It wasn’t always this way, the original ottoman was nothing more than a simple bench piled high with cushions, an inexpensive yet robust alternative to the Sofa. Yet from humble beginnings, ottomans were reworked by French furniture designers and codified into a series of practical, versatile home accessories which double as storage, seating or side tables. Inherently versatile and immaculately styled, the original ottomans made waves in the world of interiors and were immediately adopted by the fashion-conscious public at the time.
Over the years, the original innovations have become part and parcel of what we know as the modern day ottoman. In this respect it truly is a modern classic of the design world, because the very nature of the product has been defined by the original innovations upon the heritage piece. Over the years a number of manufacturers have sought to build upon these designs, adjusting size and functionality, fabric choices, detailing and technical specifications. One of the more popular modern styles is to use bright contemporary fabrics with a classic deep buttoned detail, blending the modern and the classic create a curious interplay in look and feel.
Broadly speaking, ottomans are now primarily sold either as small cubes, curved tubs or rectangular full-size upholstered pieces. Over many years of development, these three styles appear to be the most popular with interior designs and the general public. Each size and style has its own unique place when it comes to positioning and placement in the modern day living room. Smaller ottomans tend to be used as substitutes for footstools room sets featuring multiple items. By contrast larger-sized ottomans fulfil a completely different function both as a centrepiece and substitute for the traditional coffee table.
If you are considering adding an ottoman to your room set, your primarily consideration should be to closely coordinate the style of the piece with your existing furniture and the general look and feel of the room. Ultimately, ottomans are home accessories, so you should take care when selecting a new piece to contemplate the existing design principles which guide your room design. Depending on whether you prefer a classic or contemporary look, a variety of fabric options, colours and styles are available which should prove well suited to your space. However, if you can’t find want you are looking for when browsing the high street, you may wish to consult with an interior designer who will be well placed to advise with an objective eye on what will look best in your room.