Everyone’s got a name for them—tuffets, hassocks, poufs, pouffes, down to the more generic ‘footstool’ or, of course, the most exotic of the lot: the ‘ottoman’. As well as the name of a prosperous and influential 500 year empire, the ottoman in the world of interior design is something else altogether—a unique, upholstered, multi-purpose piece of furniture that has the ability to turn your lounge and living spaces from something basically comfortable into something truly special. Of course, it’s the Ottoman Empire that we give credit to for these humble domestic additions, first seen in France and English throughout the mid 18th century. As you can see from these fantastic examples below, the ottoman is not only alive and well, but remains highly desired by homeowners everywhere, in all its multitude of stylistic forms and modern variations. Take a look and glean a few tips on how to perfectly ‘ottomanise’ your living space in true, time-tested east meets west style!
What better use for these lovely ‘robin’s egg blue’ velvet ottomans than as a multi functional piece of furniture in the library? This elegant design of tufted footstool is utilised superbly not one but twice here in this formal yet casual and laid back reading room. Here we see the ottomans used as a casual place to sit white reading a book, or perhaps just as a surface to hold the books while we climb the ladder and search the top shelves. The elegant opulence of these two ottomans is coordinated perfectly with the oversized crystal chandelier, subtle French grey shelving and pumpkin hued reading chair. This example shows how ottomans can be incorporated easily into the floor plan of a room—it is simply a matter of defining their purpose and subtly contrasting the surrounding colour scheme, and adding plush fabrics such as velvet and nice clean white walls. This space is one that will be hard to resist!
A tried and tested fabric, leather can withstand decades of wear and tear as long as it is treated and maintained correctly. Leather is a perfect choice for a lounge room such as this, as it can function as both a footstool, but also as a type of coffee table, holding all of the attention-grabbing coffee table books with ease. The sturdiness and natural rigidity of leather also ensures that the piece will remain undamaged and crisp if it is regularly used. This tufted ottoman also comes with the benefit of having a dark hue and brushed stainless steel legs—these raise the it from the ground, making the space around and underneath easier to clean and keep unsoiled, perfect for a busy domestic space.
Here’s a case of when less is definitely not more! This giant tufted ethereal blue ottoman is the centrepiece of this informal living space—from the soft and sumptuous white shag rug, to the space invaders wall mural, this room’s alluring appeal is greatly heightened by the oversized, and incredibly inviting ottoman. The piece of furniture transcends its original use as a simple footstool—this is a multi-talented baby blue behemoth, perfect for resting, relaxing, hanging with friends, or simply sitting by the window watching the clouds pass by.
Timeless elegance flourishes in this example, where the coffee table has been replaced with a single antique white leather ottoman. This formal living space is effortlessly sleek and stylish employing matching tufted dusty lilac sofas and contrasting dark violet couches. This space is functional and classy, while the leather ottoman provides a hard wearing and virtually fuss free coffee table or footrest. In addition to this, the muted rose tones of the lamp and light fittings create a sense of warmth and invite you in to unwind and socialise in a pleasant and sophisticated manner.
Who said ottomans were to be relegated to lounges and living spaces? These days, a classy and elegant bathroom can benefit from an ottoman—not simply for resting ones feet, this bathroom shows how a gorgeous tufted white ottoman can provide a plush place to sit, rest, dress oneself and hold a gown whilst bathing. This bathroom exudes luxury and lavishness; it is palatial with its dramatic over-mantel mirror, and yet contemporary with a showpiece crystal light fitting. Topped all of this off with a well-situated ottoman, and this bathroom is one you will never want to get out of!