Design

When to Use an Ottoman | Design Tip!

November 11, 2022

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One of the most asked-for furniture links in our house is the ottoman in our bonus room! I don’t blame you one bit because it’s one of my very favorite pieces. We got it years ago for our basement family room, and even still, it’s such a beautiful, functional piece of furniture! The bummer part is I bought it from Shoppe Amber Interiors, a one-of-a-kind piece, but fortunately, I rounded up a bunch of other stunning ottomans.

Feet up on an ottoman

Sectional | Rug | Faux Fur Blanket | Sherpa Blanket | Olive Tree | Table Lamp

I love having an ottoman (rather than a coffee table) in the room where we lounge because it’s nice to kick up your feet and “take a load off.” It’s also perfect when you have kids (and babies), so nobody bumps into any hard coffee table edges. Chris will often bring up a tray of goodies or a charcuterie board, and we set it right atop, and it’s central so everybody can snack.

Here’s when it used to be in our basement family room.

Ottoman in a Family Room

basement with an ottoman

Sectional | Rug | Curtains | Curtain Rod | Floor Lamp | Olive Tree

I don’t think I could ever give this ottoman up. It’s the perfect substantial size, high-quality material, and it’s a great way to incorporate a different textile or pattern into any space.

Mix in a New Textile, Pattern, Color, or Finish

leather ottoman

Rug | Swivel Chairs | Navy Sofa | Ottoman | Floor Lamp | Olive Tree | Side Table

Using an ottoman to incorporate a new material, or texture, or color is a great way to make a room feel more collected and intentional. In the modern cottage living room, we had a lot of cooler tones with the blue sofa and the rug, so it really balanced out when I added the camel leather ottoman. Even the diamond-tufted pattern is new and fresh!

If your furniture is neutral, bring in an ottoman with a color or pattern to switch it up! Or if you have a lot of soft materials, maybe your ottoman could have metal or wooden legs for a mixture of materials. I feel like no room is complete without some wood, brass, black, color, pattern, and neutrals!

Also, feel free to stack books and lay out a basket or tray on top of an ottoman. It’s soft enough to rest your feet and relax but sturdy enough to use as a hard surface! I love a layered space.

Think Outside of the Living Room

Chandelier | Ottoman | Cabinet Knobs

Ottomans are not just reserved for living rooms and family rooms! This leather ottoman lived in our ensuite closet for a time, and it was so functional in there! Every day I sat on that ottoman to take shoes on and off, and I’m hesitant to admit that I set a lot of my clothes on top… oops! Bad habits are hard to break. I also feel like it just really centered and grounded the space.

Besides a large closet, an ottoman could go in a bedroom, in an entry as a bench, or maybe even in a large, open bathroom!

A Bench as an Ottoman

Navy Sofa | Bench | Leather Ottomans | Vase

Even a bench can double as an ottoman. We’ve done this, and I love how the bench tends to mimic the more rectangular shape of a sofa. Super practical, and it just goes to show that you can get creative with your furniture.

Hopefully, this has been insightful and educational and has inspired you to maybe think outside of the traditional coffee table arrangement in your living spaces. I scoured the internet to find some beautiful and versatile coffee tables at every price point for you to liven up your homes, hopefully. Let me know what you think!

round up of ottomans

1. Lynwood Cube Bench $185
2. Tyson Modular Ottoman $249
3. Abraham Wool Footstool $486
4. Pompiliana Upholstered Round $459
5. Striped Round Hyacinth & Seagrass $481
6. Upholstered Tufted $582
7. Negley Ottoman $589
8. Jacqueline Ottoman $609
9. Curio Ottoman $814
10. Fraiser Ottoman $850
11. Arroyo Ottoman $899
12. McKay Ottoman $900
13. Melbourne Ottoman $1099
14. Britton Ottoman $1199
15. Roan Ottoman $1200
16 Tuffete Ottoman $1695

Shop Ottomans

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What do you think?

  1. Melissa says:

    Perfect timing on this post! I was just looking through your pics for ottoman vs coffee table inspiration and what you do for side tables. Hoping to get an old ottoman recovered in a cute plaid fabric for cheap to add some character to my living room.

  2. Colleen says:

    Am I missing something? I don’t see links to the ottomans you rounded up???

  3. Raime W. says:

    Just wanted to share our recent ottoman find that’s a good double take for yours! It’s absolutely beautiful, substantial, really well made, and comes on casters.

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