Benches aren’t just for the outdoors anymore! If you watch HGTV or keep up with the latest in decorating, you have probably seen how designers and homeowners are utilizing bench seating around dining and kitchen tables to create a unique and comfortable space. Maybe you’ve considered changing things up in your own dining space with adding a bench or two, but you’re not entirely sure.
In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of a kitchen table with a bench as well as how to go about choosing the right style, size and location. Then you’ll be able to decide if bench seating around your kitchen or dining table is right for your space.
Pros and Cons
Traditionally, kitchen and dining room tables are surrounded by chairs. But more people are becoming increasingly bold as they design their spaces. They don’t want to be locked
in to just having chairs anymore; they want to be able to choose some bench seating on one side and chairs on the other, or benches on both sides of the table with a chair on each end. Either way, they want to call the shots and own the design. And dining benches offer a chic and modern twist as a practical alternative to chairs.
So let’s start by looking at the pros of a kitchen table with a bench or two.
> Benches are more affordable than chairs.
> You can fit more people on a bench than on chairs. Bench seating is especially helpful with children as several of them can sit comfortably together on a bench.
> A backless bench can be comfortably tucked completely under the table which frees up space; this is quite helpful if your dining space is on the smaller side.
> Bench seating automatically create a relaxing, cozy, comfortable atmosphere in which you can unwind and enjoy a meal or conversation.
> Benches come in many styles and colors. You can choose a fancy, padded or upholstered bench to match your formal style or a rustic, rough-finished bench to go with a farmhouse table or other informal table.
> If you unexpectedly have an extra person or two show up for dinner, you can easily squeeze them onto a bench instead of trying to fit an extra chair around the table.
> Benches are the perfect space savers for a corner dining nook.
> Bench seating works best with square and rectangle-shaped tables with pedestals.
> You can use benches in a corner to create a quaint and cozy breakfast nook.
> It can be challenging to scoot in or out or maneuver on a bench when there are several people seated on it.
> A bench can be a little less stable and tip over especially when there are multiple diners seated.
> Benches are not as versatile; you can’t move them to other parts of the house as easily for additional seating like you can with chairs.
> Backless benches don’t offer back support but are easier to store under the table. Benches with backrests are just the opposite – they offer back support but aren’t as neatly stored.
> Unlike benches, some dining chairs can be stacked when not in use which opens up the dining space nicely.
> Benches don’t work so well with round- or oval-shaped tables.
> If your table has legs, it can be a little trickier to make benches work.
Choosing the Right Dining Bench for Your Space
After reading the list of pros and cons, hopefully you have a better idea about whether bench seating will work with your kitchen or dining table and your lifestyle. Here are some additional
guidelines to consider as you shop for the perfect bench for your space.
Make sure you measure your dining space. If you already have a table that you want to purchase a bench for, measure the length of the side you want the bench to sit on. Do you want the ability to fully tuck in the bench? Simply measure between the insides of the table legs. If you have a pedestal table, just measure the length of the table. If you don’t already have a table needing a bench,
measure your dining space so you know what size table and bench would be best.
Will your table and bench(es) be near a wall with a railing or near a window? Or will it be in the middle of the room or in a corner? You’ll want to determine the answers to these questions so
you can choose the right options (see below).
3. Choose bench options
Next, you’ll want to consider if you want your bench upholstered or not and whether you want backrests or not. (If you want backrests, consider the height of nearby windows or
paneling/railing so they don’t bang against each other.) How high to do you want the backrest and the seat (from the floor)? How deep do you want the bench and seat to be?
What color do you want your bench(es) to be? Do you want it to coordinate with the rest of the décor or to really stand out with a pop of color? Or do you want the bench(es) to be beautifully
stained and finished, or have an antiqued look?
4. Overall seating
You’ll want to decide whether you want benches on both sides of your table or on just one. There really is no right or wrong anymore; it’s your space, and you’re in charge. If your space is
small, you could put a bench next to a wall for kids to climb onto and put two or 3 chairs opposite the bench along with chairs on the ends.
Here at Kitchen Tables and More, we have many beautiful tables in every style you can imagine that offer chair seating, bench seating or both. This way, if you’re not so confident with your design abilities, you can choose a table with matching chairs or benches and know that you’re making a great selection. On the other hand, if you’re sure about your style and want to mix and match tables, chairs and benches, we can help you make your design dream come true.