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Mid-century benches are infinitely versatile — they can serve as a spot to sit, an impromptu coffee table, a footrest, or even an entryway drop zone. So whether you're decorating your entire home with a mid-century modern design or you'd like to add a hint of this style to your space, a bench is an excellent starting point.
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Mid-century modern (MCM) style is almost always trending, and with good reason — it's a simple, functional look with a dash of minimalist inspiration. But makes a mid-century bench, well, mid-century?
"A mid-century bench should have a clean, simple design. This means that the bench should have straight lines and avoid any ornate details or embellishments," explains John Linden.
This description might not apply to all mid-century benches, but it's pretty accurate. Here are some other defining characteristics of mid-century modern styling:
Straight, clean lines
Natural base colors and warm wood tones (e.g., oak or walnut)
Muted, subtle upholstery
Interesting features (e.g., slanted legs or nailhead trim)
Vibrant pops of color
A blend of manufactured and natural materials
"I think most people would agree mid-century modern has some specific hallmarks like clean lines, minimalist, and natural base colors," said Allison Kersun. "If upholstered, typically the tone is muted and subtle, and the pieces have some element of surprise, like a curved or slanted leg, curving lines, and multiple uses."
How to Use a Mid-Century Bench in Your Home
"Benches are great additions to the entryway as a quick and comfortable place to sit to put shoes on, on your way out the door. They are also perfect for the end of the bed as a nice finishing touch and a place to sit and read or watch TV before bed," Toussaint Derby told Living Cozy.
"Benches are great additions to the entryway as a quick and comfortable place to sit to put shoes on, on your way out the door."
"Another favorite is adding a bench to the dining room table," continued Toussaint. "This can add color and fun to your dining space with the right fabric choice. Lastly, adding a bench under a window in a living room that doesn't have a lot of space for traditional seating can give you a window seat with a curated feel."
"Besides using a bench in an entryway or at the end of a bed, it can be used as a coffee table. I personally use the Gerrard Bench as my coffee table in my living room," added Allison Kersun.
Before we get to our favorite benches, here's a quick roundup of expert-approved options (plus a few of our own) for using a mid-century modern bench in your home:
Entryway bench: A bench to sit on as you put on or remove shoes in your home's entryway — entryway benches also work well for making great first and last impressions with guests.
Bedroom bench: A foot-of-bed bed bench for changing clothes, reading, or relaxing before bed makes it easy to elevate the space.
Dining room bench: A dining bench can add seating, visual interest, and accessibility to a dining set or stylish dining table, bringing the whole room to life.
Coffee table: A coffee table in the living room that can double as extra seating in a pinch. This can work well for large sectionals.
Ottoman bench: An accent bench can serve as a footstool, seat, or impromptu coffee table in the living room, family room, or any other seating area.
Outdoor seating: A teak bench makes an excellent outdoor seating option that can pair with other outdoor furniture to make your deck, patio, or yard more inviting.
Storage bench: A bench with hidden storage is perfect for any of the above settings, allowing you to add extra storage space to the room or area.
"The Broad Bench by Modloft is quilted, all leather and a great size at just under 5 feet long and 18 inches deep," Allison Kersun told Living Cozy.
This best-selling mid-century bench features a solid wood frame, a comfy foam seat, and high-quality leather upholstery. And with an eye-catching tufted design and your choice of pearl gray or warm gray leather, it'll make a statement in any room.
Brand: The Inside by Havenly Price: Starts at $399
"The Inside's Mid-Century Bench in the Olive Odalisque color is one of my favorite fabric options because the color, pattern, and design make it the perfect piece for any mid-century enthusiast. My other favorite is the Henna Cheetah by Scalamandre. This is perfect for someone who wants something a little more bold and glam without sacrificing clean lines so that it's not too over the top," commented Toussaint Derby.
We can't help but agree with Toussaint's review of the Mid-Century Bench by The Inside. This piece stands out with tapered wood legs and its clean, minimal design. The tapered legs are available in a black or espresso finish, and the seat boasts button tufting with rounded corners for a touch of character. And at just over 4 feet long and 21 inches deep, it's built for relaxation.
The Terracotta Mid-Century Modern Abstract Bench from Society6 is super stylish with metal legs and a simple-yet-standout terracotta pattern against an ivory background. The metal legs come in either a black or gold finish, and the seat is upholstered with faux leather to keep things vegan and eco-friendly. This mid-century bench could brighten up any space, and since it's on the smaller end, at just under 4 feet long and 16 inches deep, it can fit almost anywhere too. You might try it in the entryway or by a window with plush throw pillows and a soft blanket.
The Serif Bench by Burrow is a simple solid wood bench that comes in either an oak or walnut finish. It's designed for durability and style, featuring solid hardwood construction, a precision-milled seat, slanted legs, and elegant metal supports. This bench is just over 4 feet long and 15 inches deep, and it'd look excellent in an MCM entryway, but you might also try it at the foot of your bed or by a window.
BluDot's Branch Bench boasts a clean, minimalist design with a solid wire-brushed oak seat and sculptural steel legs. The legs come in your choice of gray, black, or white powder-coated steel, and the bench seat is available with a natural oak or black finish. BluDot recommends pairing this bench with a dining table like their Branch Table for a matching set. At 5 feet long and 16 inches deep, though, you can use this versatile piece anywhere from the entryway to the bedroom.
The Doris Bench from Castllery boasts a stylish, eye-catching design that's perfect for any mid-century or Scandinavian space. The upholstered seat comes in your choice of blue or dark gray with a comfy PU foam fill, and the rubberwood legs feature a slanted, tapered design with a dark walnut finish. The Doris Bench is 48 inches long and 14 inches deep, which is a super versatile size that would work well in the entryway or bedroom.
