient clearance to not cramp the space available for walking.
Window benches don’t necessarily need to match up with the window dimensions. That said, don’t exceed it by too much either, as small benches work well for this use case.
Hallways are narrow by nature, so the benches need to hug the walls and not protrude too much. Multiple benches could be placed side by side for more storage space.
Should the Bench be Plain or Padded?
The answer to this question depends a lot on where your bench is located. Here are some guidelines:
The decor for bedrooms generally emphasizes softness and comfort. The benches you place at the foot for your bed should reflect this and make use of cushioning and upholstery.
For benches placed along entryways, functionality is all that is required. Simple wood serves well here.
Dining rooms are a mixed bag. The benches adjoining your dining table should not have any cushions or padding that can get food stains. On the other hand, you might have a bench or two by the walls for having tea; these can have some basic upholstery.
As a rule, the living room needs cushioned seating spaces. Depending on the existing decor, however, pure wood benches might be a better choice. Padded benches go better with an informal set up with a lot of couches and bean bags to complement them.
Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.