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Why Every Home Needs This Small Piece of Furniture

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image of a $4 thrift store find painted step stool before getting a makeover.

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Decorating ideas showing how to add pretty step stools and small wood stools to the furnishings in any room in your home. Decorating with step stools can be both stylish and functional.  Find out how to decorate them using paint, wallpaper and more, plus where to find them no matter what your home decorating budget is.

When it comes to furnishing our homes to make them comfortable and functional for our needs, we often focus on the big pieces of furniture like sofas, beds, a chest of drawers and dining tables.

But there is one small piece of furniture that you may not have, a piece that every home can benefit in having.

It is the often underrated wood step stool. This small, but versatile household item can come in very handy and it doesn’t have to be utilitarian. It can add both decorative style and functionality to your home.

Read on to find out the reasons why I know every home can benefit from having a decorative wood step stool or two around the house.

IKEA Bekvam Step Stool painted white with black and white houndstooth duck tape covering the steps.

If you have ever found yourself struggling to reach high shelves or cabinets in your home you may already have a step stool.

I have been using this IKEA Bekvam step stool for the last 10 years. It serves as both a practical assistant and a visually pleasing prominent accent placed between my living room and kitchen. It’s like having a functional piece of art right at my fingertips!

If you are a long time reader you may remember my post about how I used decorative duct tape to cover the stool’s steps. At the time, a few readers commented that the tape would never last. Well it has been 10 years! I use it a few times every day and it still looks good, but I am ready to give it a new look.

Over the years, when needed, I take this step stool upstairs when I can’t reach the top shelf in a guest room closet where I keep all my linens.

When my 4-1/2 old granddaughter, Zoe was visiting over the holidays, I found myself taking the stool upstairs every day so she could reach the top of the sink vanity in the bathroom to wash her hands and brush her teeth.

To make the sink tasks easier for her since she was staying with us for 5 weeks, I figured it was finally time to go in search for another step stool to keep on the second floor.

Serena & Lily teak wood step stool with white accents.
Serena & Lily

I have had my eye on this Serena & Lily Teak Step Stool for a long time. It is a lower style step stool – (13″ high). It comes in 3 finishes, but it is pricey.

Thrift store find wood step stool painted in neon colors, stripes and dots waiting for a makeover.

To save money, Zoe and I took a trip to my favorite thrift store to find a more affordable option. We were in luck. We found this one for $4.00.

Zoe thought it was perfect just as we found it. I didn’t, but waited until she went home after the holidays to paint it to fit the color scheme I use in the rooms on the second floor.

After photo of a Thrift store wood step stool painted with Navy blue chalk paint. Placed in front of a white bathroom vanity.

As I mentioned above, step stools do not have to be utilitarian or hidden away when not in use. They can be a charming little helper prominently displayed, not only to provide a boost for reaching high places, but also to double as decor or an accent element in any room.

Navy blue wood step stool to stand on to get to high shelf in storage closet.

The blue paint color on the thrift store find step stool also coordinates with the blue plaid guest room where I will be using it from now on to give me a boost to reach the top shelf in the closet.

When we moved to the lake house in SC, I removed the monogram and it became a place for Ed to sit in his closet so he could easily put his shoes on.

Decorative wood step stools and sit-on-stools are very versatile. Their use can go beyond helping you reach higher.

Serena & Lily blue and green bedroom showing a step stool by the bed.
Serena & Lily

A step stool can also be used next to a high bed in the room to help you climb up and get in.

IKEA Bekvam Step Stool painted white with black and white houndstooth duck tape covering the steps.

Both step stools and chair height sit-on-stools can become:

  • a place to hold books or magazines
  • a plant stand
  • a side table to hold a stack of books
  • a nightstand

A wood sit-on-stool is easy to carry from room to room. Since it is small it can fit in tight spaces and provide extra seating when needed at a crowded dining table or around a coffee table in a living room.

IKEA BEKvam wood step stool in its natural state.
IKEA Bekvam – 19.6″ high

This IKEA Bekvam Wood Stool is the one I have. It comes in natural or white. I like it best because it is sturdy, dependable and affordable.


Any wood stool can be stained, painted, stenciled, wall-papered or embellished in any way you come up with to fit your style and coordinate with a room’s decor.

Opt to make a statement and let your personality shine.

Where To Look For Wood Stools

If you see either a wood step stool or a sit-on-stool at a yard sale or thrift store, don’t overlook it as I am sure you can find many uses for one in your home.

If you can’t find one you like when out and about, you can also find many stylish step stools online.

Stylish Wood Step Stools

Whether you’re stepping up your decor game with a wooden stool, embracing the casual charm of a low stool, or simply wanting to elevate the style of a room, remember that decorating is all about expressing your personality. Do what feels right.

Now that you know you don’t have to hide a step stool in a closet until you need it, look around your home and consider adding a decorative and functional wood step stool or sit-on-stool to a room or rooms in your home.

More Decorating With Stool Ideas

Navy blue painted wood step stool placed in front of a white sink vanity in a bathroom. Text overlay says - Decorating Ideas Usind Step Stools

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