4 Ways to Use an Ottoman

Ottomans are not only stylish, but have the ability to multitask in ways to make everyday life more convenient. Take a look at the many uses for an ottoman, and decide which design will work best in your home.


1. Footrest

Ottoman Footrest

An ottoman footrest (also referred to as an ottoman footstool) is typically in a square or round shape, and is usually on the smaller side.

It is common to find an ottoman footstool in a matching set with a sofa chair. If you are buying an ottoman footrest separately, make sure the width is as close as possible to the width of the chair in order to keep everything proportional. An ottoman footstool should be several inches shorter than the chair. Also remember to keep materials alike - a leather sofa chair should be paired with a leather ottoman.

When buying an upholstered ottoman footrest, choose the material and color based on your lifestyle - especially if it will go through wear and tear on a daily basis. Remember that a white leather ottoman can show more marks than a black leather ottoman.

(Pictured: Multi Color Ottoman 3422)



Ottoman Coffee Table

2. Coffee Table

Adding a coffee table ottoman (also referred to as a cocktail ottoman) is a great way to make your living room look cozy. An ottoman coffee table is usually in a rectangular or round shape, and provides plenty of surface space. The surface of the ottoman table is on the flatter side, which makes it easy to hold items.

There are many ways to style a coffee table ottoman and make it the focal point of your living room. You can effortlessly tie the look together by using a fabric ottoman that matches your sofa's throw pillows. Leather ottomans give a more expensive look, and are sometimes included in leather sofa sets. 

An ottoman tray is essential if you plan on placing drinks or delicate decor on your coffee table, in order to help them stay stable. You can keep all of your items on one tray, or place multiple trays on an oversized ottoman. You can also go for contrast - pair a black ottoman with a white tray, or a white ottoman with a black tray. Ottoman trays that are mirrored have reflective qualities that will emphasize your coffee table accessories.

(Pictured: Lavelle Blanc Cocktail Ottoman)



3. Storage

Storage Ottoman

Ottomans with storage are extremely convenient if you are looking for a place to keep items like blankets, throw pillows and books safely stored away. They are available in all shapes and sizes - whether you are looking for a round storage ottoman or a square storage ottoman, you can easily find one in any color or material. A leather storage ottoman can match almost any room, while a red ottoman can add a vivid splash of color.

There are many types of ottoman storage options to choose from. You can find storage ottomans that function as footrests or coffee tables, which is a great option for maximizing space. An ottoman with storage can even have a lid that flips over into a tray, adding more versatility.

(Pictured: Norah French Script Pattern Storage Ottoman)



Ottoman Bench

4. Seating

Ottomans make comfortable seats, and are great to have around for guests during your next party or gathering. A square ottoman can sit one person, while a rectangular ottoman (sometimes referred to as an ottoman bench) can usually sit up to two people comfortably.

It is common to find a storage ottoman that doubles up as a seat. Remember than some ottomans are taller than others, so make sure you know the dimensions.

(Pictured: Brooks Brown Ottoman)



Additional Styles and Finishes



Tufted Ottomans: A tufted ottoman can give your living room or bedroom a more elegant look. If you want a softer look, choose a round ottoman in a lighter color. You can find an ottoman that is only tufted on the top, or tufted on all sides. A tufted pouf ottoman is a popular trend, which has a more fluffy design and no legs.


Patterned Ottomans: Fabric ottomans come in a variety of patterns that can easily complement any style room. If you have a small ottoman, a busy pattern will help it stand out more. A zebra ottoman is a popular choice, and could be added to almost any color scheme to serve as a bold accent piece. If you have a black and white scheme, adding a zebra ottoman is a great way to add some extra style. A cowhide ottoman is also a great addition to a black and white themed room.


Wicker Ottomans: A wicker ottoman will look great in a coastal or casual living room, or with your outdoor patio set. Some ottomans have a fabric top, and some are completely made of wicker. You can find an all-weather wicker ottoman that will be resistant to changes in outdoor conditions, like rain or extreme sun exposure.


Editorial Assistance by Home Gallery Stores Staff