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Clever Storage Solutions: Choosing the Best Entryway Bench for Your Shoes and More

A cluttered, disorganized entryway sets the tone for a hectic home. But who has room for a large armoire or cabinet to stash all those shoes, coats, umbrellas and bags by the front door? This is where a versatile entryway bench with shoe storage can save the day, providing both seating and hidden storage to conquer clutter in even the smallest foyers and tight spaces.

An entryway bench makes the perfect catchall for all those items that get dumped the second you walk in the door. Gloves, hats, soccer cleats – you name it, this bench has room to organize it all out of sight. Many even offer a flip-top lid or slide-out drawer specifically designed to hold rows of shoes. This keeps them safely contained and out of sight, so you can send family members and guests out the door with an orderly hello or goodbye.

With the right entryway bench, you can stylishly organize the chaos and maintain zen-like foyer calm no matter how hectic your household. Keep reading to discover this season’s top entryway bench picks for every budget and decor style. Learn smart shopping tips for choosing the perfect storage bench, along with expert answers to all your questions about sizes, placement and customization.

We’ll also showcase creative ways to configure your entryway using hooks, racks and baskets so everything has a handy home. You’ll be so inspired, you’ll want to kick off those shoes and settle right in to enjoy your newfound entryway order!

The Top Contenders: This Season’s Best Entryway Benches

When selecting an entryway bench, you’ll want one that checks all the boxes: solid construction, ample storage space, and the right size for your available floor space. Durability is key since this piece will get daily wear and tear. You’ll also want to pick a style that complements your existing furnishings and decor taste – options range from traditional wood to contemporary upholstered.

Here are five top-rated entryway benches to consider:

1. The Winston: An Elegant Wooden Statement Piece

The aptly named Winston entryway bench has a classic design befitting an English manor. This handsome bench makes a statement with its rich espresso wood finish and antiqued bronze nailhead trim outlining the padded linen seat. Made from kiln-dried hardwoods, the Winston is built to last for generations. The storage compartment features a unique pull-out drawer that slides out to hold up to four pairs of everyday shoes.

Pros: The Winston’s high-end furniture quality construction and detailing allow this bench to serve triple duty in the entryway, at the dining table as an accent bench, or even in lieu of a coffee table in the living room. The warm, Vintage Oak finish pairs nicely with antiques and traditional decor. Cons: The Winston commands a premium price tag, and some reviewers note the pull-out shoe storage can be tricky to access once you’re sitting on the bench.

2. The Bissa: A Budget-Friendly Powerhouse

Don’t be fooled by its minimal price – the IKEA Bissa shoe cabinet bench packs serious storage power. Made from sturdy engineered wood with a white stained finish, this bench offers tons of space to organize shoes and more. The pull-out base features tiered shelving that can hold 20 pairs of shoes – perfect for big families! There are also two fixed interior shelves great for hats, mittens and bags. Hooks along the back are ideal for coats or leashes.

Pros: Reviewers rave about the Bissa’s storage capacity and incredible value. The clean-lined Scandinavian design adapts well to any home. Cons: As with most IKEA furniture, reviewers note the Bissa requires self-assembly and may not hold up as well long-term compared to solid wood options.

3. The Dalton: High Style and Hidden Storage

Feeling flush? The Pottery Barn Dalton ottoman offers a high-end take on entryway shoe storage. Crafted with a kiln-dried hardwood frame, this bench is upholstered in soft, thick polyester and linen blend fabric with a Belgian linen look. The hinged top flips open to reveal ample storage space for up to six pairs of shoes and accessories. Finished nailheads and turned feet provide sophistication. Use the Dalton to stash shoes in the entry or as a coffee table in the living room.

Pros: With its designer details and custom upholstery options, the Dalton makes a luxurious statement in any space. The storage capacity is ample for most families. Cons: The premium designer price tag is steep. Some reviewers found the storage area small compared to the bench’s generous proportions.

4. The Carver: Compact Style on a Budget

Make a stylish first impression with the Threshold Carver upholstered bench, exclusively available from Target. This bench squeezes storage and seating into a slim 32-inch profile that can fit small entryways or tuck neatly into closet corners. The body is crafted from durable engineered wood and wrapped in a soft linen-look polyester upholstery in an easy-to-match Canyon Sand hue. The lift-top opens to reveal interior storage for two to three pairs of shoes.

Pros: This bench’s winning combination of narrow proportions, neutral upholstery and low price point makes it ideal for furnishing small spaces. It assembles in minutes too. Cons: With room for only a few pairs of shoes, the storage capacity is lower than other options. The lighter-weight construction may not stand up to rough handling.

