In search of elegant but narrow shoe storage bench

meg711January 22, 2008

I've searched a gazillion sites today for something for our entry hall. We're a "shoeless" household so we end up with a pile of shoes in our entry hall. Most of the shoes are ours, but we also have guests' shoes, too, and I'd like to tame the pile.

I'm looking for a storage bench that will be closer to the front doors for people to use to take off their shoes and to store their shoes. Unfortunately there isn't any wall space there. The best options are to have something in front of the non-opening door which might look funny OR to have a bench next to the doors, which would be at the bottom of the stairway, so it needs to be shallow, no more than 16" deep.

This is what I've found so far:

I liked this one but the cubbies are too small for our big shoes:

FWIW, I will eventually have another bench, probably tufted, for the "official" part of the entry hall, so I don't want to end up with two tufted benches for our entry.

Does anyone have any opinion, suggestions or other ideas? Thanks very much!

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prairiegirlz5

Would you consider making/paying for a custom piece? I think anyone with basic carpentry skills would be able to do a simple style.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 7:23PM
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meg711

That's a great idea. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for the suggestion.

Anyone know of a good cabinet person in the Seattle area?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:53PM
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annabellesangels

I have been looking for the same thing. We are in Seattle too! 16" deep but how long can the bench be? Do you have a color or design style in mind? I have been looking at homedecorators.com and overstock.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 10:13PM
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joyceshaw

I got ours from Martha Stewart website three years ago. It's worked out really well for us. We usually change into indoor slippers when we go into the house. It's a Taiwanese custom.

Here is a link that might be useful: cushioned bench

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 10:42PM
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prairiegirlz5

You might try asking at the local hardware store, or put an ad in the Pennysaver, or even check the local bars for out of work carpenter (sadly from personal experience, but it's how we got our bathroom remodeled this winter).

Ask to see some examples of their work, show him or her lots of pictures! Base price depends on time & materials, paint is more forgiving than stain, pine is heavy and relatively cheap.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 10:49PM
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susanlynn2012

How about this black cubby bench at Target.com that is around 16" deep?

Here is a link that might be useful: Black Cubby Bench at Target.com

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:12PM
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susanlynn2012

Comfort House Storage Bench has concealed compartments.

Here is a link that might be useful: Comfort House Storage Bench

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:21PM
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susanlynn2012

This Rattan Shoe Chest is very nice also and you do not have to buy the top cushion.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rattan Shoe Chest

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:37PM
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meg711

Thanks for all your responses. I knew you'd post benches that I haven't found. I really like some of them.

As far as style goes, I lean toward traditional or transitional, and I was envisioning a stained bench, in a color similar to our front doors. btw, the doors are not as dark as they appear in the photo.

This is our door from above. As you can see, there is no wall space to the right of the door. Either the bench would have to go in front of the left door, or in the area below the art niche. Each door is about 35" wide, and the art niche area is 59" wide. If I had a 60" bench there, it would have to overlap the door molding. I don't think that would look the best.

Here's a different view of the art niche area, before the stained front doors were put up:

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 2:54AM
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les917

What about something like this? I realize this is not the right finish, but I am guessing you could paint it out to the trim color or dark to match the entry doors. It is only about 7" deep. There are several other sizes on the IKEA site, but I have seen them other places as well, so you could probably search for a shoe cabinet and find others you like.

shoe cabinet

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 8:36AM
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bungalow_house

Can you make use of that space in the middle? Something round? Not sure such an animal exists, but if you're considering custom...

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 9:15AM
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meg711

Thanks for the link Les. I was going to say that it's too high for the entry area, but would be perfect for our mudroom--but then I saw the legs. It looks like it only has front legs and needs to be mounted to the wall--which I'm not sure I'm willing to commit to. But I appreciate your help.

bungalow: Do you mean something for the middle of the entry hall, under the chandelier or so? I hadn't thought of using that area but I'm intrigued. But I think you're right; it would have to be custom. Maybe a round entry table with shoe storage. The entry area is just under 8' wide. I wonder if that's wide enough to have a table without feeling crowded.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 4:17PM
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bungalow_house

Meg, yes, I was thinking more like an ottoman instead of a table. I couldn't tell from the pic how much space is there. But if you're lacking in wall space, that would be a wall-less alternative.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 5:26PM
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meg711

Hmm. An ottoman. I'll have to think about that. In the meantime, I found this on craigslist. Anyway, it's not for me but it's round. I don't know what to make of it. It reminds me of something but I can't figure out what.

