Attractive and practical bench styles
Though they're often overlooked, benches provide functional beauty perfect for any design scheme. In fact, benches can quickly add style to your home, fit into any decor, and add storage and convenience in hard-to-decorate areas.
Types of Benches Found in the Home
Benches are too often thought of as plain, with nothing more than a flat top on four spindly legs. The available types demonstrate how versatile this item has been throughout the centuries.
Popular types of benches include:
- Teak benches. Popular in recent years for their durability as outside furniture, the rich, dark wood of a teak bench can make any poolside more elegant.
- Upholstered benches. Commonly used in bedroom or dressing room interior decorating, an upholstered bench can be the pick-me-up a room needs. Bench cushions are easy to fit into the decor of almost any room.
- Storage benches. In a small apartment or townhouse, the issue of storage space can become a huge problem. An upholstered or wooden storage bench solves this problem while also providing extra seating for guests.
- Piano benches. While its role is defined, a piano bench doesn't need to be boring. Carved legs and an ornate top add a personal touch.
- Antique benches. Some bench styles used in past centuries are making a comeback, like the hall bench, gossip bench and deacon bench. The hall bench is a tall-backed, narrow bench that generally has a storage area under the seat. A deacon bench is a longer, high-backed bench that can come with more ornate carving. A gossip bench combines a seat with a table and drawer next to it, making it the perfect choice for a telephone area.
Smart Shopping for Benches of All Shapes and Sizes
After you've decided on a style of bench, finding a high-quality bench should be your priority. Checking carefully before you buy will save you a lot of pain later on. Here are some tips:
- Look at how the legs are joined to the top. If the legs are joined with glue or flimsy, thin nails, you may want to steer clear.
- Is the bench made of solid wood or chipboard? When you look at the underside of the bench, avoid ones that looked like pressed chips. A wood bench should be made with a good, solid wood like cherry or oak.
- If the bench has a lid that opens, check for tight hinges. If the hinges are flimsy, the quality isn't high.