Review of Martha Stewart Living Storage Bench

The bench is attractive and easy to assemble. Photo © Guide

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Needing an economical yet sturdy storage bench for a girl's room that I am decorating, I ran across the Martha Stewart storage bench at Home Depot. I purchased it because the size was perfect for the space, and at less than $70, it was an affordable choice.

The Martha Stewart storage bench assembled and performed well. However, if you have the time to hunt, better storage benches are available for the price.

Assembly

The instructions were easy to follow. I had no trouble assembling it and did not need an extra hand. The only tool required that was a bit out of the ordinary was a short-handled screwdriver.*

One thing I was very dissatisfied with was the attachment of the back panel. Brad nails were included to attach the back panel, but I used wood glue to strengthen the bond, as nails tend to pull out of chipboard very easily. (See photo.)

*Note: In the current PDF instructions located at the product webpage at Home Depot online, this tool is no longer listed as needed for assembly. Instead, a "right angled screwdriver" is included. Depending upon which storage bench you happen to purchase, you may or may not need this tool.

Appearance

The piece looked nice once assembled except for a few minor details. The cushion must be in place. Otherwise, exposed screws on the seat's surface are very noticeable.

Also, there is a small gap between the kick plate on the front of the bench and the bottom panel. This is not very noticeable, but a tighter fit would make the kick plate more stable and increase support.

Accessories

Home Depot also sells Martha Stewart Living fabric storage boxes that compliment the bench.

I purchase three to fit within the cubbies of this bench. In regards to width and height, the fabric storage boxes fit perfectly into the cubbies. However, the bench is several inches deeper than the storage boxes. (See photo.) This isn't a problem in most cases, but I can see that it would be easy for small toys or other small items to be lost in the extra space behind the storage box.

Usage

Overall, the bench seems fairly sturdy and provides good storage capacity, along with a nice place for a child or small adult to sit briefly. However, the bench is too small to comfortably hold a large adult. And I wouldn’t expect this particleboard piece to last for years and years. If one could afford the time to search, better made storage benches can be found for the price.

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Pros

  • Easy for one person to assemble with basic tools.
  • Finish is a nice, neutral white.
  • Storage capacity is generous.
  • Cubbies are standard size and should fit a variety of containers.
  • Cushion (included) is a nice, neutral color.

Cons

  • Don't plan on using this without the cushion unless you don't mind screws showing.
  • Back of bench is unfinished, so must be used against a wall.
  • Currently only sold at Home Depot.
  • Quality is only moderate for the price.
  • Bench is too small and construction too lightweight for a large adult or heavy usage.

Manufacturer Description

MFG Brand Name: Martha Stewart Living
MFG Model Number: 4903
Primary Construction: Particle Board/Composite Filler
Overall bench dimensions are 21-inches high x 35-inches wide x 14-inches deep.
Bottom storage cubbies are 11-inches high x 10.5-inches wide x 11.75-inches deep.

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