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Small Space Solution: Benches

by | Jul 7, 2009 | Decorating Inspiration, Details, small houses | 37 comments

Small Space Solution: BenchesCountry Living

Need more space?

How about using less furniture! Benches are the perfect solution. I don’t think you can have too many benches, you can move them around and use them in so many different ways!

Small Space Solution: BenchesBHG

Benches can be built in or pulled up to the table to seat two or three people with less crowding than several chairs.

Benches break up the monotony and clutter of too many chairs.

Small Space Solution: BenchesCountry Living

Benches take up very little space below a window, behind a sofa or underneath a table!

Tucked in a corner or beside the fireplace, they provide extra seating.

Small Space Solution: BenchesCountry Living

Small Space Solution: BenchesHouse Beautiful

Benches can create a cozy reading nook, or provide an extra place for someone to sleep! We have a built in bench at our beach house that is a reading nook by day and a bed by night!

Small Space Solution: BenchesCountry Living

Small Space Solution: Benches

via Cote de Texas

At the foot of a bed, a bench can provide a spot to set your extra pillows at night.

Benches can also double as a coffee table (just set a tray or basket out for a sturdy surface if you have a soft bench).

In the entry, a bench can be a great place to put on your shoes.

Small Space Solution: BenchesRemodeling Center

Small Space Solution: BenchesBHG

How many benches do you have at your house? Where do you use them?


  1. Sara

    We have just 2—on either side of the kitchen table. With 6 children, I don’t have the visual clutter of all those chairs that would probably need to be pushed in all the time!

    Saras inspiring blog post..Apple My Eye!

  2. Pat

    A bench sits in front of the sofa, here at the lake, taking the place of a coffee table we’re using at home, now.

    Wonderful images!!

    Pat@Back Porch Musingss inspiring blog post..~Renovation & Retrospect~

  3. Kristen

    I love the bench in the kitchen (picture two) with the baskets underneath. Multipurpose furniture is fabulous! And it’s pretty too.
    I’ll have to find a place for something like that in our new home. :)

    Kristen @ Beautifully Imperfects inspiring blog post..Stopping for the Experience

  4. Kim

    We have two benches in our home. One is in our entry area and the other is at the foot of the bed in our guest room.

    Kims inspiring blog post..Can’t Wait!!

  5. Angie

    We have two benches in our house, and I love them both. When we purchased a new kitchen table a couple of years ago, we opted for a bench in place of 2 chairs. The kids love sitting on it, and you can fit a lot more bottoms on a bench! It comes in really handy for larger gatherings and saved us an extra chair (or two). Our other bench is in our master bedroom. It was a great cheap find at an antique store. I’m in the process of upholstering it for a second time to give it new life in our bedroom. I use to sit on while tangling with my pantyhose. My husband uses it as clothing rack – I’ll have to work on that one!

  6. Trish

    Beautiful Pictures! I have two pews on the front porch and one long pew in the den. No real ‘benches.’

    Trish@TheOldPostRoads inspiring blog post..Green is Me

  7. Abbie

    We’ve got one by the kitchen table – love it! The new house (we’re moving this week) has one in the front entry way. I’d like to add one to the back entry, as well as a bench or pew to the dining room window!

    Abbies inspiring blog post..Helping others

  8. Laurel

    I’m always looking for benches. I have one in my entryway, and plans for built ins in my office. I love them!

  9. Becky K.

    Hmmm…no benches here yet. I did have an idea that I wanted a breakfast nook in the kitchen with a corner bench…but I have given that up for the hope of more counterspace one of these days.

    However, you have made me think about our family room. That could be a great solution to the too many chairs and not enough seating issues there.

    Enjoy your day!

    Becky K.s inspiring blog post..Going Postal….

  10. suzanne

    I do have one bench at the foot of the bed for the pillows, but I’ve always wanted one in the foyer!! thanks for the inspiration.


    suzannes inspiring blog post..

  11. LeAnn

    Hi Melissa,
    This is a great post! I have always had a love affair for benches. Like you said, they can be used in so many different places. I recently bought a black spindle bench at an antique sale and it’s perfect for the side of my stairs (you know when you have a space and you’ve tried everything and nothing works) well the bench was perfect. I didn’t even have to paint it, it was already black.

