I think that the unsung heroes of a home are all of our tiniest pieces: the stools and bins and task chairs that float around our living space, offering themselves up as a place to put on shoes or to pull up an extra spot at the table for a friend. And still, what small furniture might do the best is give a home dimension.
Think about the way a bench placed at the end of a bed "finishes" the room. It's a object positioned to demonstrate your style, but also your intention: This room has been decorated.
Besides the bedroom bench, there are a dozen other ways to do the layered look. More than that, actually. But here are 12 to get you started:
Above in The Sunny Sweet-Scented Studio of P.F. Candle Co., a pair of short ottomans sit stacked in the corner of the room waiting for a foot or a drink to rest on them.
A small stool by the sofa in Lori & Ken's Modern Calgary Home acts as a sometimes side table, coffee table, extra seating, or a place to put your feet up.
A pair of poufs sit right under the glass-topped coffee table in this home on Style Me Pretty Living, ready to be pulled out for an unexpected guest.
A stool is a great way to anchor a tall-ish table, like in this shot from Jessica & Milo Living Large in a Small Space, even if nobody ever sits there.
A stool can also offer an extra place to store things when it's placed under a console table like this one spotted on My Domaine.
In the bedroom, consider a structured pouf instead of a foot bench, like this one from Jess' Colorful Urban Townhouse.
In Chad and Dave's Modern Dream Home, the foot of the bed is home to a sturdy metal bin filled with extra pillows and blankets.
Consider dropping an occasional chair on the other side of your nightstand in the bedroom, like here in Baiyina's Sophisticated 'Paris Meets Los Angeles' Home. It's the perfect place to lay out tomorrow's outfit or sit down to tie your shoes.
Another great spot for a getting ready chair is beside the dresser, as seen here in House of Hipsters' home tour.
If your dining table's layout won't allow for proper chairs at the end, like here in Maxwell's space from Better Homes & Gardens, keep a stool nearby. It can act as in-a-pinch seating or another surface to set a dish down.
In John & Jo's Cruisy Modern Australian Home, a small stool next to an entryway console adds style, decoration and utility, should anybody need to pop down for a sit.
And in Liz's Playful Chicago Retreat, she layers her entryway table with... another table. The layering works here especially, since the lucite table visually disappears against the wall.