By Catherine Stansfield
Whether you are shopping for a new piece of furniture or you are looking into restoring and repurposing an old bench, the possibilities for this often-overlooked piece are limitless. Benches are flexible enough in style to spruce up both the interior and exterior of your home.
They offer seating solutions without the bulk of a sofa or the singularity of a chair. Your bench can also serve unconventional purposes, like a footrest or storage option. By adding benches both indoors and outdoors, I have found that my home works better for me, while gaining the approval of friends and family for an interesting design choice.
Here are ten ways you can add this forgotten furniture piece back into your design.
Put it on a Porch
Decorative benches can make the exterior of your home look inviting. They allow others to see that your home has personality. A bench can also transform your front porch into a livable space.
With more seating options, you can get more space out of your home by creating a place to frequent with family and friends. At the same time, a bench can enhance your home’s curb appeal.
One of the most dynamic ways to use a bench in your design is with a hanging feature. In the front of your house, a hanging bench can create style. In the backyard, it can be the inspiration for a unique design.
On my poolside patio, I have added a swinging bench with an accompanying canopy for the perfect summer seating solution. I found that it was an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the summer sun, while keeping cool in the shade. When it came time for swimming in the pool, the bench offered the perfect space to keep my towels and flip-flops for easy access. My patio bench and its gentle swing allowed for a picture-perfect day in the sun.
Seating for Your Garden
The natural wood of benches can give your garden a chic touch while preserving its connection to nature. A bench perched amongst your trestles and planters can represent your personal touch.
Additionally, placing a bench in your gardening space means you can sit and enjoy the beauty that your hard work has created. You may also consider a wrought-iron bench with intricate flower patterns to tie into the space. Or you can paint your wooden benches to match the color of your flowers for a vibrant design element.
Fill up Blank Space
When your home has a sense of too much space, benches can be the answer. Think bench for that empty hallway. Combine your bench with other décor for a styled, professional look. A bench at the foot of the bed lends character while offering seating options.
Window Seating for Reading
You can place your benches near window units to create a reading nook while embracing the natural light. By also adding throw pillows to the bench, you will have a comfortable space to read, and the patterns and fabric can tie into your room’s overall theme. There is no need to waste window space when you can utilize the natural light the space gives off while increasing your seating.
Keep Your Feet Up
Smaller, backless benches can make a perfect ottoman. Upholster your bench in a similar fabric to your couch to form a set. Ottomans are often bulky for their minimal purpose. A bench can function in the same way, but can be easily moved if needed.
Create a Focal Piece
If you want to cover a larger space with something that catches the eye, a bench can be customized to suit your needs. Consider having a bench custom-made with a tall back to make a wall piece as well as a seating unit. Additionally, you can use heavily textured pieces for an interesting design piece.
Complete Your Kitchen Set
Benches are a great way to gain the most seating in your kitchen and dining spaces. They can be used to accommodate more guests than a single chair, while also being able to tuck discreetly under your table. Similarly, because of the design flexibility of benches, they can be customized to match the style of your space with ease. Sleek, monochrome benches can work with your modern, marble paradise, while natural wooden benches can complement your rustic eating space.
Prevent Mudroom Mishaps
Your entryway or allocated room for removing outerwear and footwear can vastly approve with the addition of a bench. Benches are an affordable and transportable solution to your mudroom needs. When set against the wall, a bench can prevent trips and spills when peeling off winter boots after a trek through the snow, rain boots after a downpour, or sandy flip-flops after a day at the beach.
Storage to Stay
Many benches are equipped with inside storage to maximize the functionality of your home. Items can be tucked away while your stylish seating and storage option remains clean. Moreover, benches serve multiple functions in any room they are placed. They allow for additional clothing storage in your bedroom, media storage in your den, or even linen storage in your bathroom or hall.
After a recent downsize, bench storage became a necessity to make the most of my newly-found small space. I no longer had the room for multiple bookshelves, but I was not ready to part with my expansive collection of books. My solution came from a bench with a soft, upholstered style and inside storage. I was able to store my books, and with a few throw pillows and blankets, I have a comfortable space to read them too!
Whether you have blank space in your design, need more storage or seating options, or merely are looking for an interesting piece of furniture for your home, benches are your solution. With mobility, functionality, and style, your bench can be customized to suit any need and any space in your home. A little creativity and design sense can make benches a key part of your home’s style.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com and www.dreamstime.com