The classic arrangement of a sofa and armchairs with a coffee table in between will never go out of style, but substitute an upholstered footstool and the effect is gentler and cosier; somewhere you’ll be more comfortable putting your feet up. There are no hard edges to bump into either, so they’re great if you have children around.
Pick one with a firm, flat top, and you can still use it like a table to display books, flowers, tea trays and even scented candles (as long as there’s a protective surface underneath). Or, if you prefer one with deep cushioning, use a tray to give you a sturdy surface.
Another idea is to replace the side tables that sit beside a sofa with small footstools, such as cube or drum shapes. Because they’re designed to be lightweight and portable, they’re more versatile – designs like our Milo drum stool, with its leather handle, are easily carried to wherever they’re needed. They can be handy at the dining table, for instance, as holding spots for books and magazines – even an extra seat.
When it comes to fabrics, a colour contrast with the rest of your seating will draw the eye, so footstools don’t get lost among bigger pieces of furniture. They’re a great way to add a little pattern to a room without it feeling too heavy, but choose a hard-wearing material like leather or wool for anything you plan to use like a table.