Affordable X benches

Well, we’ve had a scary couple of days! The girls got strep last week. Grace’s was the worst and we thought at one point hers had moved to Scarlet Fever because she was pink from head to toe and so sick, but it turns out she has a horrible allergy to amoxicillin. She is having a really rough week with the hives and swelling – I’ve never seen anything like it. Poor thing. Anyway, sorry for the silence here and apologies if I owe you an email. It actually feels really nice to sit down at the computer and take a break from sick kids. :/

I love this image above. Partly because I’m just head over heels for Jane Churchill’s Rossini fabric (sadly, now discontinued). But how easy would it be to recreate this look with a wood-base x bench from Target or amazon? These go from $50-150 usually and are easily customizable.
This longer X-bench ($116 from Overstock) is a great price and has lots of potential.
Add a fun pattern to the top like the ladies from Living Livelier did.
Oh my goodness. I love this orange/tweed combo!
And why not gold or silver leaf the legs?
Jan Showers

This bench has been tricked out dozens of times. It was available through Sears/Kmart for about $45 and is currently unavailable, but might come back. So keep an eye out!
Caitlin Creer used the Sears benches here:

And Camila did too, here:
And Shannon Berrey used them here, in this show house. Love the slip cover take!
The crafty sisters found their stools at target and added extra foam to the tops for more height. Love the trim too.
This blogger used the Target benches for her ikat version (I used that same fabric here in this project)
This bench is another great base option ($73 from Amazon).
I think this long bench ($128), or the first one above from Overstock, would look great tufted with nail head trim! Maybe white linen, brass nails and a soft gray paint on the legs?
I think you’d end up with something close to this bench from Dering Hall (worth several thousand!)
And if you’re looking for a little sparkle, take a look at what Naomi did with a scrap of Donghia fabric and a Worlds Away bench!
This chrome bench is only $99 and has a very similar feel to the World’s Away stool.
Love the boxed edge here.
And what would a post here be like without a floral option? Good ol Rubie Green.
bench available here
I’ve noticed designers sort of moving away from the ubiquitous fabric-covered legs version and I think legs with a cool shape or interesting paint treatment helps to keep the look fresh. That said, I don’t know that I’ll ever tire of the look completely. Feels pretty classic and I just love using benches – I put one or two in almost every room I decorate. They are super functional (extra seating in a living/dining room, a suitcase stand in a guest room, a nice place for parents to rest in a bathroom while bathing kids, etc). Benches also help add dimension and layering to a room.
Have you jazzed up an inexpensive x bench? Or do you have your eye on an affordable version?
Okay, back to disinfecting my whole house!
  1. Barbie

    Hate those days when the kiddos are badly sick. Hope your little ones feel better soon. You're amazing that you can even muster the energy for a post! And a highly inspirational one at that. I have lots of ideas for the foot of my bed now, thanks to you!

  2. Kyla

    I liked Callie's a lot. Definitely inspired me to think out the box with this one.

  3. sheri

    Great ideas (as usual!) – hope your house is "all better" soon! :)

  4. I love all of this inspiration. I just saw that Kelley Proxmire used two of the Target benches in the sunroom of the D.C. design house. I think I know what to do with my Le Lac scraps!

  5. Aww, hope the little ones are better soon. As always, thanks for the great inspiration Jenny! -Saudah

  6. I had a capenter make me two x bench bases $75.00 each then took them to my upholsterer for another $125 each. had them upholstered in a gray velvet with black piping. Even the legs were upholstered. a custom look for a lot less!

  7. Jenny-
    My sister is allergic to antibiotics, and she gets a horrible rash and hives too. She says that it feels like something crawling all over her, and the itch is horrific. Pilling wet oatmeal on is the only thing that gives relief until an antihistamine takes over.
    Love these benches. There are some really affordable choices here.
    Teresa
    xoxo

  8. maggie

    Sorry your little ones have been so sick. Hope they're much better soon!
    Love those X benches…endless decor opportunities!

  9. I love the x bench from overstock! I have used it for clients before and it really looks great with a bright fabric. It just begs for a pop of color.

    I'm glad your daughters are better. There is not much that makes you feel as helpless as having sick little ones.

    Maybe with the onset of spring you can air all those nasty germs out! :)

    Sharon

  10. I love the tweed with the orange base! I am working on my master bedroom..going to have to incorporate 2 x benches at the foot of the bed..I love that look and the functionality!

    Hope your girls are on the mend!!

  11. Nancy

    I have had X BENCH envy for quite some time. I would love a barcelona ottoman in tufted leather, but I will have to acquire one of these low cost ones and cover it myself, but love the extra foam idea!
    Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

  12. Casey

    This reminds me of your spray painted benches. I'm curious. Has the color held up over time? Any rub off issues?

    Hope your lil nuggets feel better!

