Thursday, May 21, 2020

Built-in Bench Seats

Entry bench and cubbies and wall hooks
Built-ins add incredible character and personalization to our home designs, as well as a way to help us be more organized and arrange our stuff beautifully. Built-in benches are close to the easiest thing to build - it could just be a horizontal surface at the correct height- so they can give a big bang for the buck, as opposed to cabinet-style built ins, which can be very pricey.

My previous post was about window seats (, which by my definition are a cozy nook where a person or two can relax and be on the edge of the larger room, skirting the more major function of the room. The bench projects featured here are perhaps more functional than the dreamy window seat. They are located in kitchens, next to a table for eating. They are located in mudrooms or entries as a place to sit and remove shoes or zipper a kid's coat. Since they are usually in working areas they can be surrounded by designed storage.

Mud Room Entry Bench 
The simplest bench is a slab that has open floor space below it. This space can be used for storage of shoes, etc. if the bench is near an entry. (If the bench is at a table, this open space makes a space for the seated person to tuck their feet, adding comfort.) Sometimes we built shelves or cubbies or drawers below or next to a bench seat to organize all the sports/school/outerwear stuff we have near the door. Cubbies can hold bins that act a a more economical "drawer" to hide some of the clutter.

Benches that are not open below should still offer space for one's heels to tuck under for comfort, but the inner area can still be enclosed for storage. Sometimes the lid flips up on a hinge to access the inside space. Sometimes it is noted that that space is not so easily accessible, especially if a cushion is placed atop, and so we keep it simple and just box it in, minimizing the cost by not finishing the interior.

Bench along side of dining table
Corner Banquet Bench in Kitchen

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