Unlike some furniture pieces like the duchesse, the vanity, and the secretary, the bench has withstood the test of time. Benches are used in many different parts of a home and provide seating without taking up a lot of visual space.
At one time the duchesse – a long chair with a footstool – was a popular furniture choice, but now it is rarely, if ever, seen.
Benches vary in size, color, material and functionality. Some are purely additional seating while others provide much needed storage. From entryways to dining spaces to bedrooms, the bench remains a staple in many homes.
Benches have long been trending in dining rooms. They tend to make this traditionally formal space feel more casual and informal. Best of all, cleaning up any spills is much easier, especially if you have young children in the home.
When I am designing a bedroom, I almost always introduce a bench into the space. It is a perfect place to sit while putting on socks or to read a book if you’re not ready to go to bed.
A Missed Opportunity
One part of the home that the bench has not gained as much traction in is the living room area. This is ironic because at one point in time it was actually very common to use benches in sitting areas, parlors and family rooms.
One reason for this may be that nowadays benches tend to float in the living area and homeowners may deem that to be uncomfortable. Nevertheless, if you do a lot of entertaining and are in need of additional seating without sacrificing sight lines, the bench may the pièce de résistance that you have been searching for.
In this open concept living area, the bench allows for unobstructed views of the skyline, while also providing another place for guests to sit.
The large bench in this space actually divides this living room into two separate seating arrangements, flanking either side of the bench. This is a creative solution for dealing with a space that is too large to accommodate a typical set up.
The zebra striped bench in this living area is perfect for a homeowner who throws lots of parties. The strategically placed bench does not block the focal point in the room, the fireplace.
As we can see, the bench can be a very versatile and useful piece of furniture. Yet, I do believe it is being underutilized. By introducing it in spaces like the family room, the sitting room or the living room, homeowners will gain much more flexibility when it comes to seating friends and family.