The ottoman is more than just your average footrest! This multi-functional furniture piece is a comfy must-have for living room decorating, perfect for additional seating, storage and style. From small and circular to large and rectangular pieces, the ottoman is never short on options for the home. You can play it safe with modern muted tones or go wild with playful prints; it’s entirely up to you!
Ottoman Style Guide
A Little History
The ottoman was first introduced into Europe in the late 18th century from Turkish origins, specifically from the Ottoman Empire. Piled with plush cushions, it was an essential piece of seating that often spanned an entire wall! Over time, the shape evolved, and a much smaller version was created so that it could fit in the corner of most rooms. But it wasn’t until they noticed that this piece of furniture was comfortable as a footrest, becoming a key element in private member’s clubs. Since then, the ottoman has become popular all around the world, being a universal furniture piece.
Rule of Thumb
Ready to go shopping? When choosing an ottoman, size is crucial - especially the height. Always ensure you measure the height of your sofa, loveseat or chair before you begin browsing for the perfect piece. Your ottoman should always be a similar height to your seating arrangements or slightly below. Anything above the height of your seating may result in a very uncomfortable footrest.
When it comes to a traditional living room look, the standard ottoman is loved by many. It may not have additional features such as storage, but it serves as the ultimate footrest, stool or accent piece. If you’re trying to conserve space, the standard ottoman is the perfect solution for seating that pulls out when you’re entertaining. Make sure to consider the importance of mobility – as castors or a lightweight piece will be the easiest to move.
STYLE TIP: Square ottomans pair perfectly with nearly every type of sofa style, but if you’re looking to add more visual interest to your home, try going for one with a rounded shape as your focal point. A round ottoman adds contrast to a space made up of clean, straight lines and right angles. Plus, the rounded shape packs comfort into a small package that works well in small spaces!
A firmer surface is the first thing you’ll notice when it comes to the cocktail ottoman, acting as a great alternative to the traditional coffee table. The flat surface is excellent for placing objects on top so you can style your ottoman with your favourite accent pieces. Simply pair your favourite piece with a decorative tray to hold your essentials, and you’ve got yourself the ideal living room set up.
STYLE TIP: If you’re all about enjoying food and drinks when you’re on the sofa, consider a piece that features a lightweight and dark coloured fabric. This will ensure low maintenance and easy clean-up, especially if your space is kid and pet-friendly!
When adding a storage ottoman to your space, you get a footrest, an extra seat, coffee table and storage piece all in one! From blankets to remote controls, you can stash your favourite living room essentials out of sight.
STYLE TIP: This multi-functional furniture piece is a must-have, especially if you’re short on square footage in your small space. Look for a piece with a hinged top to provide easy access to your items, and to disguise its storage ability.