The Anderson Upholstered Leather Bench by Anthropologie boasts a Scandi-inspired solid wood frame made from kiln-dried hardwood with ash wood legs. The removable seat cushion features tufted leather upholstery in a natural light brown tone with a foam and fiber fill for comfort. In addition, this sophisticated bench is sizeable at nearly 6 feet long and 26 inches deep, making it a practical-yet-stylish accent for any space.
The Modern Natural Wooden Curved Entryway Bench from Homary stands out with a vertical linear surface and a bold, unique style. This bench is crafted from high-quality pine wood with a hardwood base, ensuring both stability and durability. And at nearly 5 feet long and 18" inches deep, this wooden bench versatile enough to use as seating anywhere in the home. You might try this beautiful piece in your entryway to make good first and last impressions on visitors, or use it as a focal point in your dining area!
Modloft's Belmont Bench is an award-winning architectural masterpiece with an undulating wave design and a rich walnut shell. It boasts a sculptural seat and a metallic matte interior that's at home anywhere from your living room to a museum gallery. And at nearly 9 feet long and 16 inches deep, this mid-century bench is definitely the most sizeable piece on the list today!
"It's gorgeous, big, and an art piece, but also practical," commented Modloft's in-house interior designer, Allison Kersun. What more could you ask for?
The Chanel Toscana Tan Bench from Article boasts solid wood splayed legs and a seat cushion in either tan leather or neutral-toned fabric options. The seat cushion is Velcro-secured to keep it in place during even the most lively conversations without getting in the way of versatility. And it's available in your choice of 43" and 56" lengths, with a comfortable 17-inch depth. Try this mid-century bench on one side of your dining table to break up the dining chair look or at the foot of your bed to add eye-catching style.
The Union City Bench from AllModern is a stylish piece with tapered, slanted legs and rubberwood craftsmanship. It has a comfortable button-tufted bench seat with gray linen upholstery for an inviting-yet-versatile appeal. In addition, this mid-century bench comes with your choice of an acorn or white finish on the legs, and you can purchase a matching Union City Ladder Bookcase in either color. At just over 3.5 feet long and 16 inches deep, this bench would work well in an entryway, bedroom, or living area.
The Ines Bench from Interior Define is a stand-out option that's highly customizable with a wide range of upholstery options. You can even choose between a length of 4 or 5 feet based on what's best for your space! Regardless of which size you choose, the bench features an 18-inch seat depth and an overall depth of 22 inches. With a minimalist style, elongated legs, and a simple wood frame, the Ines Bench stands out for its simplicity. But the leather strap detailing over the upholstered cushion adds character to this streamlined design, making it perfect for mid-century spaces.↦ Shop now at interiordefine.com
The Henrik Bench from Lulu and Georgia can bring artisanal warmth into any mid-century modern home. It features visible joinery with an oak wood frame and natural grain finish. The bench seat boasts soft lines, and it's perched atop wide, modern legs, creating a fashionable appeal that would work in any room. This mid-century bench is just under 5 feet long and 16 inches deep, and it's the perfect option for adding style, versatility, and extra seating to any laid-back space. Try pairing it with the Henrik Dining Table or the Henrik Stool for a matching set.
The Catamaran Bench by Industry West is a functional, simple mid-century bench with solid oak construction and a large, versatile bench seat. It's nearly 6 feet long and 15 deep, creating a stylish and practical surface in any space. This piece pairs beautifully with the Catamaran Table, but it'd also work well in an entryway, by a window, in a hallway, or anywhere else you need extra seating.
Let us introduce you to the Stanley Dining Collection – it's all about combining comfort and style in the best possible way. Wrapped in the soft and durable Crypton® Home Performance Fabric, it's ready to tackle spills and stains without a fuss. It's a practical choice that doesn't sacrifice style, making your everyday dining experience both comfy and chic.
Apt2 B's Barker Bench stands out with glam details, clean lines, and mixed materials. This mid-century bench has gold-tipped slanted iron legs, a solid acacia wood top, and an upholstered seat that'll look fresh in any space. It's nearly 7 feet long and 15 inches deep, so it's big enough to use almost anywhere. In addition, Apt2B offers several matching pieces as part of the Barker Collection, including a dining table, coffee table, writing desk, sectional, and more.
Originally created by renowned designer and artist, Hugh Acton, the Slat Bench was a response to the new post-war period modernist principles of design. Acton brought the bench to life in Cranbook, just outside of Detroit and now 70-years after its original release, Detroit-based Floyd brought it into production again.
True to the original design - but with modern materials and manufacturing processes - The Acton Slat Bench represents timeless design and feels as modern today. It embodies Acton and Floyd’s vision for creating long-lasting, quality design.
Mid-century modern furniture adds versatility and flexibility to your space, turning it into somewhere you'll love coming home to at the end of the day. But the bench you choose doesn't have to have a perfect mid-century look to complement the rest of your MCM aesthetic. Instead, you can pair most simple, classic benches with mid-century style furniture or even a rug to capture the look without overdoing it.
"We recently finished a major renovation and addition and were thrilled that the client loved mid-century modern style," Pamela O'Brien told Living Cozy when discussing this beautiful renovation. "In the primary bedroom, we used an existing leather bench. While not exactly mid-century modern, it's classic with its cognac leather upholstery, simple piping, and lightly tufted top. And paired with an authentic mid-century modern dresser, minimalist nightstands, and modern accessories, the room definitely channels mid-century style."
"With a touch of mid-century styling, many classic leather benches can provide a mid-century modern vibe."
"With a touch of mid-century styling, many classic leather benches can provide a mid-century modern vibe," added Pamela O'Brien. Wooden and retro-style benches also work well when paired with mid-century modern furniture and home decor.
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