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No long gowns maybe but my group of 20 somethings say they LOVE the benches. Just don't get upset about elbows on the table and enjoy lots of lounging around and great conversation... : )
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As a Chinese, I grew up sitting on benches at the dining table but never felt abused. Now that we have a nice home of our own, I designed a big dining table with a beautiful granite top and four long benches that can seat twelve altogether. We have reunions with extended family members often and everyone enjoys lounging around even after we've finished eating. Everyone loves the benches. I guess it's a culture thing.
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I assumed the settees are for two people, so no one has to move to let anyone up. I am planing to purchase two settees. I love the look.

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