It seems like no matter how big your home is, there’s never enough storage for your items. Choosing multifunctional storage furniture can help with this problem. Storage benches not only provide additional seating and storage, but if they’re done well, they can also be a nice decorative accent for your living space.
What is a Storage Bench?
A storage bench is usually a flat bench-styled seat that accommodates one or two people but also has an open or closed storage space for items, usually below the seat. The bench can be constructed from wood, metal, fabrics, or a combination of materials and can have various shapes and sizes. Some storage benches are marketed as “storage ottomans,” but they are essentially a subset of storage benches.
Who are Storage Benches Best For?
There’s really no right type of person for storage benches, but people who live in small spaces, have little closet space, or are lacking a garage or attic will undoubtedly benefit from having the additional storage. Even if you have tons of space, the storage bench gives you an additional compartment to hide items that you would prefer to keep within reach, like remote controls, car keys, dog leashes and baggies, etc.
What to Consider When Buying a Storage Bench
Buying any piece of furniture can seem like a daunting task since you usually have to make the decision without first seeing it in the intended setting. These are some of the things you should consider before committing to a storage bench.
1. Space for the Bench
You absolutely want to know that the bench can fit into the intended space. Take a tape measure and measure the floor space that you’re committing to the bench. Along the wall is a popular placement location, so make sure that the wall is clear in case someone sitting on the bench wants to lean back. A painting, mirror, or wall sculpture may make this location less than ideal for bench placement, so if you can’t move the hanging piece, it may be better to find another location for your bench.
2. Storage Volume
The amount of storage the bench is going to provide should be a major consideration. If you are planning on placing the bench by your front door to store a purse or briefcase, a shallow storage compartment won’t do. Even a deeper compartment, like the one in this Sebastian Wood Storage Bench might not be enough for some items. Consider this when shopping.
3. Type of Storage Bench
Storage benches have various styles, and depending on your purpose, you may want to scratch a few options from your list. Many storage benches have enclosed compartments or drawers. This is fine for most types of dry storage, but if you want a bench to go by the door so you can put umbrellas, coats, or shoes, an enclosed compartment will get mildewy. An alternative would be the Park West White Hall Tree. There is plenty of open storage and organization, a place to sit, and your wet things can air out naturally.
You don’t want to sacrifice style for function, so make certain that your bench matches your decór. That means that if you have a mid-century modern home, you don’t necessarily want a metal industrial-looking bench like the Ren Metal Bench.
While this is a fantastic piece of furniture with plenty of open storage, it would probably not fit with your mid-century motif. Matching a storage bench with your style can be tricky since benches aren’t always part of a collection. Here are some factors to consider for matching decorative styles:
- Match the materials – If you have wood furniture, for instance, try to closely match the color, grain, and texture of the existing wood.
- Examine the lines – If your existing furniture has straight lines, stick to benches with straight lines.
- Use Accessories – You can often bring disparate elements to a room together by matching accessories. For instance, if the seat of your bench has forest green fabric, you can use a forest green throw or toss pillows on a nearby sofa to draw the pieces together.
Depending on your intended usage, you may want to stay away from certain materials. If you are planning on using your bench a great deal, you need to make sure any upholstered seating is durable and easy to maintain. If you’re going to place the bench in a mudroom, you want to select weather-resistant finishes. Any bench that you intend to use outdoors should be designed for outdoor usage. The Rise Gray Storage Ottoman is a great bench for the bedroom or living room, but it is not made for outdoor usage.
Choosing the Best Storage Bench For You
Now that you have a few limiting factors to help you organize your search, here are a few more tips to make sure that you find the best bench for your needs.
- Don’t Only Search for Storage Benches – As you can probably tell from our examples, different pieces of furniture are branded in different ways. Searching for “storage furniture” will probably yield broader results.
- Broaden Your Search from Specific – Ashley Furniture, for instance, may make a lot of furniture that you like, but there are many companies that make similar pieces. A furniture retailer like Slumberland Furniture may have a good mix from various manufacturers to help you get started in your search.
- Bring a Measuring Tape – If you’re going to go to a store to purchase your storage bench, bring a measuring tape so you can check the dimensions.
- Look For In-Stock Items – Many pieces are available to order, but they can take months to arrive. By shopping for in-stock items, you can save yourself the pain of waiting for the supply line to catch back up.
Follow these tips, and you’ll find a storage bench that you will never know how you lived without.