Do you see the stool/bench underneath the night table? Its purpose is like a nesting table, individual tables inside one another, providing more surface area for your things. However, unlike a nesting table, the upholstered bench adds another dimension/layer for your eye to look at. The light fabric on the bench breaks up the wood, creates contrast and softens things up. If the bench wasn't there, it wouldn't be as interesting. Now, that is a layer!
We see Tommy do this again in another one of his bedrooms. Now, this could have been purely done for styling purposes, but I tend to doubt it. Here, we see the exact same bench used exactly the same way. Like a nesting table, the bench could easily slide in and out from underneath the table. Practical.
Here is another example of a similar layer (not Tommy Smythe). A round garden stool underneath a night table. The circular shape of the stool breaks up all the straight lines in the room and creates another interesting thing to look at.
Here, in one of Ashley Putman's older bedrooms, we see a bench propped in front of a chest. I think this might've been done strictly for styling purposes, but nevertheless do you see how it adds one more dimension for your eye to study? The white painted bench with the black and white damask fabric creates contrast and adds another page to a virtually all black and white color scheme.
So, do you like layers too? Would you try this in your home? I just posted this idea in bedrooms, but you could try this in any room, really...
All images via pinterest