10 Underrated Pieces of Furniture Designers Actually Love

<p><a href="https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/">Emily Henderson Design</a> / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp</p>

Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

When it comes to designing a space, there are certain items that seem to get all the attention. In the living room, it's most likely the sofa, while in the bedroom it's no surprise that a well-designed, comfortable bed is important for a functional, beautiful space. But what about those underrated furniture pieces—the ones that add character, storage, ease, or some vintage charm? We sat down with designers to learn about the underrated furniture pieces they swear by.

Storage Ottoman

What's not to love about an ottoman with storage? Jenny Williamson of West Rose Design views them as a staple in most of her designs because of their versatility.

"They provide additional seating and a place to stack other items," Williamson says. "They're also typically lightweight and can be easily moved."

Antique Bar

Whether you live in a new-build or a turn-of-the-century home, there's nothing like a grand antique piece to infuse both a sense of personality and history. Caroline Dedeker of Cedar & Oak recently sourced an antique bar for a client and it's one of the most talked about pieces in their home.

"A bar provides effortless functionality between two spaces without there having to be an actual separation," she says. "Sourcing a timeless bar piece that adds character and storage is a win-win in our book."

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A Distinct Console

While a distinctive console table may feel impossible to find, Taylor Shanahan of Redmond Aldrich Design is always on the hunt for the perfect one.

"We are constantly [looking] for consoles to live behind a sofa, in a living room, or next to the entryway as a drop-zone," Shanahan says. "In another life, I would probably own a shop that only sells consoles."

A Coffee Table Cluster

For Jessica Neilas of Thoughtform Design Build and Wolfe, there is nothing better than a coffee table cluster.

"By doing a cluster of tables and ottomans in different sizes, you can really play with different heights and materials that add articulation, character, and function," she says.

When it comes to creating a cluster, she suggests layering complementary materials.

"I love including pieces 18 inches high for seating because it's an inviting way to get people to sit in the middle of the room and use the space differently. Another advantage to this approach is that it is not only more interesting visually but the clusters can be broken up and the pieces can become dispersed casual seating," Neilas says.

Drink Tables

The drink table is a designer favorite when it comes to underrated pieces. Christina Clark, interior designer at Clayton Korte, loves a dainty drink table.

"They can round out any sitting area, no matter how small," she says.

Designer Allison Jaffe loves to place a drink table "next to accent chairs so that you never have to reach to put your drink down."

Neilas is also a big fan of a traditional telephone table, commonly seen in post-modern era furniture.

"They would consist of a cute perch, sometimes upholstered, specifically designed with a surface for an old-school telephone and maybe a drink or an ashtray, and some included a drawer for one's telephone book," Neilas says.

A Dressing Stool or Bench

Clark views a dressing stool or bench as a must-have design element.

"Use at the end of the bed for hidden storage or as a convenient place for putting shoes on in the morning or taking them off at the end of the day," Clark says.

Designer Jill Lagom agrees about utilizing a bench as both a functional piece and an elegant statement.

"I love using benches in small spaces for extra storage," Logam says." For example, I used a bench in a guest room I designed to act as luggage storage."

Games or Novelty Items as Art

When it comes to making your home look stylish, a marble chessboard is the way to go.

"It will add a playful sophistication," Lagom says.

Not a fan of chess? What about a gumball machine or a record play in a color that compliments the ones already used in your decor?

"Pro tip: hit up your local thrift store for cheap, awesome records," Lagom says. "You can also buy one or two classics on Amazon."

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Instruments That Double as Furniture and Decor

You don’t have room for a piano and a desk? You shouldn’t have to sacrifice creativity for practicality. Lagom loves to use instruments throughout a space as decor or even furniture.

Her suggestions? "Use a piano with a deep fallboard as a desk," she says. "Hang your electric guitar on the the wall as art."

Twin Beds

When it comes to multifunctional rooms like a guest room that also doubles as a home office, Lagom suggests a twin bed.

"When you set up a twin, it’s compact and can act as a daybed so you can use the room as an office," she says.

Secretary Desk

A secretary desk is a classic piece for any home, just ask Aileen Jackson of Jackson Warren Interiors.

"A secretary is so underrated. It's a pretty piece when folded up, but can it open to function as a workspace—we love a hardworking piece of furniture," she says.

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Read the original article on The Spruce.