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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Vintage Church Pew | French Country Dining Seating

Sunday, January 20, 2019


A vintage church pew provides extra seating for family dinners around a French country style pine table. But extra seating for meals is not the only reason a long church pew is handy to have. 


Vintage church pew as extra seating for family dinners
A L-O-N-G simple wood church pew is not easy to fit into a furniture arrangement. A little creative thinking is needed to find a functional, but not in-the-way location. 



V I N T A G E   C H U R C H   P E W 

French Country Dining Seating 


Vintage church pew as extra seating for family dinners
For meals with extended family members, we needed lots of seating and only had six dining chairs for several years for the long pine table. An inexpensive alternative to buying chairs was buying a vintage church pew. 

Within a year of being in our new house, a friend's mother gave her a long (8' 9") vintage wood church pew she got in a fire sale. In fact, she bought three pews, one for each of her three daughters ... my friend and her two sisters. 

An old church building in her hometown of Midland, TX burned, but volunteers were able to salvage a few of the pews from the burned building. Most of the pews were damaged too badly to use, and the church decided to sell those still usable. 

The only place large enough in my friend's house for the pew was in the middle of her living floor. The pew was in the way. 



Vintage church pew as extra seating for family dinners
After rethinking the furniture arrangement in my open living/dining room, I found a spot for the pew in my house! 

My friend sold me the pew. She and her family were some of our friends who gathered around our pine dining table, and she knew we needed more places to seat people at the table. 

The pew sits back-to-back with the living room sofa and faces the dining table made from reclaimed pine boards from England. 

And that is where the pew and sofa(s) have sat for over thirty years. 

Cameo appearance: Indiana Jones, the cat, is staring out the French doors. 



Vintage church pew as extra seating for family dinners
With the table in the center of the dining area, there is a pathway between the table and the pew. For more room when the table is not needed for eating, we move the table close to the window wall which gives a wider pathway. 

Years ago when we had large crowds for meals, we moved the table close to the church pew. Four or more adults and children would squeeze together on the pew.  

We now have a mismatched collection of ten chairs for the large pine table and do not need to use the pew for seating at meals.  



Vintage church pew is indispensable for many reasons
Over the years, we have found many other uses for the pew. So many uses, the pew sometimes becomes the catch-all for clutter. 

We keep a quilted cotton throw on it which is handy for naps on the couch. 

When a crowd of girlfriends come for bridge or book club, the pew holds their handbags, coats, and sundry packages. 

The space under the pew is tall enough to store my country crocks and a basket of books. 

Pillows, changed for the seasons, are always on the pew. 

The pew is a perfect place for throwing a large load of clean towels and sheets that need folding. 

Did I mention clutter? 

At one end is a wire basket with Christmas star decorations ready to transport upstairs for storing. 



Vintage church pew is good for holding wrapped Christmas presents
But, my favorite things on the church pew today?  

A French country wire basket holding Christmas presents awaiting a late delivery. 

While we no longer use the vintage church pew for meals, the pew has become indispensable in other ways.  

~~~~❦~~~~


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10 comments:

  1. I love the way you have accessorized it and it is so useful too.

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  2. Beautiful!! I have always wanted an old church pew and never have been able to find a place. Behind the couch is a great idea!

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  3. Pews are great to decorate with and often require a second look because they are unexpected. I have also seen some shorter ones too. The one you have is gorgeous.

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  4. Very clever use of the church pew, especially the storage beneath!

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  5. The church pew looks lovely in your home and I love that you know its history which makes it all the more special.

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  6. I love your pew! It looks beautiful back to back with your couch and with the pretty pillows!

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  7. I'm thoroughly charmed! -michele

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  8. I have always wanted a pew - you styled yours beautifully.

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  9. I love your pew and how you're using it now! Back to back with the sofa is such a great idea, better than having a sofa table there.

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  10. A silver lining out of a tragedy ~ a wonderful blessing that a few of that particular church's pews were saved from the fire. I do like a pew and have been looking for a small four footer as I like to have a nice seat to put on my shoes, close to the front door.

    Enjoyed this story immensely,
    Hugs,
    Barb :)

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