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Get Benched!

New year. New ideas. New resolutions.

But before you click away, thinking that the last thing you need is some blather about getting inspired for the new year … keep it simple.

I resolve to have seating for everyone at the holidays!

How many of you arrive to the holiday season – thinking November through December, no matter what you celebrate – only to remember that you didn’t have enough seating last year, and nothing’s changed except that there are two more people (insert girlfriends, boyfriends, college students with nowhere to go, cute little old ladies you met at the grocery store – well you get the idea) to seat at the table?

You undoubtedly pulled it off, but it could have been simpler. For the rest of the ten months, do you really need all those extra chairs that clutter corners or line up against a wall like seating at an old-school dance social?

Instead, I say get benched.

For me the idea began with the avocado-upholstered piano bench that my mom used to pull up to the dining table for the busiest occasions. It seated at least two of us kids, was the right height for the table, and disappeared back to its rightful home in front of the piano when the last dessert was eaten.

I’ve got a piano bench too. No avocado in sight, however. Still, it’s smart – and easy – to expand on this idea and have a year-round decorative piece that works double duty at the dining table. I like mine at the heads; the table is plenty wide for the average bench, and two sit comfortably. chairs lined

They’re available everywhere from Pier 1 to Crate & Barrel to Neiman Marcus, at every price point and style. I recently styled a dining room for a client who struggled with floor-to-ceiling windows and who desired extra seating. We decided to make two petite benches in a demi-lune shape, upholstered in a fun pop of color that add an element of creativity in a neutral room, and are incredibly functional when needed.

Rectangle or semi-circle, upholstered or not, modern or traditional – if you get benched, your table is ready.

Dinner prep? Well … that’s on you.


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