To buy (from top): Hadley striped bench (17½ inches high by 36 inches wide by 15¾ inches deep), $2,550, jaysonhomeandgarden.com. White bench (16 by 47 by 16 inches), $1,895, abchome.com for stores. Tom Dixon offcut red bench (17 by 40 by 15 inches), $550, abchome.com. Canvas reclaimed-wood bench (18 by 60 by 10¼ inches), $560, canvashomestore.com.
2 of 13Brian Henn
Steals (Under $300)
The antiqued-brass openwork gives this bench an outdoor-furniture feel. Picture it on a porch or in an entryway flanked by potted trees. Cotton tufted cushion. 24 inches high by 48 inches wide by 17¾ inches deep.
To buy: Rings bench, $180, and tufted cushion, $60: pier1.com for stores.
3 of 13Brian Henn
A midcentury profile in kitschy metallic vinyl, perfect for a playful, mod space (say, an edgy teen-girl room). Stash blankets inside. 18 inches high by 38½ inches wide by 18 inches deep.
Use a pair at the foot of the bed. (Rule of thumb: Benches should be one to three inches lower than a dressed bed and fill at least two-thirds of the width.) 17 inches high by 18 inches wide by 14 inches deep.
To buy:Hayworth vanity bench, $120, pier1.com for stores.
6 of 13Brian Henn
Midrange ($300 to $700)
Covered in rippled rattan, this bench is perfect for adding texture and comfort to both modern and traditional spaces. 19 inches high by 45 inches wide by 18 inches deep.
With a slight teeter-totter motion, it’s a sleek departure from a standard bench and looks as if it leapt out of a Mondrian painting. Just don’t stack stuff on it. 16 inches high by 60 inches wide by 20 inches deep.
Too elegant to keep to the side, this can be part of your living-room seating opposite a camelback sofa or, with a tray on top, can function as a coffee table. 17 inches high by 48 inches wide by 16 inches deep.
Bold red turns this traditional shape into a star. Extra-long and low, it would transform a grand foyer, especially with a striking piece of art just above it. 26 inches high by 90 inches wide by 22 inches deep.
To buy: Romero bench by Cisco Brothers, $3,350, 323-778-8612.
13 of 13Brian Henn
A play on classic lion-footed tables, this bench looks as if it’s poised to prance away. Regal, clever, and compact, it can double as a side table. 17½ inches high by 36 inches wide by 16 inches deep.