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The Subtle Charm of Ottomans For a Plus of Comfyness

Ottomans have been present throughout our cultural history. They are an understated yet ever perpetuated and in the end, modernized furniture element that fits neatly into our homes to this day. Brought to Europe in the late 18th century from Turkey, as its name would suggest, the ottoman is one of the most versatile elements of furniture, which is the main reason why this import to the traditional living room has survived so long, in addition to its subtle elegance and its cuteness.

round orange ottoman

by Eminent Interior Design / Architecture by Jack Smuckler, Smucker Architecture

The ottoman is an oriental newcomer to the European or American living room: a dialogue in Gilmore Girls comes to mind, with Lorelai telling her daughter something like “Welcome back, Rory, the living room missed you. Not the ottoman of course, but everyone knows he´s a snob.”

And do you remember the puppy of the cursed royal court in Disney´s Beauty and the Beast being turned into a classic tiny ottoman? And yes, about that, ever thought that after the curse was broken, Belle and the prince might have had to take a look on Decoist and a trip to the store? As all their furniture and utensils tuned into people. But, enough about contemporary American lore and back to the ottoman.

fancy triangle ottoman as coffee table

by Madison Modern Home

leather ottoman coffee table in yellow

by Mascheroni Construction

striped fabric ottoman as coffee table

by Supon Phornirunlit / Naked Decor / Photo: Larry Olson

This simple, generic piece of furniture started out as a foot rest to fancy chairs, but nowadays can be used as a stool or even a coffee table.

One doesn’t have to look far for ottomans: iconic designer chairs of the 20th century were given this addition, such as the Eames lounge chair or Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair.

In essence, this is what a living room is lately: a place where seats and table surfaces can melt together as a lounge, and the ottoman is a part of this philosophy.

Whether round or square, plush or leather, ottomans bring a touch of cozy and subtle Orient to the living room, the bedroom, a dressing room or your special reading place. A popular chromatic approach: an ottoman of intense color can become the focal point and comply in nuance with the couch pillows, vases or paintings.

contemporary basement with fancy ottoman

by Sheila Rich Interiors, LLC

ottoman coffee table

by Patrick J. Baglino, Jr. Interior Design

blue ottoman coffee table

by Style On a Shoestring / Photo taken by Zack Benson

And if you ever wondered where the impression of oriental comes from, it is the basic shapes of ottomans and the sitting at low tables, close to the room floor, as practiced in India and Japan, a position that reminds of meditation and thus unconsciously holds a suggestion of Eastern mystique.

large white ottoman for living room

by kim scodro interiors

Some modern ottoman designs take one step away from these basic shapes, combining upholstered elements with frames of metal or wood and glass top, elements that can be organized together or separately: an ingenious and flexible disjunction of an ottoman into the traditional elements of table and stools.

low-legs leather ottoman in red

by Alder and Tweed

traditional living room - ottoman under table

by Charmean Neithart Interiors / Photos by Erika Bierma

beautiful ottoman with Jugendstil inspired patterns

by B.Design

Here’s a beautiful ottoman with Jugendstil inspired patterns, blending into a room of the same elegant and understated style.

multi functional toy storage ottoman

by Jamie McNeilis / Photo by Love Shutter Photography

bedroom ottoman with cool colors

by Eleven Interiors

large leather ottoman living room coffee table

by Elad Gonen & Zeev Beech

Monica Förster Esedra Pouf - fancy leather ottoman

by Sean Michael Design

Jeanne Paula
I write for decoist.

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