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There are a few areas in my home that I think lack in styling. They just feel undone and I am ready to do something about them. This 31 day series on Interior Styling gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get going. First on my list is the bench in our foyer.
I made a slipcover for the bench to add some pattern and hung a gallery of DIY Captains mirrors on the awkward wall above the bench. And that is where the makeover stopped…just short of being awesome. This was the semi-boring before:
Well, I am back to focus on this area with my interior styling tips in mind! Since I struggle with finding balance between practical and pretty, I tried a few different options with this bench. Today I am going to share with you the pretty version, which is well-styled, but not necessarily practical for our family. Then, I will show you the practical version which is still pretty. The second version is what I think we can live with everyday. I will finish off with a formula you can use to recreate the same look in your home!
Before we look at the styling eye candy, I want to share a bit more about my process. I am basically following the inspiration to action steps I outlined yesterday. Since I am styling several spaces in my home for this series in a short amount of time, I am shopping my home and trying to avoid unnecessary spending. You may see me use or reuse items from different rooms and in more than one vignette. I figured the best course of action is to figure out how I want everything styled, even if I have to borrow something from another area. Then, once I know all my final looks, I can shop to fill in the gaps. For example, we only have a few throw blankets now. You will see me use the same ones over and over. Once I figure out where all I want to use throw blankets and how many more I need, I will buy the extras. Until then I am going to make do with what I have, and hopefully find out I don’t need much more.
Pretty, NOT Practical
This first look is fabulous. What a warm welcome when you walk through our front door! I love everything about it, except it is not very practical for my family with two young boys.
To add more texture to the bench, I layered it with a faux sheepskin (borrowed from the nursery). I added two decorative pillows on top of the sheepskin. I think it draping down in the front eliminates the need to add something to fill the space under the bench . It makes for an oh so cozy looking bench.
On the other end of the bench, I added a round mirrored tray filled with a stack of books and a small vase. This is the part that is impractical for us, even though it looks good.
Tucked under the bench are my cowgirl boots….my favorite footwear. The insides are turquoise. They are great functional decor.
At the end of the bench I added a basket for more texture and a natural element. I stuffed it with throw blankets, the top one dripping out casually. The whole basket thing looks good too, but I am not sure why I would ever need a basket of throw blankets by the front door. Umbrellas and a towel to wipe the dogs feet would make more sense.
Pretty AND Practical
Given what I found impractical about the first look, I pared back a bit and came up with a pretty look that is practical for everyday living.
I love this look. It is like doing your makeup to get a “natural” look…just enough to make it look like you aren’t trying too hard. It is laid back, yet just as inviting as the first look. Maybe more inviting, because you could actually sit on the bench without fear of breaking something. It is more us.
I swapped the faux sheepskin for a more practical, but still cozy fringed teal throw blanket. It is neatly folded and draped down the front of the bench. I added two throw pillows again. The other end of the bench is bare…you know, for a place to actually sit.
With this look there was a lot of open space beneath the bench. I filled it with a shallow basket (borrowed from the kitchen) piled high with folded blankets. The cowgirl boots stayed right where they were.
I think this is a look we can keep everyday. I just need to find another basket, that doesn’t normally hold my onions, and some extra throw pillows. Maybe another pair of cowgirl boots for good measure? I kid.
The Bench Styling Formula
So here is my magic formula for pulling this look off on your bench. It is very scientific. Focusing on the shapes, like I recommended here, I created this sketch of items for you to recreate this look at home.
So which look is your favorite? Anything you would do differently for the everyday look?
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