One element in a theme. Three types of seating at one table: slip-covered chairs, a settee, a wood and metal bench and a dramatic wall treatment. The bench plays an important part of being the third piece in the theme, and its wood tones help balance out the white upholstered pieces.
Balancing out the style. Talk about high style. Two end chairs and two drum pendants in black seemingly steal the show. The whitewashed table and bench, however, add additional character in an unexpected way. The clean, squared-off lines conflict perfectly (and balance beautifully) with the curviness and drama of the chairs and lights. Notice how the bench is the same width as the table. It's showing us that it means business in both form and function.
Clearing the way for the view. Who says bench seating has to be on the side of the table? The benches at the end create a perfectly unobstructed view down the table to the outside. Sometimes the selection of a bench is more for what it isn't than what it is.
Bench as the anti-focal point. Similar to the previous picture, two benches on either side of this table guarantee the attention is to what's outside the windows. These benches do a perfect job of "going away" — to be used only when needed.
Strengthening the overall design of a space. This kitchen and living space have strong horizontal lines running through them. Use of chairs would break that line and disrupt the intended flow through the space. In these rooms, the bench becomes another important design element.
Family gathering spot. It is clear that this home is meant for a large family, and the main gathering spot is this table near the fireplace and wall of windows. Benches in this setting allow for a certain intimacy that chairs are otherwise unable to provide. I envision a large family gathered around the dinner table sharing stories of years past.
Bringing the picnic inside. The pure rustic nature of the table and white painted bench speaks to a picnic in the country. Who says picnics are only for outside?