Here is a link that might be useful: Craigslist pouffe

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 5:39PM
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bungalow_house

How funny that you found that. Think hotel lobby.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 5:59PM
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ladynimue

Here's a couple.

Personally, this is my favorite -

Set of Two Mahogany Stackable Shoe Racks
http://www.frontgate.com/

This one is Asian, but I love the lines -
Hako Shoe Storage Bench (getabako) in Amber Bamboo
http://www.woodistry.com

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 6:22PM
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prairiegirlz5

meg~I love your house! The transom, the column(s), very pretty. The hotel lobby look might be a little over the top, but it could work. What is the wall color in the room with the rug please?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 6:24PM
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meg711

ladynimue: What great shoe storage pieces! I love the lines of the second one especially so I'll wait to see when they're going to start production again. Their other pieces are gorgeous but a little too deep.

Thanks prairiegirlz! A funny story: We bought a house that was being built and I walked in one day to find the half-columns being put up. Totally a surprise--and I wasn't sure it was a good surprise. But I've gotten used to them by now. And, besides, they match the columns outside.

The walls in the livingroom (the room with the rug pad) are Kelley-Moore Wise Owl. They appear darker in the photo than they are IRL. The livingroom walls are the same as the entry hall and art niche, which varies with the lighting.

If you're looking for a darker color, the powder room is by Kelley-Moore, and it's called Shabui. If you look through that doorway that's next to the art niche, you can see the sconce and walls of the powder room.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 7:11PM
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bungalow_house

For the record, not advocating the hotel lobby thing.... :)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 8:08PM
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les917

Just wondering if you could have someone knock out the space below the art niche and build in shoe shelves there, trim it out, maybe even add doors. Judging by the depth of the niche, it should have enough depth for shoes. It would be out of the way, not take up floor space and hide the mess that shoes can make

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 10:24PM
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meg711

Funny Les, but we were just talking about that recently. We also talked about building cabinetry into the pony walls, where the columns are. I think I'd be hard-pressed to get DH to agree to construction of any kind around here though. But it is a great idea.

At this point I think I'll get something inexpensive but functional and then find out about having something built for the "official" entry hall area. If I make it longer than I had originally envisioned, and have storage built in, it could work.

Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 10:55PM
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karger_mit_edu

Meg, I quite like the last one you originally found (cubies too small for your big shoes). Where did you find it?
Thanks
David

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 2:16AM
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meg711

Hi David,

That last one is from Home Decorators. It looks like they have different finishes and lengths, as well as styles. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Decorators

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 6:02AM
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neenee

Yesterday on HGTV's green house giveaway, they showed a neat shoe bench. The bench part to sit on actually pulled out for you to sit. The cubbies were closed up and each had a pull on it. It is very narrow, since you have to pull the bench out to sit on it. It's called a trundle chest. I thought it was very nice looking. Here's a link to it http://www.hickoryhillholdings.com/

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 12:50PM
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meg711

Very cool design. Thanks for sharing it!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 3:53PM
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foxes_garden

I got that Home Decorator shoe bench for my laundry room / garage entryway. It's smart of you to have noticed how small the cubbies are. My shoes and my daughter's fit fine, but DH's shoes are still on the floor until I find another solution.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 4:20PM
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meg711

foxes garden,

With our youngest in a woman's size 9, we all have pretty big feet. I took DS with me to a storage store and made him take off his size 14 sneaker to see if they would fit. I don't think any "normal" shoe storage can handle those mammoth sneakers my son and his friends wear so we'll probably end up with either a large basket for those shoes or something custom made.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 4:33PM
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giuscavo

Good morning from Italy... I was browsing looking for funny stories to tell about shoe cabinets. I am writing a book about them. My factory makes a model that is less than 6 inches deep and holds between 9 and 15 pairs of shoes. Probably it is not as "elegant" as you need, but you can find more than one in every Italian home. I would like your opinion. Would it work in the US? Thank you, very much. Giuseppe (Joe)

Here is a link that might be useful: Italian fits between 18 and 30 shoes in 6

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 3:36AM
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