A hallway tree bench is a piece of furniture designed for use in a hallway or entryway. Its design features a bench seat, often with storage space beneath it, and a tall backboard with coat hooks, a mirror, or other decorative and functional features on it. The top of the backboard often features a shelf or cubby holes for storage of commonly used items, and some hallway tree bench designs include wicker baskets that fit inside the cubbies to act as drawers. These units are particularly useful in entryways where people commonly sit to take off or put on shoes.
The specific design of a hallway tree bench can vary significantly, but the basic components are just about always present: a bench seat with a tall backing. The seat of the bench is very often hinged at the back to allow a user to pull up the seat to access the storage space beneath, and the seat may or may not be upholstered for extra cushion and comfort. The backboard is very often solid wood, and it may or may not be decoratively carved or otherwise constructed. A full-length mirror is a common addition to the hallway tree bench backboard, though it is not always a feature. Some mirrors may also be half-length or shorter, and some bench units may feature no mirror at all.
It is very common to find coat hooks affixed to the backboard for storage of coats, scarves, and other garments. These hooks are often present in lieu of a mirror, since any coats hanging from the hooks would block the view of the mirror. Other designs account for this problem by placing the hooks on either side of the mirror rather than across the span of the backboard. These hooks may be on the side of the backboard as well to further expand the usefulness of the unit.
Shelves may or may not be present on the hallway tree bench. If they are present, they are usually built across the top of the backboard for storage of hats, gloves, and other items. The shelf may be a simple, straight unit, or it may be a series of cubbies, in which items may be stored or baskets may be placed to act as drawers. Some benches do not feature shelves at all, opting for the top of the unit to be a mirror, coat hooks, or simply bare wood.