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A hall tree is a piece of furniture which is designed to be installed in a hall or entryway for the purpose of providing a space for people to put personal possessions. Hall trees are most commonly found in entries, mudrooms, and other spaces which provide an interface between indoors and outdoors, with people leaving objects at the hall tree when they will not be needed indoors. Especially in a busy household, a hall tree can be an incredibly useful organizing tool, as it keeps a wide assortment of belongings corralled.
The basic hall tree design includes a wide seat attached to a tall back, with a number of projecting hooks. Coats, purses, hats, and scarves can be hung from the hooks on the hall tree, while people can sit on the bench to deal with shoes. In areas with heavy winters where people wear thick boots, being able to sit down to wrestle with shoes is crucial. Typically, the bench also lifts up, allowing people to store things inside.
In many cases, a hall tree does not stop here. Hall trees may also include cubbyholes, shelves, or drawers, allowing people to stash an assortment of small objects like keys, glasses, wallets, pens, and other oddments which may be carried around. A hall tree may also include a rack near the floor to stash briefcases, laptop bags, portfolios, and other large bags, along with a hoop to contain umbrellas, walking sticks, and canes.
Using a hall tree allows people to shed outer garments which may be wet or dirty before entering a home, and it also provides a storage space for such garments. Spare jackets, scarves, and hats can be stashed on a hall tree in case someone needs them, along with other supplies like flashlights and fresh dry socks. For large families, a hall tree often becomes a household hub; people may leave mail and packages on the hall tree, for example, to ensure that people see them.
A traditional hall tree is made from wood, and it may be unfinished, stained, painted, or varnished. Hall trees can be designed in a wide variety of ways to fit in with an assortment of interior design schemes, ranging from austere modern design to ornate Victorian-style décor. It is also possible to find hall trees made from metal and other materials, and some people like to custom-order hall trees with specific features for their households.
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