written by:
September 10, 2013
"Warming the bench" takes on new meaning when used as a feature in modern homes. From patio perches to living room seats, the versatile piece of furniture is a welcome addition in the 10 residences featured in our slideshow.

A built-in bench helped architect Davor Popadich keep costs down for his New Zealand abode and adds a distinctive look to the interior. "I detailed the house so its construction would involve as few tradespeople as possible," he says. "For example, the internal doors, the built-in seats, and the bathroom and kitchen cupboards were all made onsite by the builder—and the built-in seats saved us money on furniture." Photo by: Simon Devitt

Originally appeared in Material Focus: Plywood and Purpose
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Modern shower with teak bench and tiled wall

Manhattan apartments are notoriously tight on square footage so resident Michael Pozner added a bench to his shower to get extra mileage from the space. "I got rid of the bathtub because I like the idea of a big shower,” Pozner explains. But to achieve a comparable effect, he installed a teak bench from Waterworks on the rear shower wall. “One of the things I like about a bath is that you can soak. Here I can sit and have the water pound on me—it’s a hybrid shower and bath.” Photo by Raimund Koch.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Manhattan Transformation
2 / 10
Living room with polyurethane-coated plywood walls

In the living room of a Knoxville house, a bench offers a cozy spot to sit. Photo by: Hollis Bennet

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Originally appeared in Spirit of the South
3 / 10
Backyard fireplace area with a long steel-and-ipe bench and Willy Guhl Loop chairs

In the patio of a Manhattan Beach house, an ipe bench adds a warm contrast to the concrete pavers and Willy Guhl Loop chairs. Resident Matt Jacobsen designed it with architect Michael Lee. Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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Originally appeared in Basic Instincts
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Picnic-style bench in Norfolk, England

20 people can sit around the dining table in Carl Turner's renovated barn in Norfolk, England, thanks to the benches he custom built from oriented strand board. Photo by: Christoffer Rudquist

Originally appeared in A Pair of English Barns Hide Unabashedly Bold and Budget-Friendly Minimalist Interiors
5 / 10
dining room with painted red walls

A narrow hallway in a Manhattan apartment becomes a dining room thanks to a bench with hidden storage beneath the seats. Eazy side chairs by Whiteonwhite line one side of the custom-designed table by architecture firm LOT-EK. Castore suspension lights by Michele De Lucchi for Artemide hang above, and a custom rug by Liora Manné lies below. Photo by Nicholas Calcott.

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Originally appeared in Tunnel Vision
6 / 10
Reading area with Workstead wall lamps and Hugh Acton bench

In a renovated Brooklyn apartment, architecture and design firm Workstead's wall-mounted lamps illuminate a photo from Cloud Series by Matthew Williams. The bench is by Hugh Acton. Photo by: Matthew Williams

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
matthew williams
Originally appeared in A Minimal Yet Mighty Brooklyn Apartment
7 / 10
Cozy clean bedroom with neutral colors

In keeping with Jaime Hayon’s goal of creating a serene and airy home, the master bedroom and sticks to a mostly neutral palette of whites and grays. The bench by the bed is a custom piece designed by Hayon and his wife Nienke Klunder and fabricated by their carpenter friend Josep Joffre. Photo by Nienke Klunder.

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Originally appeared in "A Home Should Never Feel Like a Hotel Lobby"
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Padded steel-and-metal bench with orange legs in living room

A padded steel-and-metal bench runs the width of the living room in a modern vacation home, crossing below the television and in front of a ten-foot-high window. Despite the many design compromises resident Nancy Church had to make to accommodate her limited budget, "windows were the only items not up for discussion... they were the most costly items in the house." Photo by David Robert Elliot.

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Originally appeared in Come Sail Away
9 / 10
"I've always had this fascination with industrial buildings, and with my work, I’ve been in a lot of steel mills," says designer James Campbell of a Collingwood, Toronto, house he created using salvaged scrap metal. "Plus, I’m a modernist, so the way to c

An aluminum bench harmonizes with the industrial nature of the galvanized-steel walls and the polished concrete floor within a metal broker's Collingwood, Ontario, house. Photo by Lorne Bridgman.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
Nancy Alonzo
Originally appeared in Scrap House
10 / 10

A built-in bench helped architect Davor Popadich keep costs down for his New Zealand abode and adds a distinctive look to the interior. "I detailed the house so its construction would involve as few tradespeople as possible," he says. "For example, the internal doors, the built-in seats, and the bathroom and kitchen cupboards were all made onsite by the builder—and the built-in seats saved us money on furniture." Photo by: Simon Devitt

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