Sit in Luxury With an Elegant Upholstered Bench for Your Living Room

A gorgeous upholstered bench can elevate your living room decor from drab to dramatically elegant. More than just a fashionable design statement, an upholstered bench also delivers welcome extra seating to your space. Friends and family will feel pampered lounging on a softly padded bench while spending quality time together in your refined living room.

From plush velvet to classic linen, upholstered benches enable you to introduce captivating textures that complement your existing furnishings. Tailor the size and placement to your room’s proportions for a cohesive look. A thoughtfully chosen upholstered bench lends style, comfort and versatility to your living room layout.

bench for the living room

Fabrics and Styles for Upholstered Benches

When selecting your perfect upholstered bench, the fabric, color and style possibilities are endless. Velvet with its indulgent softness and sheen provides a look of vintage Hollywood glamour. For laidback weekend hangs, cotton and linen offer casual, lived-in appeal. Or make a contemporary design statement with buttery soft leather. Beyond the main fabric, details like tufted buttons, smooth or curved profiles and accent piping or nailheads further customize the aesthetic.

Key Upholstery Fabrics

  • Velvet – Luxurious and elegant, with a dramatic look. Choose crushed or piled velvet for maximum depth and dimension.
  • Linen – Casual and textural, linen looks natural yet sophisticated. Opt for neutral off-whites or beiges.
  • Cotton – Familiar, cozy and warm, cotton upholstery fits classic to modern spaces.
  • Leather – Nothing says sleek and sensual like supple, fine leather. Metallic finishes add flair.

Design Details

Beyond the main fabric, stylistic details give your bench personality:

  • Tufted – Deeply buttoned tufting looks plush and lavish. Great for traditional living rooms.
  • Smooth – A flat, unwrinkled surface has a neat, contemporary vibe. Works with modern spaces.
  • Skirted – A ruffled base in a contrasting fabric softens the overall silhouette.
  • Piping – Thin welts of accent fabric define edges and seams for visual interest.
  • Nailheads – Gleaming metal studs outline perimeter and seams, adding polish.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials for added flair. Pair a velvet seat cushion with linen sides or couple a tufted back with smooth leather seating. This mashup of textures and patterns makes for an eclectic bench full of depth and dimension.

Determining the Ideal Size

Maximize both form and function of your living room bench by selecting the proper proportions for your space. Measure the length and depth of your potential bench area. Account for traffic pathways and existing furniture placement as you assess spatial constraints. While you can certainly customize the dimensions, standard bench sizes range from:

  • 36-48 inches wide – Good for entryways or as standalone accent piece
  • 48-60 inches wide – Accommodates 1-2 average adults
  • 60-72 inches wide – Seats multiple people comfortably

For bench height, 18-20 inches allows most guests to sit down and get up with ease. If the bench will mainly serve as a design feature rather than for seating, consider going slightly lower. Construct the bench frame out of sturdy hardwood and top with 4-6 inches of plush cushioning for optimal comfort and support.

Also factor in your bench’s intended purpose. A 36-48 inch option nicely defines a foyer. But if the bench will pull triple duty as entryway shoe storage, kids’ movie seat and cocktail party overflow seating, go for 60 inches or more to maximize functionality.

Size Recommendations

  • Entryway bench – 36-48 inches wide
  • Occasional seating – 48-60 inches wide
  • Main seating area – 60-72 inches wide

With the right proportions tailored to your needs, a thoughtfully sized upholstered bench enhances any living room.

Selecting the Perfect Spot to Place Your Bench

Now that you’ve selected the ideal size and style, it’s time to integrate your upholstered bench into your existing layout. Look for empty wall spaces crying out for floating furniture. Note areas that could use a soft seating option, like beneath a sunny bay window. Observe foot traffic flows andconversation groupings to see where guests might naturally congregate.

Here are some prime living room spots to show off your bench:

  • Against a wall – Float your bench away from walls to define seating zones without blocking flow.
  • At one end of a coffee table or ottoman – Flank tabletops with a bench for relaxed TV watching or entertaining.
  • By the fireplace – Warm up near the hearth on plush padded cushions.
  • Behind a sofa – Nestle a bench neatly behind your sofa for extra seats with proximity.
  • Under a window – Enjoy the view from a padded perch beneath a big picture window.

Avoid squeezing a bench into a tight niche or letting it visually overwhelm a smaller room. Allow enough walking room around and behind your bench. About 36 inches clearance lets guests access the bench without bumping existing furniture or decor.

