Double Duty Decor: Ottomans That Do More Than Look Good

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by SampleBoard

Gone are the days when an ottoman's sole purpose was to rest weary feet.

In today's design landscape, these versatile pieces are stepping up, proving they can be stylish footrests and functional coffee tables.

It's like having your cake and eating it too – you get a place to prop your feet while having a surface for your coffee (or wine, book, or latest DIY project).

Why settle when you can have double the duty with ottomans in your living space?

They offer a clever solution for maximizing space, especially in smaller living areas.

This benefits homeowners and individuals interested in maximizing space and functionality in their living areas.

They provide a flexible surface that adapts to ever-changing needs—whether a casual perch for snacks and drinks or a base for a tray of appetizers when entertaining. 

However, not all ottomans are created equal in terms of double duty.

From hidden storage compartments to stylish tray tops, there's an ottoman out there to fit the myriad of needs and desired aesthetics.

In collaboration with DeCasa Collections, let's explore the diversity of ottomans, covering the key factors to consider when choosing the ideal one for your setup.

Image credit: jane-athome.com

A Closer Look at Dual-Purpose Ottomans

Ottomans with Storage: Clutter-Free Living

A cluttered living room can feel cramped and chaotic, but ottomans with storage offer a clever solution.

These unassuming pieces conceal compartments, swallowing up everything from extra throw blankets and pillows to board games and books.

Whether you opt for a lift-off lid, a hinged top, or a pull-out drawer, they provide valuable storage without sacrificing an inch of style.

Image credit: puresaltinteriors.com

Upholstered Ottomans: Comfort and Style in Harmony

Upholstered ottomans are the epitome of inviting comfort.

They beckon you to unwind with plush cushioning and soft fabrics. But don't be fooled by their cozy demeanor—these are also style powerhouses.

They come in endless fabrics, patterns, and colors, from velvet and cozy chenille to durable linen and whimsical prints.

Leather Ottomans: A Touch of Timelessness

Leather ottomans are a good alternative for those who appreciate a more timeless feel and lasting quality.

The rich, supple leather texture adds a feeling of luxury to a setting, while its inherent durability ensures your ottoman will withstand daily use.

Leather options develop a patina over time, making each piece individual.

From classic brown to black or a more adventurous hue like cognac or burgundy, leather makes a statement and can withstand ever-evolving decor trends.

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Wooden Ottomans: Rustic Charm Meets Modern Flair

Wooden ottomans offer a mix of warmth, character, and versatility.

They can be crafted from various woods with distinct grain and color. From light, airy pine to rich and dark walnut, wooden choices complement a range of interiors.

They can be sleek and modern, with clean lines and minimalist designs, or rustic, with distressed finishes and intricate detailing.

They also allow the door to be painted or stained to match your existing décor, making them a customizable option.

Beyond the Basics: Explore a World of Possibilities

While upholstered, leather, and wooden ottomans are the most popular choices, there are plenty of unique alternatives for those who dare to be different.

This variety of styles and materials is particularly useful for interior design enthusiasts looking to add a unique touch to their living spaces.

Wicker ottomans offer a breezy, bohemian vibe, perfect for coastal or eclectic interiors.

Tufted ottomans add a touch of vintage allure and intrigue, whereas for a modern and edgy look, consider unexpected materials like metal or concrete. 

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Choosing the Right Size, Shape, Material, and Style

Size Matters: Finding the Golden Zone

Ottomans come in various sizes, from petite poufs to sprawling behemoths.

But how do you know which size is right for your space?

  • Consider your seating arrangement: If your ottoman primarily serves as a footrest, it should be roughly the same height as your sofa or chair. A coffee table should be slightly lower than the seating to avoid awkward knee bumps.

  • Measure your space: Grab a tape measure to determine how much space you have to work with, leaving enough room for people to move around comfortably.
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Shape Up Your Style: Round, Square, or Rectangular?

The shape of your ottoman can significantly impact the look and feel of your setup.

