We have a great deal of storage behind the settees - including a hanging locker that is one of the upper cabinets and behind a seat back combined. The builder provided a canvas liner to keep whatever's stored there off the hull surface, works well.
Not seen in todays boats because they seem to be going for spaciousness and open volume.. our boat's interior is small by todays' standards because all this outer storage forces the settees towards the middle of the boat, limiting "floor space". But this current trend to open things up definitely impacts practical storage below, and creates some fairly long falling hazard distances (when heeled) often with minimal handholds....
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)