If you’re tired of kneeling to lace up your shoes or forcing guests to squat while they’re removing their footwear, it might be time for an entryway bench.
A good bench is more than just a place to sit while you put on shoes and boots, said Amber Lewis, an interior designer based in Calabasas, Calif., and the author of the book “Made for Living” — it can also add some style to your home.
“It should be a really standout piece,” Ms. Lewis said, because it will be front and center every time you step through the door. “I look for things that have an interesting shape, or an interesting leg or back.”
And sometimes she adds color or pattern with textiles, she said, to make a plain bench more inviting. “If you get a wood bench, you can create a really beautiful patterned seat pad or cushion,” she said. “Or simply use pillows.”
Will it fit in the foyer? “What you really want to pay attention to is the depth,” Ms. Lewis said, to make sure the bench won’t cut into your circulation space.
Should the bench have integrated storage? Not necessarily. “Typically, they’re up on legs, so you can always add storage underneath with baskets,” she said.
Should it be upholstered? Ms. Lewis likes upholstered benches, but noted that cushioning is less important with benches than with other pieces of furniture, because the bench will be used for only a few minutes at a time.
Tip Toe Bench
Powder-coated steel bench with upholstered top by Steffensen & Würtz for Wendelbo
From $264 at Danish Design Store: 866-261-8828 or danishdesignstore.com
Stature Black Bench
Bench upholstered in bouclé fabric by Caleb Zipperer
$499 at CB2: 800-606-6252 or cb2.com
Two-Seat Bench With Back
Wood bench by Ilse Crawford for De La Espada
From $1,930 at the Future Perfect: 212-473-2500 or thefutureperfect.com
Woven Rope Indoor Bench
Wood bench with cotton-rope seat
$549 at West Elm: 888-922-4119 or westelm.com