Bedside Bench

One of the convenient furniture item in bedroom is a bench. When I try to change cloths or socks, sitting on mattress is a bit awkward.

There are variety of bedside bench designs, but the structure itself is quite simple. One piece of long board with four legs is enough to make one. Some of them have elongated legs above the seat to make armrest. Others have storage space underneath the seat that looks like a blanket chest.

The simplest design is the one with two gables instead of four legs. With mitre joints, we can make a clean look bench. To make this clean look, however, we have to overcome two structural problems: sagging and racking. If the thickness of the board is not enough, the seat shall be bent and the mitre joint probably not be strong enough to resist to racking.

One way to overcome those two problems, if we want to use relatively thin board, is to use a stretcher right underneath the seat. Locating in the middle of the seat, this stretcher is out of sight but provides enough strength to support sitter’s weight.

BenchBench-2

Wood: Ash & Walnut, Finish: Varnish Oil

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Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible

Sophie Lovell, Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible, Phaidon Press Inc., 2011

By omitting the unnecessary, says Rams, the essential factors come to the fore: the products become ‘quiet, pleasing, comprehensible and long-lasting’. However to arrive at products with this quality the designer has to travel a very long and difficult path filled with question, trials, discussion and experimentation. The product may be simple but the path taken to create it is highly complex for the ‘true’ product designer.

Classical Chinese Furniture

Marcus Flacks, Classical Chinese Furniture, The Vendome Press, 2012

The preaching daises of the Buddhist monks and the folding stools of the western nomads had a slow, but irrevocable effect on the Chinese… they ushered in raised level seating, eventually leading China to be the only culture in Asia to abandon floor seating.

Ming Furniture in the Light of Chinese Architecture

Sarah Handler, Ming Furniture in the Light of Chinese Architecture, Ten Speed Press, 2005

Most large beds have a canopy, which approximates the walls and roof of a house. Thus, a house within a house. The difference between them is not only size, but also function. The actual house has a floor to stand on. The house within the house was for sitting, sleeping, or making love and conceiving sons. Chinese beds are used for seating during the day and for sleeping at night.