No one wants to be a benchwarmer—unless you’re sitting in these dining rooms, that is. Rather than crowding the table with a bunch of chairs, these designers opted for benches and the results are incredible. Keep on scrolling to find out what this seating solution can do for your space.

plywood bench dining room
Photo: Tina Kulic

It maximizes space and storage

The built-in birch plywood bench in this Ben Leavitt-designed condo does double duty. First and foremost, it allows the homeowners to tuck the table closer to the wall—and therefore frees up a bit of space in the living and dining area. Secondly, it has a hinged seat that offers plenty of storage. See more before and after photos.

It shows off your one-of-a-kind style

A lot of the furniture in this Whistler home, built and owned by Measured Architecture’s Piers Cunnington, was custom designed—including the dining table and bench from Daintree Industries. Why opt for a set of matching chairs when you can have one special seat instead? Tour the rest of this modern cabin.

Photo: Martin Tessler

It can be a source of colour

The pale bamboo floors and white walls in this Burgers Architecture-designed home provide a neutral backdrop for the homeowners’ collection of boldly coloured furniture: a chartreuse Togo sofa from Ligne Roset, a teal Womb chair from Knoll and, in the dining room, a pair of pink Arper Saari bench seats from Livingspace. The fact that there are no chair backs also keeps the space looking clean and modern. Check out the rest of this incredible renovation.

It gives you more room to entertain

This Vancouver condo is tiny (just 600 square feet), but the owners still have plenty of space for entertaining—and it’s all thanks to the custom-built bench in the dining area. With it, the table can seat six. Positioned parallel to the living room sofa, it also helps to frame the far half of the unit. “The whole idea is that the spaces could work together or separately,” says designer Kelly Deck. And yes, the TV can be hidden from sight. Get more space-saving tips and tricks.

Photo: Ema Peter

It provides extra seating

The bench in this Gaile Guevara-designed space is technically a credenza. But it’s so sturdy, the homeowners can also use it as overflow seating—and a lot of it! The storage unit spans 16 feet across both the living and dining rooms. Find out how to get this sophisticated look at home.

It hides in plain sight

When you have an amazing feature like this Japanese-inspired wood screen, you don’t want anything to detract from it. So architect Allison Holden-Pope worked with Vertical Grain Projects to design a matching built-in bench that blends right into the Douglas fir beams. Explore this stunning Vancouver Special.

Photo: Janis Nicolay

It helps separate open-concept spaces

The sculptural metal bench in this dining area is both a seating solution and a space divider. “It takes a lot of room to bridge from one space to another,” says designer Megan Baker, “so in a small space you have to use furniture to do that since you don’t have the luxury of just moving it farther apart.” The placement of the rug and mirror help with this, too. Step inside this Vancouver condo.