Known in many names like footstool, hassock, tuffet, or even pouf or pouffe, there are indeed a lot of definitions when we are talking about ottomans. It is said that an ottoman is a form of couch which typically has a head with no back, even though sometimes it has neither. As to shape, an ottoman commonly has square or semicircular ends. This sort of seating piece is usually stuffed over in which no wood is visible.
In American English term, an ottoman is described as a piece of furniture comprising a padded, upholstered seat or bench, customarily having neither a back nor arms, habitually used as a stool, footstool or, in some cases, as a coffee table. In other words, an ottoman serves as a low upholstered seat, or footstool, without a back or arms which characteristically acts also as a box, with the seat hinged to form a lid.
You can find this seating furniture being used in many rooms like bedroom, gaming room, family room, and guest room. As elegant furnitures, ottomans are often sold as coordinating furniture with armchairs or gliders. Leather and bench ottomans are applied to place sofas. Moreover, many ottomans are hollow in nature, hence used for storage purposes.
We can trace the roots of ottomans from furnishing practices during the Turkish Ottoman Empire – where it was the central piece of home seating mostly designed as a low wooden platform designed to be stacked with soft and cushy cushions. It was originally made as sectional furniture that enclosed around three walls of a room, yet grew into smaller versions which fit into the corner of a room, and then developed into circular padded seats surrounding a column or a pole usually in a public room.
In the late 18th century, the Ottoman Empire brought ottomans to Europe. The first ottoman can be traced back in French (1729) with its name ottomane. Meanwhile, the first record of ottoman use in English was found in one of Thomas Jefferson’s memorandum books from 1789.
Over time, European ottomans evolved into circular or octagonal shape through the 19th century, in which the seat was divided in the center by arms or by a central, padded column that might hold a plant or statue against which one could lean. Ottoman gained increasing popularity as clubs became more popular, which began to have hinged seats underneath to hold storage – magazines and the like.
There comes the ottoman footstool, a closely similar piece of furniture, an upholstered footstool on four legs, which could also be used as a fireside seat. By the 20th century the word ottoman had come to incorporate both forms.
Ottomans for Decoration and Storage
Home decoration has become a tangible trend among people these days. Some take it as a part of their hobby while others find it an essential to make their house look better. There are of course a lot of home decors available in the market and ottoman is one of them.
As an example, a storage ottoman is absolutely a brilliant addition to your living room. It offers some to you in numerous ways.
- First, it delivers comfort and relaxation as it functions primarily as a footrest.
- Secondly, it can be used to store items thus saving a decent amount of room space.
- Last but not least, it is available in a wide variety of styles, designs and colors which can truly liven up your living room.
Not only living room, different designs of ottomans are also applicable to other sorts of rooms, such as the bedroom, gaming room, family and guest rooms. Some creative ideas are small pieces of storage ottomans can be applied as mini seats or footrests, while larger pieces of ottomans such as coffee table ottomans can be literally placed as coffee tables to serve coffee, as well as to keep a great amount of goods underneath. On the other hand, you may use leather and bench ottomans as ideal alternatives to sofas.
Storage ottomans are characteristically best for small homes which have not enough space or store rooms. You need to keep in mind that before choosing or even purchasing an ottoman you have to pick according to the size of your room.
Using Ottomans to Enhance an Interior
From small ones to oversized ones, ottomans are the hidden gem that may be missing from your space. As stated above, the ottoman has come a long way, and in today’s décor, in which it can be used as storage, extra seating, and even a coffee table! You can manage this piece of furniture for space saving and also generating a statement in the middle of your room, as well as still many other creative ideas as follow.
- Shared space seating
Ottomans are a wonderful idea for apartments and open floor plan home living that share seating with more than one area. For example, the open concept living and family room concepts perhaps only have space for one seating area. Ottomans offer the options of flexibility to add seating to the joint space, or if you simply want leave it alone, you may push it up against a wall with pillows and turn it into a comfy couch.
- Stylish foot rests
The original purpose of an ottoman is to put your feet on them to rest, and this tradition will never change. Determine how much room you have for yours. Ottomans dimensions come in sizes as wide as a couch to small, square and petite sizes.
- Additional Storage
In every living room or family room there is a necessity for storage of small stuffs. Whether it is remote controls, game controllers, movies, or children’s toys, ottomans with a hinged top can be the best storage that is also accessible and camouflages itself handsomely. Ottomans with storage also are also perfect in master bedrooms, especially at the foot of the bed.
- Visually attractive
Ottomans are considered as fun and visually appealing due to their shapes and geometric. Think about ottomans that transform into a circle when put together, whereas when separated the pieces can form 4 equal wedges of seating. From circles to serpent-like shapes, ottomans can be extremely fun for more long lasting conversation.
- Tuck away seating
If you are trying to preserve space, ottomans are a flawless resolution for seating that can be pulled out when necessary. Individual seats or ottoman benches featured with casters or rollers underneath them make this kind of seating perfect when entertaining. When not needed, tuck seating under the table, and the ottoman now functions a whole different role.
- Decorative and practical coffee table
A coffee table is often referred as a table that sits lower than your couch, and is used to set and display items on beside the couch. Ottomans in the latest years have become larger, and more multipurpose to function as coffee tables as well. Show magazines or place your drink tray on them, ottomans can handle it all.
- Children friendly
Ottomans that are made with kid-friendly fabrics such as denim or tweed can effortlessly be applied as a flat surface for kids to play on top of while they’re sitting on the floor. Bigger ottomans can be used for board games and playing with friends, without disturbing the main dining table or shared area in your home.
- Versatile color coordination
For stress-free color mixtures pick a color from your walls, artwork, or fabric and take in flattering colors to match your ottoman. The ottoman are able to effortlessly blend in with the adjacent furniture, or compliment your prevailing décor.
- A show piece
Ottomans are currently becoming the focal point of the room and helping the function of ‘all eyes on me’ décor. From tufted fabrics to rich textiles and fabrics, ottomans are able to create a more casual look in a rustic room, or extravagant and lush visual appearance in an rich setting.
- Just relax on them
In many home livings, the ottoman can be compared to a comfortable seating piece to lounge on and relax. If you prefer a more tranquil environment, take into account picking oversized ottomans where you can lounge on and enjoy your home.
Ottomans can be a conversation seating piece and also a practical foot rest at the same time. Therefore, you need to decide first the role of your ottoman and what space you will apply it in. Do you want to use it for storage, or is it simply a beautiful centerpiece of the room?