Short, long, wooden, metal, upholstered or padded — benches come in an endless array of styles and materials. It’s a good thing too because a stylish bench can add a bit of flair and a lot of convenience to any room in the house. Historical sources say that benches were a common type of simple seat in the era when only the most important people actually got to sit in a chair.
Today, this humble piece of furniture has evolved from a second-class seat to a very functional element that can also be very stylish. Without a doubt, there’s a bench that fits the decor and size of your room, so check out these beautiful options.
This hand-crafted marvel is the Margot Bench from Chapter and Verse furniture. This particular model is made from steam-bent American Black Walnut, with a marvelously upholstered top. The textural, channel-tufted jacquard textile is in great contrast with the hand-rubbed oil finish on the base. The handsome piece would be stellar in an entryway or in the bedroom at the foot of the bed.
Updated Cultural References
This modern take on a Chinese bench is called the Ceneard, designed by Christine Xiang. Inspired by the tea garden, it is intended to facilitate comfortable communication between two people. The curve of the back is reminiscent of the lines of an ancient tea garden but the other elements convey a more modern vibe. Fabulous in an entryway, the generous proportions and backrest make this a great choice for areas that might need extra seating.
For a low profile for lots of comfort and the style of these vintage benches by Swiss architect Albert Frey can’t be beat. Frey designed them in 1949 for his own home in Palm Springs, inspired by the California desert as his muse. Whether your entire home is minimalist or if you just want to add some understated seating, this type of silhouette is ideal, especially to take center stage.
To make a bold design statement, choosing a bench like this Banquette by Sebastian Brajkovic is a good move. You might not think of a bench as the piece of furniture in the room that will make a big impression, but in the hands of an artful designer, indeed it can. This unusual bench has a folded grey bronze frame that is upholstered with greige linen that has been embellished with copper embroidery.
For a more relaxed look appropriate for a shabby chic style interior or a vacation home near the water, this spindled bench from Dunes and Duchess is a good option. Painted in a soft blue shade, the curved frame offers a convenient backrest and, in this case, coastal-inspired upholstery in an attractive coral print. This too is good for spaces where you might frequently want extra seating, as well as ample entryways.
Luxe, Gilded Design
The Lanninster Bench from Epoca is a super luxury model that is elegant and refined, both in materials and design. The hand-carved frame is lacquered in black and accented with gold at the top of the legs as well as along the edge of the seat. A plushily upholstered seat is done in rich, quality velvet making this a dream to sit on. A high-end piece like this is meant to grace a master bedroom, glamorous living room or stately entryway.
Good in Multiples
Sometimes a bench looks a little like an ottoman and vice-versa. These oval pieces from EQ3 could go either direction and are great exactly because they are smaller and can fit where a more generously sized bench could not. They can also be used as extra seating and are sleek enough to work as multiples in a grouping or a pair.
A sort of hybrid between a bench and a chair, the Sumi is called a settee but would work almost anywhere a bench with a back will. Handcrafted from solid walnut by Erickson Woodworking, the piece was inspired by the first armchair and rocker and is part of the company’s Sumi series. This updated take on the old-fashioned style is perfect for many of t0day’s interiors.
Short and Plump
Another great choice for a smaller space is this fully upholstered bench from Ferm Living. The compact design is still very welcoming thanks to the zaftig feeling it gets from its composition: Two rounded, stacked elements that feature a neutral textile. The super versatile piece is ideal for a smaller bedroom or tight entryway.
A Modern Option
The Arches Bench from Format Fine Goods is a fully customizable bench perfect for contemporary or modern, minimalist rooms. The upholstery can all one type or mixed and matched in any variation, to create a complementary piece or a real design statement to sit in an entryway or foot of a bed.
