What is a Settle?

A settle is a traditional wooden bench with a high back and armrests.


A settle is a traditional piece of furniture that originated in the Middle Ages, embodying a blend of functionality and rustic charm. It is typically constructed from wood and is characterized by its high back, armrests, and often a built in box seat for storage. The high back not only serves a practical purpose by providing support and comfort but also adds an architectural element to the design, transforming a simple bench into a more significant piece of furniture.

Over time, the design of settles has evolved, adapting to the changing tastes and requirements of different eras. However, traditional settles remain popular for their timeless appeal, robust construction, and the warmth they bring to interiors. They are most commonly found in spaces that embrace a historical periods and movements|historical, country, or rustic interior design theme.

In contemporary interiors, settles can be reimagined with modern materials or finishes, blending the old with the new and offering versatile seating solutions for entryways, living rooms, and dining areas. The storage space under the seat is particularly useful in homes seeking to maximize efficiency and organization.


Traditionally, settles were used in homes to provide seating by the fireplace, offering warmth and comfort. Today, they are versatile pieces that can add character to various settings, from a cozy nook in a living room to functional seating in a mudroom.


  • Can a settle be incorporated into modern interior design?

    Yes, a settle can be incorporated into modern interior design by selecting pieces with contemporary lines and materials, allowing it to blend seamlessly with a more modern aesthetic.

  • Are all settles made of wood?

    While traditional settles are primarily made of wood, modern variations can incorporate different materials, such as metal or upholstered elements, to fit various interior styles.

  • Can the storage space in a settle be customized?

    Yes, the storage space in a settle can be customized to suit individual needs, ranging from simple open storage under the seat to more sophisticated solutions like drawers or cabinets.

Practical Application

When incorporating a settle into your interior design, consider the style and material that best complements your space. For a traditional look, choose a wooden settle with classic design elements. For a more modern approach, look for settles with clean lines and innovative materials. Utilize the storage space to maintain a clutter-free environment, making it a perfect addition to entryways for storing shoes, umbrellas, or seasonal items.