6 Different Uses of Ottoman and 3 Tips to Pick the Right Ottoman

Ottoman in use

When it comes to versatile pieces of furniture, ottomans are definitely on the list.

They can be a great asset to your home, serving as a stylish, kid-friendly coffee table or as an extra bed if you don’t have a guest room.

So, what are they used for exactly?

Uses of Ottoman

An ottoman is typically used as a decorative piece of furniture to add to your house’s aesthetics, but that’s not its only purpose. Ottomans are one of the most versatile pieces of furniture, and you can use them as a footrest, extra chairs, or storage.

Let’s check out the six uses of ottomans and three tips to pick the right ottoman.

6 Uses of Ottoman

Let’s delve deeper into the six uses of ottomans to see how they can be a valuable addition to your home.

1. Enhance Your Living Room’s Aesthetics

Although ottomans have been a part of living room furniture for a long time, they have never gone out of style.

The reason why this centerpiece is still modern is that it’s multifunctional and comes in a variety of designs.

Ottomans are usually upholstered.

They come in various shapes, like rounded, rectangular, and cubic, with varying sizes to meet your requirements.

Moreover, you can choose from different ottoman finishes, like leather or patterned fabric, to blend with or complement your furniture.

For an interesting visual, you can pick an ottoman that is made of separate seats and can be put together like puzzle pieces to form a larger shape.

The best part is that you can use this creative piece of furniture in different parts of your house, not just the living room.

For instance, you can play around with ottoman styles to create a cozy reading and studying corner.

2. Use as A Coffee Table

Various home decor magazines display ottomans as the focal point of the room.

Since they serve as a centerpiece, why not just use them as a coffee table as well?

Ottomans usually sit lower than the couch, are sturdy, and large enough to handle a tea party, brunch, and cocktails.

You can get creative and decorate it with books, add a few porcelain corals for a coastal touch, or display souvenirs from past adventures.

Although you can use ottomans as a showpiece or for serving food, they have an added perk over wooden coffee tables.

An upholstered ottoman is child-friendly.

With rounded corners and soft, padded coverings, they’re definitely less painful to bump into than the sharp-cornered wooden tables.

Moreover, you can use barrel-shaped ottomans or other styles as side tables.

They’ll make great accent pieces to spice up any room.

3. Treat It as A Comfortable Footrest

Probably the most common purpose of an ottoman is using it as a footrest.

All you need to do is pair your couch with a matching cushioned footstool and turn your regular seats into a lounging space to unwind after a long day.

You don’t even have to pair the couch with a low ottoman to have a footrest.

If you own a large ottoman as a centerpiece or barrel-shaped ottomans for a handy side table, you can still drag them and use the ottoman tables as an occasional footrest.

4. Make Extra Seatings

If you live in a small apartment, ottomans can be a smart way to conserve space.

Instead of just using them as tables or footstools, ottomans can double as seats when needed since they’re sturdy and comfortable, thanks to their cushions.

So, you no longer have to worry about having more guests than chairs.

The best part is that you can pull those tuck-away seatings and arrange them around the central ottoman, so all your guests are in one place and can enjoy an easy conversation.

5. Use as An Extra Bed

If you don’t have a guest room, you can use some ottomans as an extra sleeping space.

Similar to couch beds, some ottoman designs transform from a regular square table to a chair or a lounge.

You can even unfold the foot-support part completely to turn it into a bed.

6. Utilize It as A Storage Solution

If extra seatings, a full bed, a footrest, or just a stylish decorative piece of furniture weren’t enough, you can also get an ottoman to add storage space to your home.

Just like some ottomans can separate to provide extra chairs, some ottomans unfold and provide additional storage space, especially ottoman benches.

You can store living room accessories like cushions, pillows, couch covers, or anything else that crowds the room and is only for aesthetic purposes.

However, storage ottomans aren’t just handy for the family room.

You can also benefit from the added storage in bedrooms, especially for your little one’s toys.

Besides storage, ottomans placed at the foot of the bed can make all the difference to your bedroom decor.

You can even replace your dressing table chair with ottomans to match your new bed’s extension.

How to Pick the Right Ottoman?

Correct ottoman

Picking the best ottoman can be tricky because of all the stylish and multifunctional options out there.

The best way to decide on an ottoman is to figure out the purpose you need it for and pick one that compliments your furniture.

Here are a few tips to help you settle on an ottoman.

1. Know What You Need

As mentioned earlier, ottomans are versatile, so consider the function you need most, whether it’s storage, a centerpiece, or seating capacity, to pick the best fit.

For a coffee table alternative, you’ll want to pick a large ottoman with a flat surface to hold the trays well—just make sure to cover this handy piece of furniture with a stain-repellent cover to ensure the stain isn’t a hassle to clean.

A long bench or rounded ottomans with a lift-off lid are perfect if you want to pile living room accessories but don’t have enough room.

You don’t even need large benches for storage.

If you live in a small apartment, pick small ottomans that provide storage and make comfortable seating.

2. Pick the Right Style

Your house’s furniture and the overall vibe you want to convey can help you decide on an ottoman.

For instance, if you opt for calm, modern-looking furniture, pick an ottoman that blends with the couches to enhance that monochromatic, contemporary look.

On the other hand, you can make a bold statement by picking an ottoman with colorful fabric that adds a pleasant contrast to your living room.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which style suits your taste best.

3. Take the Measurements

Picking the correct ottoman size is crucial for the overall aesthetics.

That’s why it’s important to take your couch’s measurement to ensure you don’t end up with a small centerpiece.

Ideally, an ottoman should be about two-thirds of your largest couch’s width and around one or two inches lower than the cushions.

Here’s how to take the appropriate measurements:

  1. Measure the width of your couch and make a note.
  2. Take the height by measuring from the floor up to your couch cushions.
  3. For the ottoman’s placement, measure 12 to 18 inches away from the couch, depending on your room’s size.

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