12 of the Best Unupholstered Benches

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Images: (1) Cost Plus World Market,  (2) CB2,  (3) Crate & Barrel, (4) Room & Board, (5) Anthropologie, (6) Room & Board

Maybe you have messy kids, or a dog that likes to jump up on the furniture with muddy paws. Maybe you want to pull up a bench to the dining table without worry of spills and crumbs dropping and staining. Or maybe you just like the look of unupholstered benches. If you’re on the lookout for one to add to your home, here are a dozen of the best to choose from. (For our favorite upholstered benches, see part two of this article.)

  1. Use this unupholstered bench indoors or out, and fold it away for storage when you don’t need it!

  2. Like a classic schoolhouse bench, but way cooler.

  3. A rustic top meets modern base; each unupholstered bench will have its own unique characteristics thanks to slight differences in the planks.

  4. It’s been around since 1946, was designed by George Nelson, and it will continue to be fashionable for decades to come.

  5. Turns out a woven unupholstered bench becomes something pretty special when done in a fantastic deep blue color.
  6. A new design, harkening back to mid-century style, and available in walnut, cherry, or maple.

12 of the Best Unupholstered Benches

Images: (7) Ballard Designs, (8) Wisteria

  1. Choose from black, brown, or white, and this cute little unupholstered bench can be tucked in most any room.
  2. All right, I snuck one with a cushion in here, but it can be removed. And isn’t the Chippendale style gorgeous?
  3. 12 of the Best Unupholstered Benches

    Images: (9) Pottery Barn,  (10) IKEA,  (11) Pier 1, (12) Pottery Barn

    1. The perfect bench for below the stairs in an entryway, or tucked along a wall for occasional seating. There’s an optional cushion available for this bench as well.

    2. An affordable unupholstered bench that’s durable enough for outdoor use.

    3. A classic design with lovely bracing beneath for support and strength.

    4. These regularly pop up in antique shops and at flea markets, but they aren’t always the sturdiest. This new option retains the look and feel of those originals, without worry of a rickety old bench crashing to the floor when you try to sit on it.

    Which is your favorite unupholstered bench? I love that Chippendale-inspired one above (number 8).

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Designer Nicole Balch transforms the so-so into the lovely. As she begins decorating her new home, a Victorian painted lady, she invites readers of her blog, Making it Lovely to follow along, offer advice, and gain inspiration from her creative process. Making it Lovely was named one of the 50 World’s Best Design Blogs by the London Times Online, and Nicole’s work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune Magazine, Time Out Chicago, ReadyMade, Everyday with Rachael Ray, CS Interiors, and other publications.