What’s at the Foot of Your Bed? If you are like most of us it’s probably a pile of clothes, bedding or shoes.
There is a better solution than dumping everything on the floor. A bench, settee or pair of stools is a functional and attractive way to keep you organized. They are also a handy place to sit while putting on our shoes.
If your space is limiting try to find a bench without arms. If you want to use it for seating make sure it is at least 12” wide. Anything narrower won’t be stable enough for seating. But if you just want a place to hold clothing or pillows you can even use a wooden bench like you would find at a picnic table. I’ve seen some wonderful antique, wooden Asian benches that are narrow and very fashionable.
A bench with a shelf or pull out drawers can provide additional storage space. Color coordinated baskets or bins that slide under a settee or bench can also provide a handy place to stash magazines or extra shoes.
My favorite, if you have space are settees or daybeds. They provide a more comfortable seat for television viewing or reading than lying in bed. Plus you won’t run the risk of ending up with crumbs in your bed from late night snacking.
Benches and settees with arms are the most comfortable but they also require more space. Arm shapes dictate style. Rolled arms are more traditional. Track arms are more contemporary. Benches or settees with skits are more tailored but tend to look boxy and take up visual space. If you have a big room no problem. More limited areas will look more spacious when furniture has exposed legs.
When selecting fabrics for your upholstered seating option consider a solid vs. a printed pattern. Many of us like to change our bedding more often than we do our upholstered furniture pieces. A print fabric will limit your future bedding options. Performance fabrics are also a good choice for any upholstered furniture pieces that are going to get a lot of use.
Resist the urge to be too matchy-matchy. The furniture selection process is a great opportunity to be creative and inventive. Two small matching benches or stools can make a chic statement at the foot of your bed. Or try recycling an old wooden picnic bench with a contrasting coat of paint. Add matching wire baskets underneath for extra storage and a more industrial look.
You may find the perfect size and style of bench at a consignment store or tag sale. Even if you’re not fond of the fabric you can make it work by recovering it yourself or have a professional reupholster it for you. Shopping some of the discount fabric stores will save you money on designer fabrics.
Don’t let your new bench become your second closet. A trick to keeping it organized is to stash a basket of extra wooden hangers under your bench. It’s easier to grab a hanger for that piece of clothing and then take it to the closet than to have to look through your clothes for a spare one. When the basket is empty, retrieve all the spares from your closet.
This is another great example of how furniture can help provides solutions for our busy, hectic lives. Make your bedroom work for you. If it’s messy the answer could as close as the foot of your bed.