  13. Cherie

    I hope your daughter will turn the corner on this soon! I'm allergic to doxicyclene and I was amazed how dramatically my body rejected it. My medical resident son was home for a couple of days when I had the reaction, that helped!

    Thanks for posting; you must be exhausted. Love that overstock x-bench!

  14. Krissy

    Oh my gosh, that orange + tweed bench is to die for! This has inspired me to do a little update on an ugly bench of my own…

  15. Kat

    Love the bench ideas & great prices! I've had strep and it was excruciating! Hope everyone is well in time for the weekend!

  16. Aileen

    Im dying over the pillows on the girls bed. Do you know the source? THX

  17. .

    I trolled around my local Craigslist for months and months to find the perfect x-bench, but no luck. I ended up buying two from ballard design when they were having a great sale and paid $300 for two benches. The shipping ($150) cost me as much as the benches, but I still feel like I got a great deal.

    Hope your little ones get better quickly!

  18. Sara

    Hope your girls get better fast! It's always so sad and exhausting when they're sick.

    Love this post. I'm glad you think that x-benches are classic, too. I really like them and totally agree that every room needs a good bench ;)! I just got one for my family room that is the darker wooden x, longer in a tufted chambray heather-ish blue linen with nail head trim that I love. I am really liking these metal versions you posted, too! Have to think about those as try to branch out my craftiness into upholstering!

  19. I'm glad this trend hasn't gone away – but I think the cost for these is CRAZY! They're often more than full sized chairs. Glad to see so many great alternatives!
    -SF

  20. Anonymous

    I love the idea of using one long x bench at the foot of the bad – great for helping my older cat get up on to our high bed. I realized that you must be my favorite blogger because I experience something akin to separation anxiety when you don't post! Hope everybody feels better soon.

  21. Anonymous

    Ugh I spotted that fabric on another blog and was trying to find out the maker! Thanks for answering that question for me. I can't believe it's discontinued!! So sad.

    Sorry about your kids. It's exhausting isn't it – for all.

  22. I love the Chinoiserie Nickel stool from Naomi. The slender legs are an elegant twist on the usual chunky base. I found a gorgeous bench on sale at Jonathan Adler over the weekend for $250 and I'm kicking myself for not picking it up!

  23. I am totally obsessed with x benches and was searching for an affordable pair I could re-do when I found two white folding luggage racks at my local antique mall for $18/each! They are the perfect base, just need a top! I plan on putting them at the foot of the bed.

  24. No fun when the kiddies are sick. Take care of yourself!

    Love the x-bench. I have a pair of the sears ones just sitting in my living room waiting for me to recover them!

  25. Anonymous

    my son had the same reaction to his antiobiotic and i thought he had scarlet fever as well – his hives were so bad you couldn't even see his skin, everything was raised. even after those went down he had itches under the skin – poor thing, i feel your pain!

  26. Hope your little one gets better soon! What great options for lower priced X benches! Thanks for sharing.

  27. Thanks for the mention, Jenny!

    I agree, I could use little stools in just about every room.

    So sorry to hear about the girls. I hope everyone is feeling better soon.

    ps- I had strep throat for 4 months last year. We kept thinking it would turn into scarlet fever, but it never did!

  28. I am working on this project right now! I just bought a set of great benches (although not with Xs – really love the lines on the overstock ones) with large scale at a discounter – now just searching for some great fabric and then I'll be adding nail head trim…can't wait to finish the project and enjoy the end result. These are beautiful examples!

  29. Sorry to hear your sweeties were so sick! Hope everyone is on the mend and sleeping through the night!

    Thanks for all the great bench options! Maybe if we all storm sears they'll bring the cheap one!

  30. Trisha

    Watch out for strep yourself! I am sorry to hear the girls have been sick. I hope they feel better soon.

  31. Oh, so sorry to hear about the girls. I've had an allergic reaction to amoxicillin myself. Not fun.

    Love the orange & tweed bench. I'm thinking I need a bit more tweed in my house now!

  32. Jamie

    I hope your girls feel better real soon and you and the hubby recooperate!!! Ive been home with all 3 of my boys… just 2 had fever (thank gd nothing more) and the 3rd HAD TO stay home also ha. I love the x benches esp the ones with the legs with curves.

  33. Anonymous

    I usually lurk…but love your blog.

    With regard to your daughter and the hives…I got them last year and ended in ER twice. Nothing I tried would get rid of them…not even cortisone.

    Finally on the internet I read about combining two meds to get rid of hives and it was a miracle….they were gone in hours!

    The first med is Zantac (an H1 blocker for the stomach) and the other is Atarax (an H2 blocker antihistamine). Apparently when you just take the antihistamine for allergies it just blocks one type of histamine, but if you combine the two, it gets rid of most allergies.

    Anyway….just a suggestion. I feel for anyone who has to deal with the hell that is hives.

    Good luck!

  34. I prefer the unupholstered legs myself. I hope your family starts feeling better soon!

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