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Eric Diven

Arts and Crafts Gossip Bench

Furniture

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Gossip or telephone benches were developed in response to the widespread adoption of the telephone. Traditionally, they have a seat, a shelf for the phone, and storage of some sort for a printed phone book. Vintage gossip benches are found in a lot of styles popular during that period, of which the Danish Modern examples catch my eye the most.

One of the styles you're unlikely to see represented among vintage gossip benches is Arts and Crafts. The style had fallen from popularity by the time people began widely adopting the telephone. A client approached me about building a gossip bench in the style for their home. We iteratively developed a design to fit the client's space, and I built one for them, and a second for myself.

These days, you're unlikely to find a phone sitting on a gossip bench, but the form has proven itself adaptable as a piece for entryways. It has a seat for taking off shoes, a shelf to set a few things down while you do so, and storage for things you might grab as you head out the door. This one is designed so that the space underneath can be used for storing shoes.

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