10 Pieces of Furniture

10 pieces of furniture no home should be without, by Barbara Karth.

1. A pair of matching chairs:
2. A square game table and four chairs
3. A medium-sized chest
4. A console table
5. A large storage ottoman
6. An occasional table
7. A stool-cum-table
8. A bench
9. Decorative yet functional screens
10. An antique or vintage piece

I won’t necessarily agree with all of them, but I do appreciate the suggested uses for each piece. Most of them seemed very practical and versatile. One could imagine moving from dwelling to dwelling and each piece ends up gaining a new life, a new function. As if a loyal friend that had followed us through life¡¯s thick and thin, remained a reassuring presence that connected our life stories together like the thread of a pearl necklace.

3. A medium-sized chest: A chest can stand alone in a foyer providing a reliable hideaway for keys and cell phones, gloves, scarves and hats. In the dining room, it becomes a small server; in the living room, an end table; and in the bedroom, a bedside table. Move it to the breakfast room for storing table linens or the bathroom for stowing towels.

5. A large storage ottoman: Families with young children can eliminate those unsightly bumpers around the coffee table with a large ottoman in place of a coffee table. One with a top cushion can open for generous interior storage. It doubles as a hideaway for toys and, as the children grow, it becomes a repository for games. For relaxing, use the ottoman to elevate tired feet. For less casual use, place a large tray on it to stabilize coffee cups or martini glasses.

8. A bench: The bench can complete a conversation grouping or act as a finishing touch in many different areas, including the foyer or at the foot of a bed. Because a bench has no back or skirt, it is a see-through piece that can easily be placed in front of a fireplace or an expanse of glass without blocking the view.