One of my favorite memories as a child is sitting next to my grandma on her antique farmhouse bench in her entryway. We would sit down to take our shoes off and end up swapping stories for what seemed like hours. I’m not quite sure what it was about her hallway, but it seemed to have some kind of magical draw that made everyone feel right at home.
This also may have been where my love of farmhouse benches derived. I truly think every home should have one! Whether it’s a hidden bench in your mudroom or prominently displayed in your entry, everyone should absolutely have a place to sit with loved ones as they enter or exit their home for the day.
Style Your Farmhouse Bench
Although I label this decoration as a must-have, many people find it challenging to style in their homes. If this is you, you are not alone! For this reason, I’ve compiled a short guide to help you style any bench in your home. If any questions pop up while you read the below tips & tricks, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments below!
Choosing Your Bench
The beginning of styling your bench starts with the location. Depending on where your bench exists in your home, it will need to serve different purposes and therefore its styling may differ from room to room. Below are some common spaces in which you may have your bench:
- The foot of your bed
- Entryway hall
- Library nook
- Patio or porch
- Bay window
- Breakfast or dining room table
Clearly, there are a ton of places to put your bench, but each will need a specific bench. For mudrooms and bay windows, you’ll likely want a bench with some storage options included. At the foot of your bed or library, you may want something a bit more comfortable to sit on, but you don’t necessarily need storage. Benches at your table will need to be spillproof and easily cleaned from mealtime messes.
Consider the function of the bench in your designated space. Look for a bench that fits your style, but also aligns well with the purpose it serves in that space.
Layer On Linens!
Regardless of where your bench rests in your home, it could use a hint of softness. Create depth and dimension by layering on linens such as throw pillows, cushions, and blankets. Feel free to play around here as there is really no right or wrong for how you stack them on.
I do recommend keeping an element of balance. This means don’t pile two pillows and your throw all on one side. Instead spread your soft touches across the bench. Add a larger pillow with a smaller lumbar one placed in front and on the other side drape your throw blanket.
Don’t forget to play around with textures, colors, and patterns here. These accents can work to bring both warmth and dimension into the space when properly utilized.
Create Functional, Beautiful Storage Options
Not all benches in your home need storage but adding it is far too simple to pass up. This doesn’t mean that all benches need to have built-in storage like above, but there are several unique ways to incorporate functional decor for a storage alternative. That was a long-winded way to say: turn your bench into a functional space.
For instance, if your bench sits in the mudroom, include some hooks above it to hang book bags, coats, or keys for easy access when coming home or leaving. If you need some inspiration, here are some additional functional storage options for under your farmhouse bench:
- Storage baskets or bins in built-in bench storage
- Hooks above bench
- Baskets under or to the side of the bench
- Built-in storage in the bench
- Tray on or next to bench
- Side table next to bench
What’s above your bench is just as important as what’s on your bench! If you’ve read my other blogs, you’re likely sick of hearing me say find an anchor. However, similar to other grounded furniture pieces, your bench needs an anchor above it to create a focal point.
Lucky for some with bay window benches, your window already serves as an anchor. Interestingly enough, most benches are placed in spots with empty walls to fill the space. Most benches rest under a mirror, but I also think the following wall decorations are perfect for above your bench:
- Shelving display
- Wall sconces
- Wall collages
For table benches or ones at the foot of your bed, your table and bed already have you covered for an anchor. The bottom line is to look at the space behind your bench and find something that really fills that space. If you have a large wall and put a tiny mirror above your bench, the space is going to look off. Instead, build a wall collage or hang a large piece of art above it to properly fill the space.
Build Around It
You need to design your bench from top to bottom and left to right. A bench standing alone by itself can often look out of place, however, once you start decorating around it, you’ll start to see its beauty.
A rug in front of or under the bench can help define the nook. While adding accent decor along either side can frame the bench into a beautiful display. The key with pieces on either side, along with any decorative arrangement, is to vary the size, height, textures, or colors of these pieces.
A few accent pieces to decorate around your bench include:
- Large plants
- Side tables
- Coat racks
If your space is tight or it rests against a larger object like a sofa or bed, you don’t necessarily need to add pieces to either side. Of course, these guidelines aren’t paint by numbers. The key is to take what works for your & your space to decorate your farmhouse bench.