  • Round Ottomans form a soft, inviting feel and promote conversation. They can also be easier to navigate around in smaller spaces.

  • Square Ottomans: These offer a more contemporary look and can be used as individual seating or pushed together to create a larger surface.

  • Rectangular Ottomans are ideal for pairing with sectional sofas or long couches, providing space for trays and décorative items.
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Material World: Choosing the Right Fabric or Finish

  • Performance Fabrics are ideal for families with children or pets because they are stain-resistant and easier to clean.

  • Natural Fibers: Linen, cotton, and wool offer a breathable and organic feel but may require more delicate care and upkeep.

  • Leather: A classic known for its durability and timelessness. However, it can be prone to scratches and may not be comfortable for bare feet.

  • Wood offers warmth and character but may not be the softest option for resting feet. Consider adding a plush tray or cushion for added comfort.
Explore multi-functional ottomans with storage solutions, comfortable seating, and chic designs to reshape your living space.
Image credit: soulandlane.com

Style Sense: Picking an Ottoman That Complements Your Décor

  • Color: Choose a color that coordinates with your existing color palette, or opt for a bold contrasting hue to make a statement.

  • Pattern: Consider incorporating a patterned ottoman to add diversity and texture to a neutral space.

  • Legs: The style of legs can influence the look. Sleek metal legs produce a modern feel, while ornate wooden legs offer a more traditional touch.
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Styling Your Ottoman: The Art of Functional Flair

Trays: The Ultimate Ottoman Accessory

A tray is like the jewelry of an ottoman – it adds instant polish and elevates its style quotient.

But trays aren't just about looks; they also serve a practical purpose. They provide a stable surface for drinks, snacks, and other items, preventing them from sliding or tipping over.

Consider the size, shape, and material when choosing a tray for your ottoman.

  • Size: The tray should be large enough to hold a few items but not so large that it overwhelms the ottoman. A good rule of thumb is to leave a few inches of space around the tray's perimeter.

  • Shape: Round trays complement round ottomans, while square or rectangular trays are better suited for square or rectangular ottomans. However, feel free to experiment and mix things up; a round tray on a square ottoman can create depth and contrast.

  • Material: Trays are made of various materials, including wood, metal, leather, and acrylic. Choose a material that complements your ottoman and fits with the surrounding decor.
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Accessorize with Intention: Beyond Trays

While trays are a must-have for any ottoman-turned-coffee table, there are plenty of other ways to accessorize this versatile piece.

  • Books: Stack coffee table books or your favorite novels on the ottoman to add height and dimension.

  • Candles: Create a cozy ambiance with a cluster of pillar candles in varying heights and scents.

  • Plants: Add a hint of nature with a potted plant or a vase of fresh flowers.

  • Decorative Objects: Express your inner designer with unique sculptures, figurines, or other more intricate decorative accents.

Crafting a Coffee Table Vignette: The Art of Arrangement

  • Group in Odd Numbers: Arrange items in groups of three or five for a more visually appealing composition.

  • Play with Textures: Combine different textures, from smooth metal to rough wood or soft fabric, to form a tactile experience.

  • Leave Negative Space: Don't overcrowd your ottoman; leave breathing room between items to avoid a cluttered look.
Image credit: puresaltinteriors.com

Final Thoughts

From stashing away clutter to expressing style, ottomans have redefined a coffee table.

They're not just about practicality but about curating a living space that effortlessly adapts to your lifestyle.

By embracing the ottoman's dual-purpose potential, you're not just making a design choice but a statement about your commitment to versatility, comfort, and aesthetic expression.

So, whether you're a minimalist seeking a clutter-free haven, a trendsetter looking to elevate your décor, or simply someone who appreciates a good multi-tasker, it's time to ditch the conventional coffee table and let your ottoman take center stage.

With its myriad of styles, materials, and functionalities, it's a piece that adapts to ever-changing needs and desires.

So go ahead, elevate your feet, rest your drinks, and revel in the possibilities of the double-duty ottoman.

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