Thursday, May 6, 2010

Eclectic Dining

In between our random and crazy projects, I've been checking out a few solutions to some of our more cramped corners. And lately I've been admiring benches, in all shapes and forms. A shoe entry bench. An ottoman. A storage bench. A window seat.

Mostly, though, I've been thinking in terms of benches at the dining table. I know that this is not a new trend by any means, as I'm sure you've seen the rectangular/square-table-with-a-few-chairs-and-bench setup before. One that I loved immediately, but then quickly realized that with our miniscule dining area it was not possible, because only a small round table will fit.

But then I stumbled across a few inspirational images that caught my eye:

Photo from Ballard Designs

I love everything about it. The round shape against the rectangle. And then I thought: could this be a solution for us?

Our round table is in the Dining Area - aka, our Eat-In Kitchen, but also it is the pass through to the garage and steps to the Basement, Guest Bedroom, Laundry, etc. And quite frankly, it is a bit of a tight squeeze with our current table and all four chairs, and while not in use we push the whole set slightly more towards the wall so we can walk by easier.

So I am envisioning a storage bench (yay for more storage!) up against the wall, with a few chairs. More room to walk by, hip style,  and more storage - what more could we want? It would also be nice to use it to add a little more softness and pop of color to the dining and kitchen area.

What do you guys think? Should I give it a shot? Maybe post some photos with our storage bench that's under the window as a stand-in before I make the plunge? And then what sort of bench? One with a back that's padded? One that we build? I'd love to get your opinion!

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  1. I say GO FOR IT! I'm thinking of doing the same as we have the kitchen/dining room combo & the table sits right by our garage door, taking up too much room for an area to take off shoes. A storage bench would be right next to the door plus give us back some space to talk around (hubby is 6'4" and 6 year old is well on his way to beating that height marker). Love your blog!

  2. Do it! I think it would give you more room and you could probably put chairs on the sides instead of in the way of where people are walking, if that makes any sense at all. I love the idea of extra storage as well!

  3. Oh yes, that would be the best solution for that area. Benches are meant to be pushed up against walls, so it won't look like you are 'cheating' some space. Wonderful idea!

  4. Chelsea..I say go for it!
    I've always loved bench seating in the kitchen and I've considered that Ballard option if we ever do a banquette. I like the idea of adding softness and color to the room (we don't have any window treatments in there so we only have our paint color).


  5. I say go for it! It's always great to get more storage space, and if it's upholstered it's a fun way to bring in color and style to a small area.

  6. Chelsea, remember that wicker garden bench I painted black? I've been informed by the daughter it's staying put at the table. Do it.

  7. i'm with everyone else! go for it! i love kitchens with bench seats....i wish one would fit in my dining area!

  8. i love this idea! i have been looking at window benches too. one of the houses we looked at had a huge bench under the living room windows, and it looked to cozy and inviting. I think definitely a padded back so it will be comfortable and you can add some color and pattern with the fabric. great idea!!

  9. Get that hubby to work with that saw. The storage is always great especially in the kitchen!

  10. Thanks for all the encouraging comments, guys! I totally agree with you all - it's a great solution for the area, will add some interest and pops of color as well as softness. Sounds like the bench search (or search for plans and wood to build one!) is on! Another project to add to the list, haha...


  11. I think its a great idea bankette style seating will work perfect in your dining room.

    We have a small dining room too - so i understand what your talking about!

    I just found your blog :)


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