Of course, a bench can be more art than furniture, if that’s what appeals — and you have the room. This Seduction, Pair 01, is hand-carved from Niwala sandstone by artist Najla El Zein presented by Friedman Benda. The bench is meant to embody the “stages of proximity between two entities, from introversion to connection, rejection to desire.” It’s also a super functi0nal bench and an example of how art lovers can elevate the pieces they choose for the home.
Pared Down Luxury
Luxurious but not ostentatious, this bench from Hebanon is made from the highest quality materials for comfort and durability. the wooden frame and neutral upholstery make it very versatile. The tufting design on the top is certainly not ordinary and adds an extra design element. This is the type of bench that is absolutely ideal for the end of the bed in any decor scheme because it whispers its luxury instead of loudly proclaiming it.
For the Adventurous
Aptly named “Trip,” this bench from Imperfetto Lab resembles a long canoe or kayak, ready to take off. Meant for large spaces, this is an eye-catching bench that will dominate the room. The bench was designed by Verter Turroni and is made from fiberglass with a stainless steel base and a seat that is upholstered in leatherette. Whether you love to have adventures or just dream of them, this bench is just the ticket. made from Flexible Design
Long and flexible, this bench from Mercado Moderno of Brazil is crafted from gorgeous wood in a very unusual design. The round sections above each leg allow the section to be swiveled, positioning the bench as long and linear or randomly meandering. This design is meant to be seen and is great for a room that sees plenty of entertaining.
Some spots call for something with more of a natural vibe like this woven Rosarito bench from Mexa Design. The streamlined look with its powder-coated base and textural seat is great for an entryway, a sunroom, or any space that has a more Bohemian style about it. The seat can also be woven from leather instead of palm for a completely different look.
Modern Organic Shape
Of course, there’s no rule that a bench has to be rectangular or thin, as this bench demonstrates. A more organic, cloud-like shape is paired with legs composed of stacked ball shapes. This is another bench that deserves to be on show for both its shape as well as the leg details. It’s more suited to a large living space than life at the foot of a bed.
Master craftsmen like Niko Yektai create pieces that are destined to become family heirlooms, like this bench. Named Small Waves, it is crafted from bleached maple and cast concrete in a modern design that makes a big impact. Both the seat and the legs have special details that will add an artful flair to any room.
On a clean-lined bench like this one, the textile does all the talking just like a fashion outfit does. If you really want the pattern of the fabric to be the focus, a fully upholstered bench is a wonderful choice. The long loaf-style of seat is very versatile because adding a tray allows it to double as a coffee table or side table.
Fans of clean lines will gravitate to the Viking Bench by Objects and Ideas, which melds the traditional wooden bench with a more contemporary and elegant look. The hand-crafted piece can be made from sustainable, locally sourced walnut, maple, or ash. It is finished with a cushioned leather seat. With its minimalist look, it’s a versatile piece in any room of the house.
The two types of textiles used in this bench — along with the leather strap detail — give this bench a more countrified air. The textural fabrics make you think of a big stone fireplace with roaring flames on a cold day, or a casual bedroom in a country house. The long rectangle shape makes it very useful in the bedroom, entryway, or just underneath a window somewhere.
A Rough Hewn Feel
A hefty whitewashed wooden base gives this bench a more substantial vibe. The white finish allows the wood grain to shine through, adding to the rustic vibe. The wide, casual bench features a canvas cushion that is secured to the frame with rope and grommets, giving it a hint of nautical style. It’s an ideal addition to a casual space or a covered porch.
Object of Attention
This sculptural piece is the Pig bench by Julian Watts. Decidedly a conversation piece, this one is more about form than function, although it’s a whimsical place to park yourself to doff your shoes. The abstract porcine shape is a bit amorphous and needs to be placed somewhere it can be appreciated like a living space or entryway.
Printed and Plush
Many of the upholstered furnishings from Roche Bobois are plump and comfortable, and this bench is no exception. Between the low profile, edgy print and luxurious velvet upholstery the bench is an eye-catching addition to a living room whether it’s contemporary, eclectic or modern.
