A bench versus dining chairs at the dining table? 9 pros and cons!

The dining room furniture in the Before included a long bench beside the dining table. The client asked whether we could use any of their old dining furniture in this new home. We felt their dining TABLE was a definite keep! As for the chairs and bench, we pointed out the below pros and cons for a dining bench, and asked them to decide wh
which route they wanted to go.

Disadvantages or Cons of a dining bench by a dining table:

  1.  It’s hard for the adult to get out of a bench if they are seated in the middle. …unless someone on the end gets up to let them out. The adult in the middle can feel sort of “trapped”, perhaps they want to get more water, or go to the buffet line for seconds, but they hate to intrude on others while eating to let them out.
  2.  A bench is HEAVY to pull out from the table. Did I hear backache reminders from anyone?
  3. If there are hardwoods, a bench can scratch the wood floor, because it’s long and heavy.
  4. If there is a rug, a bench can be so heavy that when you pull it out, the rug will “bunch up”. It can be awkward unless you happen to always have one person at each end of the bench.
  5. A bench doesn’t allow you to add a new color or texture that fabric chairs do.
  6. A bench doesn’t allow you to mix in a new style. In the below room, a light contemporary chair next to a dark traditional dining table. The mix of styles was important for our client. the homeowner.

Advantages or Pros for a dining Bench:

  1. Some people feel a bench is a nice unique change.
  2. Some people like it to seat a lot of children. So, in a kitchen that might be handy, but in a dining room, not so much.
  3. A long bench might be less expensive than 2 or 3 chairs. Depending on how many chairs your table can hold, this might be a cost savings. It’s worth calculating the price, both ways.

                                                                  Before Below

A bench versus chairs is definitely personal preference! One client could say they love it, another could say they don’t like it at all. A designer should simply provide the pros and cons so that all options are considered. More before and after photos below, in prior blogs! Enjoy and happy dining!
A bench has more disadvantages than dining chairs, but it’s certainly personal preference. The cons some might say definitely outweigh the pros. But then, it’s personal preference.

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