An ottoman is a piece of furniture that is often used for a footstool or footrest. It is padded for extra comfort and can be used as an extra chair when you have a house full of guests, as it does not have any arms or a back. Today's ottomans are direct descendants of those used during the Ottoman Empire in Turkey, centuries ago.
Ottomans are extremely versatile pieces of furniture. You can use them to rest your tired tootsies after a long day, you can use them as tables, or you can sleep an extra house guest or two comfortably. On top of that, ottomans are attractive and can improve not only your comfort, but the appearance of your rooms.
Ottomans are usually rectangular or round in shape, although you can find interesting looking shapes such as cylinders as well. Ottomans are available using many different types of materials, such as leather, twill, rattan, wicker, or wood. If an ottoman is made out of wood, nine times out of ten it will still have padding on the top to make the ottoman more comfortable.
There are ottomans built to resemble benches for a simple, elegant look. You can choose ottomans that match the fabric on your couches, or you can pick out ottomans that provide bright, contrasting colors in your rooms. In addition, there are special ottomans designed for additional lifestyle demands such as:
- Is your home full of children and pets? Look for ottomans made with easy-to-clean fabrics.
- Are you having extra, overnight guests? Find ottomans that fold out into cozy, single beds.
- Are you short a low table? Group together several ottomans for stability, or better yet, find an ottoman that includes a reversible tray top or table top, perhaps with cup holders.
- Do you need more storage space? Some ottomans have removable tops for your storage needs.
- Want an ottoman for those warm summer nights? Portable ottomans are available for those who want to sit outside with a cold drink.
For those with ottomans that look a little tired, but not worn enough to replace, choose fabric and have it re-upholstered or purchase snug-fitting covers for a neat, new look.