Usually when we think of a built-in bench, we imagine a boxy but functional mudroom seat where shoes and umbrellas might be stored, but this double-duty piece can be sleek or simple, designed for storage or style, depending on how it's used.
The examples shown above range from a slim living room bench to a more traditional storage bench built into a hallway. One of our favorite ideas is the design by Dan Brill Architects, which uses one long piece of folded wood to define both the kitchen countertops and a wall-mounted seating area. Whatever their style, each of these benches adds form and function to the spaces they inhabit.
Photos: Rajiv Majumdar, Rex Ceramiche, Dan Brill Architects, Jill Slater, Alan Shortall / Chicago Home + Garden