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Why I Love Benches

Zimmer Furniture Shoemakers Bench

Benches with arms, spindles, and legs are complicated pieces of furniture compared to, say, a table. Benches serve many purposes; regularly intended to be shared by two people They also serve as workstations such as this interesting Shoemakers Bench. This Shaker example of a Shoemakers Bench is an example of luxury and is not just a simple ordinary workbench. Many of these benches had nothing more than trays attached to the seat and perhaps a drawer underneath for storing tools. The Showmakers Bench shown here exemplifies human ingenuity!

As a person who enjoys and designs solid hardwood furniture, I especially enjoy benches simply because they are so useful and versatile. For me, a bench defines “Accent Furniture” – a piece of furniture that catches the eye, it is useful and compliments the existing décor of a room.  But benches also serve well in many other places such as hallways, foyers, or just about anywhere folks tend to congregate. Benches also convey style and mood – armless or with arms, a traditional or rustic style, painted, stained, or finished with hand rubbed oil – so many options.

So with all that said about benches, we add in an additional factor: a rustic wood element. Quite simply, a rustic wood element is a highly figured wood component – a thick board with heavy grain patterns, knots and crevices. Using the woods extraordinary grain patterns, the overall purpose of the rustic wood element is to bring nature into a space. Another goal is to create something that is eye-catching and interesting to look at. We can achieve this with a variety of modifications that include a specific species of wood, joinery, or by designing in a utilitarian feature like a storage drawer.

Regardless of what type or style bench is chosen, aesthetics play a big part in the selection process, and this is where choices become virtually limitless. For example, one style of bench can have many variations of spindles or leg, the arm and back of a bench can vary from continuous to armless and from sack-back to low-back. Contrasting colors using different wood species is another great option and way to create interest.