Since we've moved into this house (more than six months ago now!), I've wanted a bench to put by the front door so people can sit comfortably while putting on or taking off their shoes. While I originally pictured a wooden bench, this one from Target caught my eye today.
I'd never realized there was a such thing as a 'hall tree,' either, but there were several of those online too. It's sort of a combined spot to hang things up, sit down. and store things underneath. Basically they extended the back of the seat to be exceptionally tall, and put hooks there. Nifty.
So a hall tree could work pretty well where I'm picturing it too, but I think that was a bit more pricey.