Built-in Benches

Category: Built-ins

This photo comes from Notes from the Trenches, where Chris occasionally blogs their experiences renovating with kids in the house--six seven of them actually. (Yes, we blogged about Chris the other day...we can get obsessed with things, ok?)

There's a larger version of the same photo below.

Their design is actually almost exactly what we have in mind for our own front sunroom. Jeanne came up with the idea to add a continuous bench around the three walls and then furnish it with pillow, kinda as a reading room. We're also planning to make the bench tops flip up so it can function as storage and possibly as a toy chest for Grace...we'll just have to figure out how to install hinges that somehow slow down the closing action so no fingers get pinched.

With any luck we'll be able to get it done this year--we're hoping to wrap up the current bedroom project shortly and then get to work on the front room(s) of the house.

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Actually, she has seven kids and if you build some benches like this, try not to lose a thumb in the process like Chris's husband did. Ouch!

I think they have hinges that have slow-close mechanisms built into them now. Similar to the things they've got in kitchen drawers that make them close slowly? Not sure, though. But there's sure to be something, considering the prevalence of baby-proofing sections in hardware stores nowadays!

The hinges you're looking for are called Safety Hinges, and are readily available at most any hardware store. I believe they're typically made by Stanley.

here ya go:


this goes on the inside of the "box" and works in conjunction with regular hinges

I've seen benches like this where they open like a bin -- that is, where there is a handle on the front and a hinge on the bottom. That way, you could put things in and out with out having to move pillows, etc.

Or maybe a roll top sort of pull down door on the front?

I love benches like these, but it seems like if you are really going to use them as front hall storage with kids, you want them easily accessible and easy to clean -- and it solves the fingers or heads getting crunched!

Those benches are nice! But I'm especially coveting the beadboard on the walls...that looks great, too!



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Started years ago as a scrapbook, this collection of photos serves as inspiration as we restore our own bungalow. We hope you find it either useful or entertaining as well.

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