(The Washington Post)

Benches can add practical seating, comfort and design to any part of the house, from the entryway to the back patio, designer Celia Welch says.

Welch, who owns the Bethesda design firm Celia Welch Interiors, likes benches for their multifunctionality and simplicity in design. Depending on the color, fabric and texture, they can fit any room — a plush, upholstered piece in a bedroom or a rustic wood bench in the garden — and provide multiple functions.

Here are some of her top picks:

(Dwell, CB2)

SPLURGE: Smilow rush bench, short (store.dwell.com), left. SAVE: Wrap bench, large ottoman (cb2.com).

(YLiving, Maine Cottage)

SPLURGE: Originals love seat in black (yliving.com), left. SAVE: Margaret bench in Blackbird (mainecottage.com).

(Layla Grace, Room and Board)

SPLURGE: Arteriors Zephyr leather bench (laylagrayce.com), left. SAVE: 58-inch Portica leather bench in black (roomandboard.com).

(RH Modern, Blu Dot)

SPLURGE: Italia leather bench in Italian Milano pewter leather and matte brass finish, small (rhmodern.com), left. SAVE: Bank mink velvet bench with brass finish(bludot.com).

(Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, World Market)

SPLURGE: Kira cocktail ottoman with white tibetan fur(mgbwhome.com), left. SAVE: Faux flokati upholstered bench (worldmarket.com).

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