10 Ways to Style Rustic Benches

Try these simple styling tips to convert a timeworn rustic bench into your home's most-loved asset.

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Far more than just weathered decor, rustic benches provide plenty of benefits. They fit in nooks and crannies, supply seats in foyers and kitchens, and serve as storage and display surfaces in bedrooms and baths. Their primitive patinas and country contours amplify interest in cottages and urban lofts alike. Depending on how it's placed and styled, a bench can operate as an organization hub or become the finishing touch to a larger furniture arrangement. Here's a look at our favorite styling ideas that turn rustic benches into noteworthy statement pieces.

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Tell a Story

Stage a narrative around a rustic bench. Although this deacon's bench impresses alone, it becomes part of a bigger, more pleasing picture when surrounded by rural references. Hay forks and a statuesque rake partner with framed botanical prints and a seed-sack pillow to create a composition that pays tribute to the home's vineyard locale. Think of your bench as just one element in your story; further the plot line with artwork and collections displayed around your bench.

Strategic Placement

Position a rustic bench at the end of a bedstead for an easy catchall. This beat-up bench fills a spatial void and furthers the bedroom's collected look. It also provides a place to store books within reach and plush throws until needed. Most important, a rustic bench placed near a footboard provides a seat for putting on footwear, so make sure you choose a sturdy bench with tightly fitted joints.

Set Up Base Camp

Love the great outdoors and wintertime sports? Do what these homeowners did, and build a coatroom of sorts to gear up for snowy adventures. This rustic bench anchors a fun and functional coat rack crafted of vintage skis; a wooden box tucked beneath the bench corrals mittens, hats, and scarves. Knitted pillows and a plaid blanket add warming hues to the bench when it's not being used for pulling on footwear. Create a similar but simpler setup near your main entry by centering a rustic bench beneath a row of wall-mount coat hooks.

Opt for Two

Benches come in all shapes and sizes, so choose a few that suit your style preferences and utilitarian requirements. In this entry, cushioned benches on iron frames round out a substantial collection of art pieces and architectural elements assembled around a tall workbench. The light-on-their-feet seats invite people to kick back while balancing the massive forms they flank.

Consider Purpose

Rethink the classic design of a bench. Flat-top trunks nicely double as cargo-holding caches and rustic bench seats. Set one at the foot of your bed, nestle one beneath a window, or place one in the center of your living room as a coffee table. Style the top with a good-looking cushion or thick blanket that boosts the seat's comfort level but that can be quickly removed to access things stowed inside.

Put It into Service

When you have a bathroom that's short on storage, pull in a rustic bench to hold towels and toiletries near the tub, shower, or sink. The quickest way to style a rustic bench? Slap on a few coats of paint that complement your bathroom's color scheme, then sand off bits of paint to create a rustic bench that boasts an aged appearance and timeless appeal.

Mount an Exhibit

This rustic bench crafted of reclaimed beams supplies magnificent seating that moors a buoyant display of country collectibles and vintage fabrics. When placing rustic benches, consider how you can use wall space to expand your artistic vision. Here, an old architectural element hung above the bench gains purpose with the addition of inexpensive hooks, which flaunt an egg basket, orchard signs, and a wood bin with vintage tea towels. Tea towels pile up in a basket at the base of the bench; other country textiles cover pillows set atop the rustic bench to create a cohesive composition.

Stretch Your Reach

Rustic benches fulfill a number of functions outside of seating. Their design supplies an up-top surface for stowing and showing off all sorts of items. The recess below is ideally sized as a holding area for bins and baskets. In fact, this rustic bench acts as a shelf that displays country collectibles and plays into the bathroom's vintage style. The bench is wide enough to tuck away bathroom necessities out of traffic's way.

Mix Things Up

Matchy-matchy is so yesterday! Collect rustic benches from yesteryear that sport different silhouettes and finishes to craft fine dining experiences. This trio of colored benches partners beautifully with a primitive farm table and elegant side chair because they share similar profiles and patinas. Have new benches you want to instantly age? Wash them with milk paint or apply paint products that create crackled finishes.

Think Creatively

Look to your rustic bench for design inspiration. Homeowners took an artistic cue from this bench's rough-hewn surfaces and rectangular planes to build an exceptional exhibit on an underused wall. Old barn boards convert to crude frames that showcase woodland imagery. A patterned area rug introduces another geometric shape and mirrors the artwork's colors. Blue canning jars contribute color and shine as they stand ready to hold fresh-cut blooms, which reinforce the vignette's color scheme and natural theme.

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