    Thanks once again for the inspiration.


    LeAnns inspiring blog post..Musical chairs…………

  12. Peggy

    In the living room are two twig benches stacked and holding my collection of chalkware dogs. In the laundry-sunroom is a painted bench holding plants. And in the bedroom is an old green bench with a big stack of books holding a lamp. Almost forgot, the barnwood bench in the craft room holds boxes of wool. Can you guess that I enjoy using benches?

  13. Amy at The Red Chair Blog

    Thank you for this great post! I’ve been contemplating designing a built-in window seat for our breakfast nook, and these photos that you have compiled are just the inspiration I’ve been looking for! Thank you!


    Amy at The Red Chair Blogs inspiring blog post..A Handful of Vintage Finds

  14. The Blushing Hostess

    You know, I love them. But in a dining nook, I do not relish wiggling over into my seat daily which is why I have avoided them in that location as pretty as they are under a window.

    The Blushing Hostesss inspiring blog post..Around this town

  15. Claudia

    To me, a bench in the kitchen or in my case a simple bench at the end of my bed is the perfect spot for a stop and rest moment.

    The selections you posted, per normal wonderful you, are great ideas! I have no idea why these days I am drawn so to all the lovely whites that are abounding. Normally i really enjoy color, but this season it all is a bit over whelming. White on white is calling to me.

    We have a great house (we, being the company i work with) that has a great bench on the landing of the stairs; I will remember to snap a picture of it the next time I visit one.

    You are always the best!
    TTFN~~Claudia ♥

    Claudia@DipityRoads inspiring blog post..Before and After –Crooked pots

  16. Jen

    I love benches too. Would love to add them to my kitchen but not sure if it would work. Also would love to have a bench/reading nook. Great pictures. We have one bench in the house – in our mudroom. Such a lifesaver when getting shoes on and hiding shoes too.

    Jen@ourdailybigtops inspiring blog post..what I learned this week…

  17. Chele

    I love to see benches like that! Especially for a kitchen table! I don’t have any unfortunately! One day!! I love your blog Melissa!

  18. janice

    I’m toying with the idea of having one in a tight kitchen corner, but as The Blushing Hostess mentioned above, the wiggling is a worry for me. I’m at the ‘spreading’ age. :( Beautiful photos, as always. I know you love choosing them for us, and it’s not a chore, but thank you for being our gorgeous photo google on those days when we haven’t the time to go rooting around.

    janice | Sharing the Journeys inspiring blog post..Rapt Attention,Gifts and Rain

  19. Kathy

    I love benches that can be moved around. We have a fairly long window seat in our great room that is wonderful when we host holidays at our house as it provides seating. While I love it, it does kind of limit how you can move the furniture around.

  20. lylah ledner

    Oh dear friend. . . another wonderful post. Interesting how each place had a cozy-ness to it as well.

    On another note: thanks a TON for your invaluable advice for my blue tiles in the kitchen. It’s a French Country theme – blue and white, touches of yellowish and red….so, WHITE it is. Digging out grout is …uh…fun work!

    lylah ledners inspiring blog post..Notebook on French Fig and Cherry Torte

  21. Chris

    Hey Melissa! I have NOT been a good commenter, but I was compelled by these photographs! I have a love affair with benches, and these were just gorgeous! Now I have to go shopping for some more!

    Chriss inspiring blog post..How to Prepare for Fireworks

  22. Suzanne B

    Thank you.. Thank you… I am moving in three weeks and I have been fighting with a decision about this window seat/dining room area I will have. My boyfriend doesn’t want a dining room table and I do.

    I have been trying to figure out how to make a corner seating area without taking up too much room for the kids to play in the large space…

    Add another bench and put the table in the corner!
    How come I didn’t think about that before?

    It’s coming around now…. that will be a great idea!

    Thanks so much for this, I needed it!

    Suzanne Bs inspiring blog post..Blog Party!

  23. the BLAH BLAH BLAHger

    I use a bench as my coffee table! It’s covered in fabric, but I have a sterling tray on top which holds design books, remotes, a candle and flowers (whenever I entertain or feel like spoiling myself!).

    the BLAH BLAH BLAHgers inspiring blog post..Tool Talk Tuesday: Drill Baby, Drill!

