Telephone Table Bench Seat

You know those old-fashioned telephone tables? Like this one….

Most of them have good bones and smart lines (and can be found super-cheap!) and I’ve seen lots of them looking great once made-over though the utilitarian function is some-what defunct nowadays with everyone having cordless phones and the like so I thought I’d do a little re-purposing….

First, I removed the screwed-on drawer (don’t worry, I didn’t just throw it away – I’m keeping it for a rainy day) and old chair pad then painted the base crisp white.

Then on with some jute webbing. Kinda like this….

Next, a layer of foam wrapped in some thick wadding followed by a piece of cute fabric (taupe and cream ticking stripe in my case).

I pulled, stretched and staple-gunned the fabric into place before trimming away any excess and hot-gluing a length of braid trim around the whole bench to conceal the staples.

Some covered buttons were then added for that finishing touch.

So, from this…

To this…

Some co-ordinating pillows and a throw rug really make for a cute ensemble.

The throw is plain taupe polar fleece trimmed with the matching ticking fabric and the cushions have simple faux envelope fronts dressed with some more covered buttons.

In the pic below you can see the braid trim and fabric. To give the base a bit of extra character and a slightly more relaxed feel I lightly distressed the edges.

Here’s the set in my parent’s guest bedroom….

I know as a tutorial this is kinda vague (sorry!) though I didn’t take any step-by-step photos because, to be honest, this was the first project of its kind that I’d ever attempted and I really didn’t know just quite what I was doing and how it might end up (plus who knows if I did it the ‘proper’ way anyway!).

If you wanna give something similar a go though are a little hesitant, seriously, just go for it. Let’s face it, I could hardly have made it look much worse!


  1. So clever! The lines of the cabriolet legs are great. So perfect as a bench!

  2. Wow, I am so impressed, that is absolutely stunning! I have a soft spot for those old phone tables too, although currently I seem to be acquiring the wrought iron scrolly-type ones, I nearly have one ready to reveal actually (just waiting for a decent day to spray paint one last coat of white – might be waiting a while since it is now winter in my part of the world!)
    xx Karen

  3. Hi, me again, just checked your profile and see you are kind of in ‘my part of the world’ as well, lol. Nice to see someone closer to home as most of the blogs I read are American ones :)
    xx Karen
    ps. I wonder if a coffee table with queen anne legs would work as a bench seat? I have one waiting in my ‘to-do’ pile….

  4. Heidi says:

    That is a great makeover! I love the fabric you chose.

  5. Sarah B says:

    It really looks fabulous, and in a perfect possy too!

  6. Anita says:

    I really like how this turned out. I will keep my eye out for these! Karen, I think a coffee table would work also!

  7. Karen, course you could upholster the top of a coffee table too :-) The only difference (in regard to this particular project) would be the buttoning. Unless you removed the table top or cut a big hole in it you wouldn’t have a way to pull the buttons down to create the slight indentations. Though if you weren’t fussed about having buttoning you could just slap some foam straight on the table top!

  8. Angela says:

    That looks super!! and the pillows and throw just finish up that room!

  9. Annastacia says:

    I love this! It’s absolutely darling gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the how to, I just might try it!

  10. Jenny says:

    Hi Kristine, It looks great and I love the fabric you have chosen. Thanks also for sharing how you made it. I have only recently worked out how you do the button indents.

  11. Super cute! Good to know you can just remove that drawer. Where do you get the jute tape?? Do you just staple that on? Cool!!

  12. Flaviana says:

    I honestly think this is one of the most perfect makeovers I’ve ever seen!
    You did an excellent job,it’s gorgeous!
    xxx Flaviana

  13. Amazing transformation Kristine you are very clever. I’ll keep my eyes open for a similar table to transform. Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. Hattie says:

    Wow! I love the bench, I love the room, and I love that you thought of taking one of those tables apart. I would have never thought of that! Awesome job!

  15. Great job, Kristine! I don’t think you need an in-depth tutorial on this as you explained it pretty well. : ) I had wondered if the padded bench went the whole length or if it stopped by the tabletop. It looks longer to me with the top piece off. It makes for a nice piece at the end of the bed.

  16. Pretty ingenuitive use of an obsolete type of furniture! Nice job!

  17. You are so clever Kristine. The repurpose of the telephone table is ingeneous. I love it, I am always so inspired by you projects! xx

  18. this bench just makes me wish we lived closer. so i could come steal it when you weren’t looking! i LOVE it! i love the color, shape, and the creativity it took you to get there. fantastic.

