Vivez Bien * Live Well

Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's all about the Bench

Please concentrate because I am going to give you a very good tip to get you through Christmas entertaining! I know I spoil you, but I feel you deserve it....

One of the by-products of the festive season is mass entertaining or at least entertaining on a larger scale than we might do at other times during the year. As wonderful as it is to have all our family and friends sharing a meal, the practicalities of seating everyone sometimes becomes tricky. That is where the humble bench comes into its own.

What a bench might lack in comfort, it definitely makes up for in convenience. It is just that much easier squeezing in a few extra bodies around a table when you have a bench at hand. They are especially useful when you want to accommodate a plethora of children!

A bench also lends itself to more casual entertaining.... a rustic table with benches on either side gives off a relaxed and inviting air reminiscent of our student days hanging out in pubs. Or was that just me?


In fact, this table and benches looks like they could have come out of The Pig and Whistle, but in this setting exudes a more sophisticated feel.


If you are lucky enough to have a big table in your kitchen, benches are the perfect spot for guests to congregate and you can put them to work, peeling potatoes or chopping carrots!

 If you prefer, you can combine a bench on one side of your table with chairs on the other. This makes for more versatile seating and possibly better accommodates granny and gramps who might prefer a proper chair.

If you are concerned about the lack of comfort offered by wooden benches, you could opt for cushioned or upholstered benches and your friends and family might linger longer. 


 Although I have said that benches are generally considered a more casual option, there is no reason why they can't be used for more formal and sophisticated dining as in the examples below.

Another very useful tip about benches is that in the "off-season" when you possibly don't need them around your dining table, you can put them to very good use in other settings.... your entrance hall....

.... at the end of your bed... a coffee table in your living room....

...or even in your bathroom!

 So  there is your Christmas tip - if you don't already own a bench, you need to go and acquire one. You can thank me later.

Till next time

Sharon x


  1. You always post the most beautiful photos!!! Hope you and your family havew a wonderful Holiday Season! xo Leslie Sinclair

  2. Every post is a feast for the eyes, and this is no exception! Happy Happy Holidays! Rié | Portobello Design Blog

  3. Sharon,
    Honestly, I think you could place lawn chairs in these rooms and they would look good...what beautiful rooms you've found for us. I do love the bench as a back up plan when entertaining, I purposely try to avoid having to sit on them while dining, if possible. I really love a back on a chair, but they make sense for those few occasions when there simply aren't enough chairs.

  4. LOVE a bench. I have one that has been moved to every room So versatile!