Tips for Placement

  • Float with 36 inches clearance for easy access
  • Flank tabletops for casual overflow seating
  • Nestle neatly behind sofas
  • Allow bench to take visual prominence in large spaces

With an upholstered bench thoughtfully placed, your living room gains both finessed style and versatile seating.

Style Ideas for Livening Up Your Living Room

The aesthetic you wish to exude steers the style of upholstered bench best suited to your living room. For a glamorous but inviting vibe, nail luxe details like a velvet camelback silhouette, turned wood feet and opulent nailhead trim. Prefer a more rugged look? Top reclaimed barnwood with cozy linen-blend cushions. Or take a sleek, modern turn with soft leather and polished chrome legs. Get inspired by these style suggestions:

Classic Tufted

For traditional sensibilities, a tufted bench with carved wood feet and skirted base looks timeless. Choose a damask, brocade or tapestry fabric with deep button-tufting across the back and seat. Single out top details like scrolled arms, a camel back profile and luxurious fabric such as velvet.

Modern Minimal

The clean lines of contemporary design pair well with a sleek upholstered bench. Opt for neutral linen or microsuede tightly tailored over slim metal legs. Keep the profile low and sans arms for simplicity. Add family-friendly functionality with hidden storage inside.

Farmhouse Chic

Rustic farmhouse style loves reimagined vintage finds. Sand and lightly Whitewash a salvaged wooden bench frame. Then outfit with slipcovered cushions in durable, homespun cotton, linen or burlap. Add charm with a vintage-inspired skirted base and mix patterned & textured throw pillows.

Glam Hollywood Regency

Make a dramatic statement worthy of Old Hollywood with a glitzy upholstered bench. Choose emerald green or sapphire blue velvet with a rolled back and deep button tufting. Gold nailhead trim edges the arms, back and base. Turned wood feet and a curvaceous silhouette up the retro elegance.

Kids’ Playroom

In a child’s play space, choose durable, easy-clean fabrics like twill, microfiber or performance velveteen. Opt for a convertible toy box design that conceals clutter. Add whimsical details like polka dot or floral patterns, ruffled skirts and colorful piping. Include extra-plush padding for comfort during play dates and movie nights.

Let your personal style shine by selecting a bench design aligned with your decor vision. An upholstered bench acts as a tailored focal point rather than an afterthought.

Additional Touches to Elevate Your Bench

After choosing bench size, placement and style, include special touches that make your upholstered bench a true showstopper. Toss on accent pillows that complement your overall color scheme. Affix discreet side tables to hold drinks and books. Under-bench storage keeps TV remotes and magazines tidy but within reach. Lastly, hang a statement light or art piece on the wall above to complete your polished vignette.

Cozy Throw Pillows

Pile on pretty throw pillows to enhance your bench’s coziness and tie in surrounding decor. Choose patterns and textures that pick up on accent colors used on surrounding sofas, chairs and ottomans. Try different shapes and sizes stacked together for architectural interest.

Side Tables

For handy drink resting spots, mount petite side tables or planter boxes to the arms or sides of your bench. Seek small-scale furnishings with finishes that blend with your bench frames. Glass, metal and wood surfaces keep these additions lightweight and streamlined.

Under-Bench Storage

Maximize function by storing TV/media accessories and reading material right in your bench. Look for lift-top or hinged seat designs that reveal ample interior storage. Use fabric covered bins and baskets to corral items out of sight.

Wall Decor

Draw the eye upward by decorating the wall or accenting the crown molding over your bench installation. Hang an eye-catching light fixture or frame compelling artwork aligned with the bench width. Sconces illuminate while adding visual balance and interest.

With well-chosen details, your bench becomes a conversation-sparking focal point.

An elegant upholstered bench enhances your living room as both a decorative accent and a functional seating option. By tailoring the size, placement and style to your space, you’ll enjoy the added comfort and versatility a quality bench delivers. From providing extra guest seating to offering handy under-bench storage, an upholstered bench lends style and utility to any living room’s design.

Truly customize your upholstered bench with special details like lavish fabrics, button tufting and accent trim based on your personal tastes. Integrate complementary throw pillows and wall decor for a complete vignette. Let visitors settle right into cushioned comfort as you host relaxed gatherings with your new upholstered bench as the piece de resistance.

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