5. The Zelda: Industrial Chic Storage

Add a dash of factory loft style with the Creative Co-Op Zelda metal and wood bench. This design gets back to basics with its tubular steel frame featuring rounded corners and a handsome bronze powder-coated finish. A wooden bench seat provides comfort atop the storage shelf below, which can hold up to four pairs of shoes. This industrial-minimalist look adds flair to modern homes.

Pros: Reviewers rave about this bench’s sturdy metal frame, calling it a workhorse. The open storage shelf allows shoes to air and dry out. Cons: While metal is incredibly durable, the exposed wood seat requires additional sealing or maintenance, especially in damp climates. The open shoe shelf also leaves shoes exposed to dust and debris.

Smart Shopping: Choosing the Right Bench for Your Entryway

Now that you’re inspired by this season’s top entryway bench styles, it’s time to shop for the right bench to meet your household’s needs. Follow this expert advice to make a selection you’ll love coming home to for years to come:

  • Consider your interior design style. Make sure to pick a finish and style that complements your existing furniture and decor taste. For the most versatility, choose neutral, classic colors. Match wood stain colors on benches to other wood pieces in the space.
  • Measure twice, buy once. Carefully measure the physical space you have available both for the bench itself and the clearance required around it. Standard bench widths range from 36 to 48 inches, depths from 16 to 20 inches. Make sure to account for traffic flow coming and going.
  • Determine your storage requirements. Look at how many family members need to stash shoes on the bench and the average number of pairs each person cycles through regularly. Most quality benches can hold 4 to 6 pairs, up to 20 pairs for maximum capacity options. Consider whether you’ll store other items like bags or hats too.
  • Assess the quality of construction. Solid hardwood frames can better withstand the daily wear and tear an entryway bench endures and will last for generations rather than going wobbly after a few years. Look for reinforced hinges on storage lids that can handle repeated lifting without sagging and breaking. Heavy-duty options are key for durability.
  • Evaluate special features. Look for details like removable seat cushions and storage lids that make cleaning and maintenance easy. Drawers for smaller items are very handy. Some bench seats flip up entirely allowing full access to the storage space. Optional built-in lighting illuminates stored items.
  • Compare pricing. Entryway benches range widely in price from $50 to over $1,000 based on materials used and features included. Have a budget in mind, but remember that quality construction and durability come at a cost. The middle $200 to $600 range balances value and long-term investment.
  • Select placement carefully. Determine if you want a freestanding bench, one tucked into a corner or under a window, or anchored against a wall or closet. Placement will affect traffic flow and accessibility. Measure carefully to make sure the bench and surrounding space gets used to its full potential.

Clever Add-Ons: Hooks, Shelves and Racks

An entryway bench forms the foundation for stowing shoes, coats and bags. But the work of containing clutter doesn’t stop there. Make the most of the space above, beside and behind your bench to customize an entry storage solution:

  • Hang a wall-mounted coat rack or row of hooks. Install it at kids’ heights for independence. Dedicate hooks to each family member.
  • Mount shelving above the bench. Use for hats, gloves, umbrellas and bags. Enclosed cabinets keep items dust-free.
  • Use baskets or cubbies. Freestanding options tuck under benches or sit side-by-side. Use decorative bins for mittens and scarves.
  • Add a storage rack beside the bench. Many include racks to expand capacity. Or stand an bookcase-style étagère nearby for bags, helmets and shoes.
  • Stow out-of-season gear under benches. Use underbench space for big boots or bulky coats you only need part of the year. Hide mess out of sight!

Take time to consider where each family member will deposit their daily items after walking in the door. Create zones and decide on places for everyone’s possessions. The less decision-making involved, the quicker the entryway stays organized.

Entryway Zen Awaits – Order Up!

Is your front entryway feeling more like a dumping ground than a welcoming oasis? Conquering clutter by the front door is an attainable goal with the right storage solutions in place. An entryway bench offers the best of both worlds – seating and storage – to make the most of small spaces. Keep mudrooms and tight foyers neat as a pin with a spot to stash shoes, bags, coats and everything in between.

By now, you’re armed with insider tips for selecting the ideal bench design and size for your home, family and budget. You also have creative hooks, racks and shelf ideas to customize a complete entryway organization system. Now the only thing left is to roll up those sleeves, kick off your shoes and get busy installing your dream entry bench and accessories. Before you know it, you’ll be welcoming guests and family alike with a tidy, stress-free entryzone – and maybe even putting your feet up to enjoy it.

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