A furniture type that featured prominently in the opulent palaces of Egyptian pharaohs and supported interior design during the Victorian era is the accent bench. This mystery interior decor survived and evolved through various eras with its style and versatility.
Chairs, tables, or beds are not the furniture type in question, but accent benches are. You will see that accent benches made a name for themselves in the vast history of interior design, regardless of whatever artistic movements or cultures were in the spotlight.
This post will go over what makes accent benches so timeless, give you a few tips to help you pick out your own accent bench, and list some accent bench recommendations.
What an Accent Bench Offers
Oddly enough, accent benches first managed to make a name for themselves for their aesthetic appeal rather than functionality. Interior design during the Victorian era, which spanned between 1837 and 1901, focused on transforming formal spaces into luxurious ones.
The often grand nature of accent benches would lend a regal air to any room, which is why they quickly grew in prominence. An interesting juxtaposition is that modern accent benches offer a much more comforting vibe to any outdoor or indoor space.
This new homey approach to accent bench design is a far cry from the morbid ways in which accent benches were used during the Victorian era.
You see, the Victorian era saw the rise of post-mortem photography. This was a practice in which deceased loved ones were taken and then placed into random positions as if they were still alive so that the family could take pictures of them and preserve their memory.
Accent benches would feature prominently in said photos due to the elegance of their design. What determines whether an accent bench is used to tie a room together or give it a touch of elegance is its material and finish.
Accent Benches Buyers Guide Tip #1 - Materials and Finish
When looking for an accent bench you must always first consider what kind of materials you want it to be made out of and what kind of finish, if any, it will employ. Why is this the case?
The materials used to make your furniture will determine the following:
The list of areas affected by your accent bench’s build extends far beyond appearance. Consider your maintenance routine goals and how much a furniture’s longevity matters to you.
We’ve managed to assemble a range of accent benches that fit several style and functionality needs for you to peruse. However, for our complete collection be sure to visit our accent bench collection page.
To avoid analysis paralysis, consider what it is that you want in terms of functionality before you begin working through your options.
Accent Benches Buyers Guide Tip #2 - Consider Functionality
Did you know that modern-day accent benches can be used for much more than just lounging? In fact, many accent benches come with built-in storage. This storage space is sequestered away as either a drawer underneath the bench itself or through the use of lift-up seats.
Whether or not you require such features, consider what uses you plan to get out of your accent bench.
Sunset West Redondo Dining Bench
The fully welded aluminum frame of the Sunset West Redondo Dining Bench was mentioned earlier and for good reason. Of course, some general level of durability is to be expected from an aluminum frame, however, the aluminum frame employed here has a powerful addition.
Baked into the frame itself is a special powder coat that is resistant to rust. As a result, not much will be required on your end to keep this bench in top condition. A hand-brushed Slate finish has also been applied to the frame itself.
This finish offers a unique texture and natural look to the bench as a whole. With enough space to accommodate up to three adults, this dining bench does well in proving its functionality and style.
Other features to consider include:
- Slat seat and linear frame
- Easy to fit into any space
- Adjustable non-marring feet
Sunset West Provence Bench
The Sunset West Provence Bench manages to differentiate itself from its predecessor thanks to its excellent use of exterior framing. Doubling as a backrest, the wrought iron frame of this bench extends upward. Providing much-needed support for your lower back.
This makes sitting on the Provence Bench for prolonged periods of time easily manageable. The seat cushion itself is two inches thick with an option to get it stocked in Sunbrella fabric. You’ll want to consider this because Sunbrella fabric is UV-resistant.
If you intend to use this accent bench for outdoor seating, UV resistance will be a requirement. This is because it stops the sun’s rays from discoloring or damaging the cushion itself. For the frame, a five-step finish process was used to ensure its high quality.
Other features include:
- Weather-resistant cushions
- Powder coated with a hand-brushed finish
- Sturdy wrought iron furniture build
Alfresco Home Martini Iron Garden Bench Pencil Point
Want something that screams “modern” and won’t overpower your other decor ideas? If so, the Alfresco Home Martini Iron Garden Bench Pencil Point is the perfect option for homeowners who need an accent bench that won’t take away from the room’s overall style.
