Inspired by the questions/comments on/reactions to my recent piece about swapping outdoor shoes for indoor slippers, I’ve decided to use this space to clarify something: I have a shoe bench by the door so guests who are able to and want to take off their shoes can do so more easily. For guests who can’t or don’t want to, a hardy mat is on standby to catch any debris and soak up any water or snow. Sorry to break it to ya, but I’m not some kind of monster who makes family and friends choose between wearing slippers, going barefoot, or leaving.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, back to the shoe bench. I’ve had one from SimpleHouseware (that also makes this genius organizer one of our contributors uses around her apartment) for almost three years now and it’s the most underrated piece of furniture in my house. While most shoe benches just look like regular benches with a hard seat and unused space underneath, this one has a cushion on top for comfort and a two-tiered shoe rack underneath for extra storage. I know it sounds simple and obvious, and you’d assume every shoe bench was designed with these features in mind, but surprise—they’re not. And for someone like me whose older parents and grandparents visit often, these features have become increasingly important.