Crafted by BK Domestic, this bench also serves as a daybed. The most unique aspect of the entire piece is the cushion surface, which is comprised of a series of bolsters that are fitted into rounded cut-outs in the wood. This is an amazing piece to add to a living room where it can serve as extra seating for guests and as a spot to relax after everyone goes home.
Wool artist Ronel Jordan is known for all kinds of objects, from small furnishings to innovative wall decor, all made from recycled wool. This is her all-wool seating that is for people who will want to move the bench around the house at will. The organically shaped pieces are lightweight and easy to handle, making them an excellent option for just about any room in the house.
Rugged Around the Edges
Substantial, a bite metallic, and an unexpected profile — this bench by Max Lamb is one that will need to be front and center wherever you place it. The jagged silhouette has a brutalist feel that also evokes a sense of motion, like a wave hitting a wall. Regardless, it’ll be the talk of any gathering, as well as a convenient place for a pair of people to stop for a conversation.
Named Perspective, this bench by Samson Furniture Design was inspired by a Guqin, which is traditional seven-stringed Chinese musical instrument. Just as the instrument has seven strings, the bench has seven slats, that are carved to create a sense of perspective. Crafted from solid Black Walnut, the design lets light through the slats, giving it a lighter feeling.
A Foldable Option
In a fresh take on the basic folding stool, this 1+1 Folding Bench is perfect for two, no matter where you want it. Use it in a permanent location or move it around to accommodate extra visitors when necessary. Both physically and visually light, this is an unobtrusive piece that is stylish and, in some ways, rather minimalist.
Like a snowstorm of Tibetan sheep fur, this design by Guillermo Santomá includes a bench that looks made for lounging — solo or a deux! While the entire setting is a work of art, the bench itself is super welcoming and just a good for a nap as a spot for guests. It’s definitely the focal point of the room.
A study in contrasts, the Fluff Bench Jr. from Soft Geometry features a sturdy, solid body made from solid maple, topped with some candy-pink fluff. The fur-edged bench is a whimsical choice for a wide range of space thanks to its compact size. Whether for a child’s room or an adult space for a little dose of fun, this bench is out of the ordinary.
An insect? An animal skeleton? A fantastic creature of the dark imagination? Whatever you imagine it to be, this bench is an artful piece that belongs in a living space where guests can admire this one-of-a-kind piece by Conrad Hicks. Titled Wife? Bench, the piece is crafted from forged iron and copper.
Great for a jolt of color and a good bit of functionality, the ROLL Bench from Stilfried is a playful design in more ways than one. The aluminum tubes that make up the seat actually rotate, which can massage the legs when sliding sideways, activating different muscle groups. Designed in Germany and manufactured in Italy, this bench has a therapeutic benefit besides a beautiful visual.
A Quality Aesthetic
Focused on strength and masterful craftsmanship, the Essential Bench by Studio Yen is durable enough for two. The sold wood elements are connected with stainless steel joints that also add a design highlight to the lower support. The metal joinings add to the durability and strength, making this a bench that will last.
Bigger than a regular pouf but not as long as a stool, this tailored bench is versatile and ideal for lots of spots in the home. The multicolored felt upholstery is artfully pieced and accented with decorative stitching. It’s a more modern and straight-laced look that the looser, more tufted styles of upholstered benches.
High-End Art Style
Exquisitely worked by artist/designer Judy McKie, this bench is an example of distinctive high-end functional design. This artful, sculptural bench is the type that needs to be displayed in an entryway or living space because of its very special nature. McKie’s work is part of the permanent collection at many museums.
Modern and Modular
Designed by 365 North for WON, this is the Canoe, equal parts bench and daybed. Inspired by the symmetry of a real canoe, this welcoming bench is good for solo lounging as well as seating for a number of people. The table and cushion elements add to the functionality. The Canoe is a perfect choice for a contemporary or modern interior.