The same rust-resistant powder-coated finish from before makes its way here. This powder coat was applied using high temperatures to ensure deep penetration into the entire frame. Be sure to clean on occasion with a mild solution of soap and water, not much more will be needed.
The sides of this bench are fitted with armrests that slope downward, fitting your body’s natural posture when at rest. Rather than bloat the design with unnecessary features, the designers saw it fit to keep it minimal and as a result elegant.
Other features include:
- One-year limited warranty included
- Durable wrought iron construction
- Minimalist design that doesn’t steal the spotlight
Lloyd Flanders Teak 79" Dining Bench
Common wood types used to make home furniture fall apart when exposed to termites or heavy cleaning bases, except for teak wood. Teak wood has plenty of natural oils and resins that make it naturally resistant to termites and even decay!
Why wouldn’t you want a bench made out of this material? The Lloyd Flanders Teak 79” Dining Bench was completely constructed using teak wood. It’s a durable accent bench that can easily thrive anywhere, even in areas with dynamic and intense weather.
The design of its legs and underframe is elegant, masterfully employing several pillars and cross-sections to create an appearance that isn’t boring or overly simplistic. By remedying these common wood furniture flaws the Lloyd Flanders Teak 79” Dining Bench presents itself as a true evolution in teak furniture design.
Other features include:
- Durable teak build
- Naturally resistant to decay
- Elegant look and finish
Lloyd Flanders Low Country Woven Vinyl 3-Seat Garden Bench
The perfect marriage of rustic charm and elegance can be found in the Lloyd Flanders Low Country Woven Vinyl 3-Seat Garden Bench. This has to be the top pick for anyone looking to add character to their backyard or other outdoor spaces.
It utilizes its aluminum frame and vinyl to create a boxed-in design. One with a high back and armrests, this results in an incredibly intimate seating space that wouldn’t look out of place in any fantasy movie.
Other features include:
- Multiple layers of 100% polyester fiber for seating
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Wide berth perfect for sitting several occupants
FAQs About Accent Benches
Buying new furniture is an exciting process. However, working through all your options and deciding what style to settle is difficult. This is why we’ve taken the most frequently asked questions and answered them below, we even included general maintenance tips!
Accent Benches Buyers Guide Tip #3 - Proper Maintenance
As we discussed earlier, how you maintain your accent benches will depend entirely on what they are made out of. For example, rattan furniture is ridiculously easy to keep in top condition. In fact, all that is really required is consistent airflow.
Aluminum frame accent benches will have you wiping down their structure with a mild cleaner and water solution. You’ll want to use mild cleaning agents and consider using a cantilever umbrella to provide additional protection.
How Do You Choose the Right Size of an Accent Bench for a Space?
Consider the available space and intended use when choosing the size of an accent bench. Measure the area where it will be placed, ensuring there's enough room for movement. For seating, allow at least 18 inches of width per person for comfort.
Are Accent Benches Only for Decorative Purposes, or Can They Provide Storage as Well?
Accent benches often come with additional features, including built-in storage. Many benches have lift-up seats or drawers underneath, offering a practical solution for keeping items like blankets, pillows, or everyday essentials neatly tucked away.
Where Can Accent Benches Be Placed Within a Home?
Accent benches are versatile and can be placed in various areas of a home. They work well in entryways, living rooms, bedrooms, and even as pool patio furniture. They can be positioned against a wall, at the foot of a bed, or as a central piece in a seating arrangement.
Accent Benches for Your Home
Accent benches are versatile and stylish. They occupied ancient Egyptian palaces and became a hallmark of Victorian-era post-mortem photography. They have a universal kind of elegance that is hard to capture. Accent benches often serve as storage spaces too.]Contact us no matter how you want to use your accent bench. Our experts will walk you through everything about accent benches quickly and help you make a confident choice.