by Jessica Gezon
To make your entryway more inviting, consider adding a bench. Entryway benches can provide a place to sit while you remove your shoes, storage cubbies for mittens and hats and even hooks for hanging coats. Consider the best materials for an entryway bench so you can select the one that best fits your decorating style.
Most durable bench material: Metal benches are a good choice for high-traffic areas. Metal, by nature, is a durable material designed to stand up to years of use. For a bench in a mud room or other entryway where contact with water is likely, metal is good choice. Metal benches are available in finishes designed to match other metal accessories. Consider wrought iron for a rustic look or brushed steel for a more modern feel.
Sturdiest bench material: Wooden benches can be crafted with thick legs and solid seats. These benches can hold multiple people at once or handle piles of packages at the holidays. Wooden benches can also be carved to showcase delicate, curving legs and spindly arms. Even these benches are sturdier than they look due to the solid nature of wood. Another thing to consider when choosing a wooden bench is the wide variety of color options available. Between painting and staining, you can have nearly any color you can think of.
Best uses for an entryway bench: Don't limit yourself by thinking of the entryway of your home as the only place for a bench; they can also be used to greet customers in lobbies or provide an inviting spot in an outdoor entryway. For public areas, the sturdier the better: Stainless steel is a good choice, as is fiberglass. For an outdoor area, make sure to choose a material that will stand up to the elements, like think powdercoated aluminum.
Best accessories for entryway benches: Entryway benches are a perfect place to accessorize. You can use your bench to showcase a colorful pillow or use a coordinating cushion to tie your entryway to the adjoining room. Some benches have storage space under the seat; accessorize these with rattan or wicker baskets, or slip a sturdy wooden or plastic box into the cubbyhole. Consider covering your bench with a vibrant slipcover. Slipcovers let you change the color scheme of your entryway to match your mood or the season.
Best way to complement a bench: Finish off your entryway bench by hanging a mirror or coat rack nearby. Hanging a mirror above a bench can make your entryway look larger and gives you one final place to check your appearance before heading out into the world. A coat rack in a matching finish can expand your bench and help you keep your entryway organized.