Re-Nest is proposing a homegrown solution that practically doubles your seating sitch in a matter of moments. It's not going to get you into House Beautiful, but it will keep your guests from balancing gravy-covered plates on the arms of your white sofa.
So what's the secret? Simple: just make sure your chairs are all of even height (shimming shorter ones with books or magazines), then lay a sturdy board across a row of them.
Functional? Definitely. Elegant? Maybe no. But at this time of year, it's more about making room around the table for friends and loved ones than it is about making a furniture fashion statement.
The high-design version of the bench was originally displayed as part of a contemporary art exhibit in Tokyo, but there's no reason you can't pay homage in your own dining room. Just make sure your portly uncle isn't seated on an end.
Set out some of these affordable holiday wines to distract your guests from the fact they're riding the proverbial bench.