A Designer Shares His Go-To Decorating Fix
See what makes his choice the most versatile piece of furniture you can own
Ever wonder why designers, decorators and stylists are so in love with stools? Because they do more than you expect by serving multiple purposes in virtually any space in the home. Read on to learn why so many photo-perfect homes include a petite stool or two — and why your home should too.
The humble stool is a designer’s secret weapon for a number of reasons. The obvious appeal is that stools can tuck off to the side of a room out of the way when not in use, then be brought in for extra seating as needed. But they’re also beautiful in their simplicity and are great for adding a little silhouette of color to a room when wall space isn’t available for hanging artwork, as shown here.
It’s amazing how much function is packed into a miniature stool. The example here shows how a tiny stool takes the place of a coffee table, creating an airy living space while also providing a spot for a drink, a place to rest one’s feet or an extra seat when the party arrives.
Choose a stool with straight legs and an overhanging top to create a cocktail table that tucks right against a sofa, overlapping the top cushion. Nesting stools, like those shown here, double your seating and table surface options.
Designers love Chinese garden stools for their elegant appearance and incredible functionality. Use one as a stunning cocktail table or stool that can move closer to the action as needed.
Plush, upholstered stools offer a great footrest or extra seat during movie night, and can act as a table for snacks or games with the addition of a tray or a book.
In an open-concept home, using low-slung backless stools at the kitchen island or peninsula lends extra flexibility. In a pinch these can move into the living area to be used as extra seating or cocktail tables. Choose leggy versions in a powder-coated metal to add a punch of color that will cheer up any space, especially a rental unit where adding art to walls might be an issue.
Stools help bring character to a room. I love how the gold stools in this cozy nook add a sculptural, glam element. You almost forget they can be used for seating.
Against a window bench — in a living room, den or even a teen bedroom — a pair of stools can give you a place to set down a drink, book or tablet, then be pulled out for guest seating during a casual hangout.
A stool is a great compact addition to a spa-like bathroom. It gives you a handy place to drop a towel or rest a wine glass, and it can add a sense of welcome to a chilly space. Look for inviting woods, or hot colors like orange or yellow, for a little warmth.
Keep a few stackable stools on hand for indoor-outdoor dinner parties (or pull one out from the bathroom) and you’ll always have room for one more.
Cluster a few stools together and add a piece of glass, a rough plank of wood or an old door to create a fun cocktail table. When patio weather is over, you can bring the stools back inside to use anywhere.
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