Shoe Bench seat
A redesign and development
A client came to me with the desire to reproduce and redesign a bench he has in store, which is used by customers when trying on shoes. Its robust frame was brought in from abroad and although sporting a cheaper price tag, the build quality wasn't up to scratch and shipping constraints meant the design of the unit was compromised. I set about reworking the shoe bench, working directly with the independent retailer to produce something this menswear store can rely on.
The old benches in store
Following direct conversations with the client, we received images of the current units in store and a budget price. Admittedly the construction of these units was a bit overkill; a rough 1200x500mm frame manufactured in flat 10mm thick SSS bar, is a little heavy / sturdy to say the least. Given the choice I would've reduced the thickness / width of the bar, or even make the units out of aluminium. Unfortunately they had to match SSS units already in store.
frame assembly structure
The struggle for me when redesigning this unit was ensuring its safety and longevity. The imported original benches had a somewhat cumbersome and uncomfortable wooden top and sub frame (easier to ship). For the new bench the client asked for an all-in-one upholstered top. I was worried that the 20-25mm thickness board used as the base wouldn't be able to handle the weight of the frame so additional holes and lifting instructions were specified.
I love getting involved in projects which require upholstery techniques, it's a refreshing challenge when i've been working with sheet metal so frequently. I sketched out a basic outline of the product, a quick meeting and a few minor tweaks later, I collated a quote and sent fabric samples to the client. After creating a frame drawing he was happy to sign off, I liaised with a local upholsterer. A fairly basic design all in all, the bench sports a simple saddle stitch and wipe clean contract grade material, to ensure its longevity.
I'm pleased with the final outcome of these benches. The tweaks made to the frame to accommodate for the removal of the wooden sub structure and it's horrendous weight load, produced an exceptionally high finish quality. The benches aren't moved around very often so the weight, instead of being a burden on shop staff, acts as a sturdy base for which multiple people can sit on. Take a look at the drawing below, if you have any questions or a similar project that you'd like to discuss then why not drop me an email here.