The Ottoman: A Big Little Thing

Everyone knows purchasing a sofa is a big deal. It’s a huge investment, and, as the primary seating in a living or family room, usually requires a lot of thought. (Sometimes, if you’re like me, there’s so much pressure to choose just the right one, it’s almost paralyzing…and a year later, I still don’t have a sofa.) I don’t dispute the importance of a sofa in setting the tone for a room, but I’d like to propose that the lesser-stressed ottoman plays a key role in both the aesthetics and function of the entire space.

So, yes, the ottoman is a little thing relative to many other furniture items. But it’s a big little thing. Notice how impactful the following ottomans are in their respective spaces:

Low ottoman
Put things into this ottoman

Everyone seems to need more storage, and what better way to sneak in a little extra storage space than within some ottomans? Upholstered in a graphic pattern that complements the room’s color palette, this ottoman pair packs a big-time punch, both visually and functionally.

Low ottoman
Tufted ottoman turned into a coffee table

Here, the ottoman is meant to be a dominant factor in an otherwise light-and-bright room, what with its darker upholstery, nailhead trim, and detailed legs. By stretching nearly the length of the sofa, this ottoman is truly a piece for everyone in the space. A flat, hard surface (tray) maximizes the ottoman’s “tabletop” usability in a chic, understated way.

Low ottoman
Library ottoman with a cowhide style

In a space where solid colors and traditional patterns (e.g., plaid) abound, the ottoman is a perfect vehicle for infusing some personality. This ottoman’s unexpected yet tasteful zebra covering, paired maturely with dark brown leather, adds just the right amount of pop.

Low ottoman
Round turquoise ottoman ..a perfect seating for living room

A round ottoman infuses an eye-catching counterpoint to the corners found in a living room. This ottoman fits perfectly into the space with its neutral geometric fabric and sophisticated pleated skirt…a skirt that provides a interesting and lovely contrast to the legginess of the other furniture.

Low ottoman
Ottomans around coffee table

Who said ottomans have to be a coffee table stand-in? Consider this matching pair of shorter ottomans, pulled up in the proximity of the coffee table just as two club chairs might be. This alternative of function (along with the charming provincial fabrics on the ottoman and throughout) lends a casual and comfortable vibe to the room.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.