Today we are pleased to bring you our guide to storage benches, featuring a breakdown of the different materials, styles, and configurations of this unique piece of furniture.
Our aim is to educate you on the options available in an effort to set you on the course to the best purchase possible.
Our top featured example, pictured above, is a contemporary wood frame storage bench with plush black leather cushion top.
With this guide, we will spell out the various elements that go into making each bench design uniquely suited to a particular space and use.
To sort out the wide range of shopping options out there, we will categorize storage benches by location, build material, storage type, and finally, style.
This will help determine where and how you’ll use your bench, and what it looks like.
We hope you find this guide useful and enlightening, and find your own perfect purchase to suit your home and life.
Placement is the first consideration you’ll make when deciding that you need a storage bench in your home. Will it sit in your kitchen, against a wall or as part of the dinner table setup? Will the bench be placed at the end of your bed, or in a hallway? Depending on where you plan to use it, the bench you choose will be quite different.
For the bedroom, your storage bench may take the form of a backless couch or wide ottoman, with a cushioned top. These are often placed at the foot of the bed for convenience and visual appeal.
For a typical entryway storage bench, something hardy with a more solid surface is the best option. For this area of the home, look for hardwood benches with sturdy backs, able to withstand the traffic that comes with any entryway.
For kitchen placement, many people opt for more rustic, soft, and natural tones. Storage benches can be used as seating at the dinner table, so models with upright backs are the best option.
The storage bench is an especially great choice for patio furniture, offering built-in space to keep cushions that need to stay dry. While wood is a solid choice, wicker and plastic models are also a very popular option.
Once you know where you’ll place your storage bench, you can focus on the build material. With the location in mind, this decision can be made easily. Plastic and wicker models work best outdoors, while rich wood toned benches do best in a softer setting, like your bedroom or even family room.
Wood is, as always, the most traditional and enduring of furniture materials. The versatile range of shapes and styles afforded mean that wood will continue to be an essential element of storage benches for the foreseeable future.
Metal storage benches are much more rare than wood, although still found in a variety of styles, often in combination with wood or other materials. Some particular models, like our example here, are built tough specifically for garage or workshop use.
Wicker models can be seen both indoors and out, in a variety of configurations. Often combined with plush cushioning, the wicker affords a lightweight build and can be made weather resistant for patio placement.
Plastic storage benches make for the perfect outdoor furniture piece. These are lightweight, weather resistant, and perfect for keeping cushions and other items dry.
Leather clad storage benches are most often found in entryways, bedrooms, or even living rooms. The soft tones and sensuous material bring luxury and utility in equal measure.
The type of storage your bench employs will define its use more than any other aspect. This is where you determine what you’ll be storing within the bench, and how it is stored. Each type has specific strengths that will guide its placement and usage.
10. Flip Top
The most traditional of storage bench types, the flip top offers the most generous interior space, with the entire surface opening to reveal a large open cavity. Flip tops usually appear with a single lid, but sometimes use two distinct half lids.
The cubby storage type features an open front, with individual square or rectangular spaces to fit your belongings. Our example here stands in a family room with various useful items stored in its three cubbies.
With the drawer design, the bench features a solid frame with pull-out storage that can be hidden away when not in use. While not offering as much interior space as a flip top, the drawers allow for access without disturbing anything or anyone sitting on the bench itself.
Shoe storage is, as its name implies, for organizing footwear. Individual shoe-size cubbies are mounted along the front surface, making this type of bench perfect for entryways.
The cabinet storage bench, similar to the cubby type, features storage access on the front surface, but with cupboard doors allowing for items to be hidden away.
Finally, you are going to want to choose the style that matches your personality and home interior best. Nearly as much as the design, the style will determine how the storage bench fits in any given space.
Traditional style is the most timeless and common you’ll find when shopping for a storage bench. These are almost always wooden models, with arms, backs, and carved details. Our example here features dual hinged lids and an arched back.
Contemporary styling is a fluid idea, centered around an idea of the “now,” and thus does not point to any particular stylistic tics in general. Benches of this type will often have a bold look with novel details, like our example here with its minimalist lines and tri-square cutouts on the side.
With its semi-rustic look and natural, timeworn appeal, cottage (or country) style offers a warm, inviting tone along with the utility that any storage bench brings.
Industrial style is designed to recreate the look and feel of a factory floor, with a purpose built, utilitarian aesthetic. These can stand out in a traditional or cottage style home, or blend in with a shop or garage setting.
Modern style evokes simple, clean lines and a fusion of utility and aesthetics. These pieces can sit comfortably in any contemporary space, or stand out in a more traditional setting.