  19. TidyMom says:

    Looks FABULOUS!! Thanks for linking up and sharing!

  20. Margaret says:

    I was feeling guilty that I turned a very ugly Ethan Allen early 20th C. telephone bench that my grandma had into a table with a plaster top–until I saw your post, and now I feel much better! Whew! I do like my table now, and I am thankful that Grandma saw fit to keep it for me, even though I’m sure she’d be baffled by my ability to re-purpose a ‘perfectly good bench.’

  21. Kyandra says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us Kristine. I have been wanting to make something like this for the end of my bed but never thought of using a telephone table. It looks amazing as usual. Have a great weekend Kym X

  22. What a great idea. Benches can be so expensive, great option.

  23. Shirley says:

    I love this type of makeover and have been looking at some different ways people are doing them so I can re-do a piece I have here at home! Great job. :-)

  24. Shaunna says:

    i LOVE this project of yours! I still love looking at your parents guest bedroom!! :) Thanks for all your sweet comments this week on the playroom and mirror! -shaunna

  25. Coming over to Follow you and so glad I did!~ Love the new bench!!! It is just perfect!

  26. That is one sweet looking bench! Those lines are incredible. You’d better watch that it stays put should any bench lover come wandering over for a visit!


  27. danemi1 says:

    oh my goodness – thats beautiful – who would have thought it could look so different – well done you – shall certainly be coming back for more – thank you


  28. Hi Kristine
    I am glad to find your blog. I saw your work on ebay. I admire your work. beautiful. You inspire me. Thank you for sharing your work.
    Julie xx

  29. Marla says:

    I love the striped ticking you chose, it looks very chic. Way to go.

  30. I love it! Well done.

  31. Wow that looks amazing! I would love to feature this next week on Favorite Things Friday! Stop by if you would like a featured button!

  32. good grief! this bench is fabulous! and I love your new blog banner ( I haven”t been around for a while) everything looks great! -denise

  33. WOW!!! It looks great! I always love your work. You are so talented. Have a great day.

  34. Pam says:

    What a great little bench you’ve remade; yeah! Love the simplistic look of the classic ticking fabric. You made this bench worthy of sitting a spell again. :) Pam @ Sallygoodin

  35. Jolie says:

    Beautiful! I would like to know how you attached the jute tape webbing also.

  36. Hey girlies. Thanks for the lovely comments. I use tacks (and a hammer) to attach the webbing to the timber frame as it’s kinda thick and hard for standard-ish staples to penetrate effectively. It’s a little time-consuming (and can be finger punishing!) though not too bad.

  37. rosie says:

    Wow-a beautiful result from a modest beginning! I love the idea of the jute webbing under the upholstery. I have a chair that is awaiting some reworking and this may be just the thing it needs.

  38. Alison says:

    Kristine what a great makeover. Such a clever idea

  39. Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog. Your bench seat looks fantastic. I have bypassed many of these telephone stands in the op shops – I will be looking at them more closely from now on! You have a wonderful blog with gorgeous images. I’m now following and look forward to your next post. Michelle

  40. Patti says:

    bench came out great but what really caught my eye were the pillows…love the detail on them!

  41. Atticmag says:

    Nice job. You have a natural talent for this. Please do tell us what happened to the top of the phone bench. You thinking charging station? Hope you’ll have time to stop by and see our kitchen. Jane F.

  42. How clever of you to transform this old telephone bench into a “now” work of art. I love your fabric chose.. hugs ~lynne~

  43. What an amazing transformation! You are so clever!

  44. I love it…thank you for the nice comment on my blog. I am going to steal…er borrow, the idae to trim out an old throw. I’m glad you found me now I can enjoy your blog, too.

  45. Beautiful! How clever.

  46. What a stunning transformation! It looks fabulous at the end of the bed. Amazing work! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase! I greatly appreciate it! Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  47. Love the fabric and pillows. Are you going to show how to do those lovely pillows?
    oh…. I found a link to your blog (and mine too!) on a RUSSIAN website. I’m sending the site and I also translated it with Babelfish translator. Thought you might get a kick out of this. Too funny!

  48. Christine says:

    Wow! What a transformation, it looks gorgeous and a beautiful addition to the room! Thanks so much for sharing, I think I’ll keep my eye out for one on my op shop travels! Christine

  49. Elyse says:

    love your color + fabric choices = brilliant!


  50. Kristy says:

    You’ve done it again! How do take something so blah and turn into to chic?

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