Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Table or gossip bench?

We have a really long, narrow front hallway that is the main entryway to our house. When I was kid, growing up in the 'burbs, we had a side entrance through the laundry room that we used all the time. It had a huge closet and storage cupboards over the washer and dryer. In our downtown semi, we just don't have that luxury. So while I dream of an entryway like this

I have to make do with this.

It's a real struggle when all four of us are trying to get out the door at the same time. It's also a struggle in the winter with mittens and hats and keys and mail. We really need somewhere to set things down. But it can't be very big, because the hallway is only 4' wide.

I'm having a hard time deciding what to do. I've waffled between a wall-mounted table and a narrow console table (wood, metal?). A small stool or two that could be tucked under would also be nice so that we have a place to perch while we put on our boots. 

Whatever we decide on, it'll be centered in the doorway that leads into the living room, so it has to look nice, not just like a dumping station. Even if that's what it will be.....

Over Christmas I was shopping with my mom and sister and came across a telephone bench, sometimes called a gossip bench, in an antique store. While I hadn't considered this as a possibility, it fit the bill for what we need; a small chair for sitting on to pull on boots or shoes, a place to put a basket to store gloves and hats, and a small table to put down keys and mail.

The bench that I found looked a lot like this one.

The main problem with it was that the table is on the left, which is the side that faces the door, and I didn't like the large, blank wooden side on it. I would have bought it if it had the seat on the left, but decided that I would rather wait and see if I could find one that better fit.

After I got home, I googled to see if I could find similar benches and found this one.

The one that I saw in the antique store pales by comparison! The colour of the seat may be a bit much, but the style would be perfect since it's position in the hallway almost makes it part of the living room. I imagine it painted black or dark grey, with the seat covered in a subtle print fabric.

So now I'm on the hunt for a bench that looks like the one above. I've been watching kijiji and craigslist for a month, and poking around in antique stores on my weekend runs. And I'm keeping my eyes open for a narrow console table as well. It's really a toss-up as to what I like better. The chair might be more functional, and is certainly more unusual, but it also will take up more space in the hallway.

I'm eager to get something arranged in the hallway so that I can put up mirrors and pictures - I'm growing very tired of staring at blank walls out there. But don't want to commit to anything before I have the main piece of furniture. Unfortunately, patience is a virtue that I lack!


  1. Great idea! Weirdly, your fb link is blocked.

  2. I'd also consider a really narrow bench with baskets underneath and coat hooks above. Maybe like this: http://pinterest.com/pin/137008013634989206/

    Wall mounted tables look cool but I always worry about slamming my hip into them when I walk by.

    With the kids, I think having places to sit would be great. Baskets for mitts, hats, etc...


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