An upholstered ottoman is a useful piece of furniture to have in a home. It can serve as a decorative piece, be used for storage, provide extra seating, or serve as a coffee table when topped off with a piece of glass
The ottoman is best known as a foot rest, but it can be so much more. It’s a wonderful substitute for a chair or loveseat in your living room – go large and luxurious. It can also act as a coffee table – choose something sturdier with a firmer top, perhaps in leather. (Be sure it’s the correct height to work comfortably with your sofa.) The ottoman also makes a perfect hall seat to put shoes on or as a bedroom bench; it’s a lovely addition at the base of your bed.
To be honest, until we started investigating, we didn’t realize the smorgasbord of ottomans available. They are cubed, barrel shaped, long like a bench, tall, low, high visible legs, tiny stub legs, no legs, tufted, skirted and our personal favourite, round. And so many more! What you choose depends on where and how you will use it, the space available and your decorating style.
As mentioned earlier, the ottoman presents a wonderful opportunity to stretch your imagination, but of course, you need to stay within your theme. An elegant skirted ottoman in velvet won’t fit a contemporary decor; nor will a barrel shaped ottoman in a funky pattern suit a traditional room.
One of the best things about an ottoman is that it can typically be moved easily and used as both a table and for seating. But if you want to make it even more versatile, choose an ottoman with a lid that lifts off for storage. This is ideal in a family room for magazines, books and games, in a hallway for gloves and scarves or a bedroom for extra blankets, etc.
There are two considerations for fabric: visual appeal and durability. You may opt for an ottoman that matches your sofa or accent chair – sets are quite popular. A contrasting colour is also a great choice – picture a bright emerald ottoman placed among neutral seating. Pattern is perfect too. I suggest something bold and/or intricate; not only will it create drama; it will also help hide any stains or wear.
An ottoman is often used as a foot stool, so make sure the fabric is strong. Go for heavy upholstery fabric. Pre-treating the fabric for stains is also a good idea in this case, particularly if the ottoman also serves as a coffee table. In terms of durability, leather is an excellent choice. Many experts also say that an ottoman with short sturdy wooden legs will best stand the test of time.