Fun & Functional: an Ottoman for Every Space

The ottoman. It’s practically one of the seven wonders of versatile decor, and for good reason: they provide extra space in an unobtrusive and simultaneously attractive way. They’re both stylish and practical, a rare combination in furnishings, and with so many options – patterned or solid, eye-catching or designed to blend in, square, rectangular, round, oval, boxy or curvy, sleek or puffy, legged or flush on the floor, fabric or natural materials – there’s virtually always room for one.

A few basic rules apply: ottoman height should be the same as surrounding sofa/chair height for effective foot-resting; offset a solid couch with a patterned ottoman for contrast (or vice-versa); the ottoman should be placed with approximately 18″ clearance on each side from other furniture to allow free passage. Other than that, go wild with your ottoman!

Even if you go with a non-storage model, your ottoman serves many purposes: footrest, coffee table, extra seating (especially for kids), place to pile up the clothes that you can wear again but don’t want to hang up (no judgment!)… You can put one in every room, not just next to the living room sofa.

Of course, you can put it in the living room. It’s safer than a coffee table – no bruised shins (for adults) or bumped foreheads (for kids) – and it looks better, too.

Living Room by Exquisite Kitchen Design
Photo by Elad Gonen
Family Room by Tara Seawright Interior Design
Tuck one into a walk-in closet or dressing room; it’s super-handy when you need a place to sit down to put on socks or adjust shoes (or contemplate the outfit for the day); it can also be a good folding surface.
Closet by Lisa Adams, LA Closet Design
Closet by Dufner Heighes Inc
Closet by McBurney Junction
Kids of all ages love ottomans. Use them in bedrooms and playrooms to corral toys and other “stuff” that kids accumulate or provide just-right sized seating
Kids’ Room by Schippmann Design
Nursery by Wynne Taylor Ford
Bedroom by Lori Gentile Interior Design
Create another cozy spot in your bedroom with an ottoman at the foot of the bed or against a wall.
Photo by Adelina Iliev Photography
Bedroom by J. Scott Interiors and The Well Dressed Window
(Side note, but is that not one of the most gorgeous bedrooms you’ve ever seen?)
Bedroom by Inspired Interiors
Tuck one under an entry table as a more welcoming, more comfortable, and easier to stow alternative to a standard bench.
Entry by Design By Lisa
Entry by Adams + Beasley Associates
Entry by Niche Interiors
Put an ottoman in weather-resistant to kick up your outdoor relaxation a notch.
Patio by Ikaria Living
Patio by Axis Mundi
Deck by Mariani Landscape

You don’t have to be a shrink to have a comfy seat in your home office.

Home Office by Cynthia Mason Interiors
Photo by Lisa Petrole Photography
Home Office by Carlyn And Company Interiors + Design
An ottoman can even be used in place of (or in addition to) traditional seating in the kitchen or dining room.
Photo by Planika Fires
Dining Room by Historical Concepts
Dining Room by Meg Adams Interior Design
Dining Room by Signature Interiors/Rita Coltrane
may seem unusual, but works great in bathroom – for putting stuff down next to tub, sitting down to change, or chatting while getting ready or winding down at the end of the day
Bathroom by Tina Kuhlmann
Bathroom by Julie Holloway
Don’t limit yourself – you can have awesome style with two or more ottomans! Just be sure that the finished layout is proportionate; don’t overwhelm the room because you just had to have that fourth ottoman.
Photo by Jacob Snavely Photography
Living Room by Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs
Bedroom by Eleven Interiors
Pool House by Stonewater Architecture LLC

Go ahead… put those feet up!