Monday, January 10, 2011

Taking your shoes off: Entryway benches

We're building a house in Upstate New York. We're close to moving in and I'm in the throes of planning each room. The entryway, of course, sets the first impression, and needs to be welcoming. The house is a very modern design, and so far I've found a wonderful Art Deco inspired console table to set the tone, but I will need a bench.

It can be very muddy and snows a lot! People visiting will need a place to take off their boots. A bench needs to be able to withstand wet clothes, and thus can't be too precious. I'm on the hunt for something at auction.

In these photos from Canadian House and Home, the inclusion of a rustic bench in these entryways doesn't sacrifice style. I like both these benches because one wouldn't hesitate to sit down on them with a wet coat, and remove those muddy boots.

In these Homes and Gardens Magazine photos, in the top one I like the use of hall chairs as an option. They're wood, sturdy and stylish. The bottom photo shows a wonderful old bench that is smart, but doesn't look too precious.

These are two great options for an entryway. These were both sold at past Brunk auctions. The example in the top photo sold for $275. The catalogue said that it was possibly constructed from an old bed. I love the wood color and the shape. 
The Chinese bench in the bottom photo is another chic option. I always love adding Asian pieces and these Chinese benches are generally not too difficult to find at auction if you keep your eye out. This one sold for $300. 

This bench would have been perfect for my entryway! Sorry I missed it. It's an Art Deco style painted bench, and sold at a Doyle New York auction for $375.

For that mid-century vibe, this walnut bench is a cool example. It was designed by Greta Magnusson Grossman, circa 1954. It has clean lines with added interest in the way the legs are constructed. This sold at a Wright auction for $570 off an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500. 

This is a funky option. This is included in next month's Christie's Interiors sale. It's described as a Late Victorian oak hall bench, and has an auction estimate of $600 - $900. The carving makes it really interesting, and just a little over the top. Leave it to the Victorians to be ornate! This one is a bit smaller than the other examples (39.5" wide), and would be great if your entryway has less space. 

You don't need to sacrifice style when furnishing your entryway with a utilitarian bench to sit on and take your shoes off!

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