This Functional and Fun Furniture Piece Is a Table and Chair in One

published Nov 30, 2023
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White kitchen with tile walls and black cabinets and kitchen island

Small-space dwellers will likely understand how important it is to purchase multipurpose furniture, whether it’s buying a coffee-turned-dining table or a bed with built-in storage. But some pieces have that extra oomph besides just being super functional. 

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Take the phone table that doubles as a catchall table, a seating area to take off shoes, and a unique secondhand find in the entryway of Bertie Ocampo’s maximalist apartment in Australia. If you’re unfamiliar with a telephone table (also called “gossip benches”), don’t fret. 

These functional tables became popular during the 1930s through the 1950s, and when most people still had home phones; they were the perfect perch to sit and chat for a while. And even though landlines might’ve lost their popularity, it seems these tables haven’t — even Busy Philipps has a telephone table in her home

Not only are these tables a nod to the past, but they’re also great for people who live in limited square feet. Ocampo’s piece, which she found on Facebook Marketplace, came equipped with a cushioned seat, tabletop, and drawer for storage. 

If you find a telephone bench that doesn’t necessarily fit your interior style, don’t write it off just yet. Sasha Kampmeier, a professional DIY-er, transformed a vintage bench with a bit of paint and a new couch cover for only $20. 

These benches aren’t going anywhere, either. If you want to find a brand-new option, a quick search on the web will produce several versions to match any interior style — and you won’t have to make any updates (unless you want to!). This solid wood Wayfair telephone bench comes equipped with two drawers for storage and a white cushion. If that’s not your style, you’re in luck — there are several more to choose from. 

Finding a functional piece of furniture isn’t the only smart choice Ocampo’s made in her gorgeous home — she’s also unexpectedly used an IKEA curtain to hide clutter. To see more of her apartment, visit the full house tour