The Versatility of the Ottoman
An ottoman (also known as a tuffet, hassock, footstool, pouf or pouffe) is defined as a “deeply upholstered seat of any shape, with or without a back” and, considering the name, unsurprisingly originates from the Ottoman Empire. The ottoman furniture piece was introduced to Europe in the late 19th century where it became a central domestic furniture often piled with cushions. Even then, the many uses of it ranged from as a foot stool, to a bedroom lounger, to a major seating component – sometimes with ottoman seating wrapping around the entire circumference of a room. The main appeal of them is that they provide comfortable, unobtrusive seating whilst also doubling as a useful storage compartment. And the greatest thing about ottomans is that you can use them pretty much anywhere, in any room.
Ottoman in the Bedroom
Ottomans are perfect for the bedroom due to the fact that they commonly do provide a great deal of hidden storage. Both the ottomans pictured above have compartments to hide away various bedroom items. The Marie Upholstered Storage Seat has a decorative charm and looks great at the bottom of a bed or up against a wall, allowing itself to be used for seating. Lifting the seat top reveals a hidden storage compartment where you could hideaway the bed linen, pillows, duvets and blankets. The Taymor Storage Drawer Ottoman clearly shows two drawer compartments where you can also store bed linen or other bedroom items, as well as providing a surface to sit or just place your magazines, night-time-reading book or yesterday’s clothes.
Ottoman in the Living Room
Ottomans are incredibly common in the living room, often called a pouffe and used to rest your feet as you sit on the sofa and read or watch TV. Some don’t really “attach” themselves to the sofa itself and are used as a separate footstool, however deluxe sofa sets commonly feature an ottoman that can be pushed right up against the sofa itself to form part of the sofa, allowing you to stretch your legs out the length of the sofa as a lounger. Either way, the ottoman is a perfect seating solution for when you have lots of guests.
You can also hide away things like remote controls, books, magazines or a cosy blanket for those nights of late night movies with your significant other.
Ottoman in the Dining Room
Though it’s not typical to see ottomans used as dining room furniture in the Western world, they are quite usual in Moroccan or Japanese style dining rooms with their padded seating closer to the floor than most of us are used to whilst eating. Though the aesthetic probably works a lot better in a contemporary home, or even a bachelor pad, depending on the style ottoman they can work very well at a more traditional dining table too. You could push them up against a window when not in use, and then bring them to the dining table when you have more guests to dinner than you have chairs.
Ottoman in the Kid’s Room
Children love things they can sit on, climb on and hide things in. Having a child-friendly ottoman in a kid’s room gives them somewhere to sit and read or a soft surface to use as a small bedroom table. The ottoman’s storage compartment can also be used as a children’s toy box to tidy away their toys when they’re not playing.
Ottoman in the Garden
Ottomans rarely come to mind when you think about garden furniture, but they are perfect for larger gardens and patios. Though not all feature internal storage, they make for a great footstool to put your feet up in the garden and read a book in the Summer sun, perhaps even with a glass of wine. The rattan garden corner sofa above is typical of a deluxe garden sofa, that works as a corner sofa and lounger or a three-seater sofa with an additional ottoman to sit on for any extra garden guests.
Ottoman in the Office
Large armchairs and sofas can visually dominate an office environment, whereas multiple office chairs can easily clutter the office room. Using an ottoman as a seating solution to your home office or work office not only provides that necessary seating that you need but it also serves as a hidden space to put away your coat, bags or anything else you may not want to leave just lying around your office. You could even keep your files in there.
Longer ottomans, like the Verdi Chestnut Brown Leather Ottoman pictured above, look great up against a wall as a sort of “waiting room” seat as you just finish up before leaving – but the design maintains a professional appearance. Smaller single-size ottomans could be tucked away beside your desk so that anyone can pull it up and sit beside you as you show off your latest project on your computer.
Images sourced from: franceshunt.co.uk, honduraisopenforbusiness.com, jeffandrews-design.com, 520grid.com