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Bench Seats
When it comes to exhibit seating, benches typically get a bad rap. That's because more often than not, the word "bench" conjures images of uncomfortable wooden affairs typically crammed against walls or sidelined at sporting events. But these negative notions are utterly undeserved, as benches can be not only comfortable but also stylish and sophisticated. To prove the point, here are six benches that are a far cry from hard or humdrum. By Linda Armstrong

PHOTO: Raul Garcia Photography

It's a "Shoe-in"
Exhibitor: Brooks Sports Inc.
Show: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market
Supplier: Pinnacle Exhibits, Hillsboro, OR, 503-844-4848, www.pinnacle-exhibits.com

Fashioned to look like the bottom of a running shoe, this bench for shoe manufacturer Brooks Sports Inc. is both clever and kind to Mother Nature. That's because the blue, black, and silver bench coverings are actually excess materials from Brooks' footwear factory.

 

Chaisin' Around
Exhibitor: Polart Furniture and Designs
Show: GlobalShop
Supplier: Polart Furniture and Designs, Houston, 956-765-2760, www.polartdesigns.com

This chaise lounge from Polart Furniture and Designs is perfectly at home in a Victorian mansion or a trade show exhibit. Given its internal steel frame and polyurethane covering, the 6-foot-long beauty can handle a delicate swoon or a full-on flop from weary attendees.

 

Curvy Craftsmanship
Exhibitor: Grunding GmbH
Show: EuroShop
Supplier: Grunding GmbH, Apfelstädt, Germany, 49-36202-785420, www.grunding.biz

What do you get when you combine roughly 45 sheets of fiberboard, a dramatic fabric print, and several expert-level routing craftspeople? The answer is this stunning structure for shop-fitting firm Grunding GmbH, which is as much an attraction for the eyes as it is for the seat.

 

Curves Ahead
Exhibitor: Impact XM
Show: EXHIBITORLIVE
Supplier: Cort Events, a subsidiary of Cort Business Services Inc., Las Vegas, 888-710-2525, www.cortevents.com

There's something sensual and inviting about curves. That's why this "curvalicious" concoction for Impact XM performs double duty as comfy furniture and a visual treat. Two Orange Candy Ottomans provide a pop of color within an all-white grouping of low-back, serpentine seating.

 

Neat Retreat
Exhibitor: Holtmann GmbH & Co. KG
Show: EuroShop
Supplier: Holtmann GmbH & Co. KG, Langenhagen, Germany, 49-511-740740, www.holtmann.de

What attendee doesn't want a quiet respite in the middle of the frenetic trade show floor? Featuring neutral hues with a splash of accent colors, this cozy corner bench for exhibit-fabrication firm Holtmann GmbH & Co. KG is a peaceful oasis for the mind and a cushy retreat for the rump.

 

Pop a Wheely
Exhibitor: Slide srl
Show: EuroShop
Supplier: Slide srl, Buccinasco, Italy, 39-2-871-488-2377, www.slidedesign.it

Modern and modular components from Italian design firm Slide srl work overtime as sofas and tables in this EuroShop exhibit. A series of Slide Wheely polyethylene structures in an attention-grabbing color scheme are lined up side by side to create a double-sided bench.
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