  24. Isa

    Ooo I just love those built-ins. I have a bench at my dining room table right now, and I’ve been on the hunt for a settee to replace it – but the longer the bench stays, I find that I’m looking less and less for a replacement…. hrm..
    xo Isa

    Isas inspiring blog post..Knock, Knock… it’s My Dream Again…

  25. Gina

    I love these phots-unfortunately we don’t have many benches-though I’ve often been tempted to swap a long bench for some of our kitchen chairs….they are super useful. We’ve used storage ottomans as bench stand-ins, they do the trick!

    Ginas inspiring blog post..Picking my Projects

  26. Richella

    Mmmmm. . . I love benches. All kinds. When my kids were little, I had benches on either side of the kitchen table, with chairs at each end. You wouldn’t believe how many little boys can group around a table if they’re perched on a bench.

    One of my favorites kinds of benches is an old-fashioned deacons’ bench. I have two in my house–one in the foyer and one in the dining room. Do you have any?

    Richellas inspiring blog post..What to do if it storms while you’re at the beach

  27. Chie

    I do love benches but my house is so small and no space if I put a bench.

    How I wish, someone can give me advices how can I arrange my furniture. Do you? If so, let me know.

    Thanks a mill…

    Chies inspiring blog post..My "suppose" dreamy day, turns TEARY DAY!

  28. Blessed Mama

    I love benches! It drives me nuts that I can’t have one in my kitchen. I did just purchase a little gem of a bench in the purdiest little robin’s egg blue color for my skinny, non-existant entryway. I can’t wait to get it! By the way, I am LOVING the bench that they turned into a little chaise. Brilliant!

  29. Tamara ModernGear TV

    We have one – it’s the George Nelson bench…currently in use as our coffee table but we’re going to move it into the bedroom at the foot of our bed. And then find another coffee table! Great collection of benches, and I do love them. I sat on one for breakfast, lunch and dinner as a kid, until I left home for school at 16! The seat was bright orange and lifted up and held magazines underneath.

  30. Kimm at Reinvented

    I just have the one bench in my bedroom, but these picture sure inpsire me to find more! Thanks for sharing.

    Kimm at Reinventeds inspiring blog post..Trash to Treasure Tuesday–Chalkboard Paint Treasures

  31. Tracy

    I added a bench to one side of my dining table last year and wish I had done it years earlier. No kids in our house anymore but it would have been great then. What’s great about it now is the sense of space created by the lack of chair backs and since this table is in my big open kitchen, you can easily sit on the bench with your back to the table and be part of what’s going on in the other side of the room. Of course, when the kids are home, usually with a friend or two in tow, the bench does a good job then too, at the table or as extra seating in the living room.

    Tracys inspiring blog post..It’s the little things…

  32. Jean

    I, too, love benches and have 6 of them. One as a banquette in the kitchen, two in family room -one in the corner as a reading nook or I can put a small table in front of it when I have a party and need extra places to eat, and one behind the sofa holding seasonal pillows,–this one I put a longer table in front of for more dining. One in the livingroom- a narrow leather one in front of the fireplace, two in the 2nd family room as window seats. They are all different and useful space savers.

    Jeans inspiring blog post..Cooking Class Recipes

  33. New Every Morning

    I love benches!!!
    We have 2 built in window seats (one in each of my girls’ bedrooms).
    I have a long bench in my mudroom that my dad lovingly made several years ago.
    Don’t forget the outdoors! We have one on our screened in porch and another between the garage doors that I can sit on while the kids play in the driveway.

    I’m on the hunt for an old shabby-chic one to use as a side table on the front porch.
    They are hard to find, esp. if I want it for free! :)

    New Every Mornings inspiring blog post..Just Crabby

  34. abbie

    I love the look of benches, and they are handy for kids, but I don’t like sitting on them. I feel uncomfy and unsupported, although it could just be the benches I have experienced! My parents had a wonderful looking wooden and iron park bench in our living room when I was growing up. It was great for sticking things through the slats, but I hated sitting on it. We have a trunk, turned bench, in our entry way for the little ones to sit on, thus making it easier for the bigger ones to tie their shoes. I love the pics! Abbie


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