In writer Nancy Hoguet's family home—the Rothschilds' hunting lodge, nestled deep in an Austrian forest, which we featured in our July print edition—a petite desk hovers between two twin beds. "If you look at that window, you'll see that it opens [to the] inside and would hit anything right in front of it," Hoguet explains, so as a practical matter they moved the desk a few feet back. The result is at once charming and ingenious—keeping the room from feeling overstuffed, the perfect perch for getting lost in a book. In a small room, the tendency is often to shove all furniture up against the walls in an attempt to reclaim those few square feet of "space" right in the middle. Some of the most functional layouts, however, make use of floating furniture: Position a piece (or a grouping of them) in the middle of a room, and you'll more efficiently use that square footage (so long as there's enough room to get around it, of course). Here are some of our favorite examples of floating furniture to inspire your own