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What Are Upholstered Ottomans?

B. Turner
B. Turner

An upholstered ottoman is a piece of furniture found in sitting rooms and other living spaces. These ottomans are often placed in front of a couch to serve as a footrest or table. They resemble a standard foot stool, but are upholstered in some form of fabric or leather. Upholstered ottomans come in many designs to meet the needs of different applications, including those designed for cocktail parties and those that conceal a handy storage space.

In many homes, upholstered ottomans serve as extra seating during cocktail parties or other events. Some users may also rely on these ottomans to hold drinks and appetizers as guests chat or relax nearby. When used to hold food and drinks, upholstered ottomans may be topped with a sturdy tray to help prevent spills. Ottomans may also feature a removable lid so that magazines, blankets and other materials may be stored inside and hidden from view. Finally, the upholstered ottoman may simply take the place of a standard coffee table, where it can be used to hold drinks or act as a footrest for the home's occupants.

An upholstered ottoman.
An upholstered ottoman.

Upholstered ottomans come in many different shapes and sizes. Basic shapes include squares, rectangles and circular units, which can be as small as an end table or as large as the couch itself. Fabric coverings can range from simple linen or cotton to rich velvet or leather. Buyers can choose from solid colors, prints, or even custom finishes, depending on the offerings of each manufacturer. Each unit may rest directly on the ground or sit on a series of legs or casters.

One of the primary advantages to choosing an upholstered ottoman is the wide variety of finish options available. These units can complement any decor, from classic to modern design schemes. Units with removable lids also offer plenty of storage space, which can keep a living room looking neat and tidy. Unlike traditional coffee tables, upholstered ottomans feature soft, safe edges that can help minimize bumps and bruises. These ottomans also serve as a convenient spot to place drinks, television remotes, or magazines.

One potential drawback to the upholstered ottoman is its instability. Drinks are more likely to spill on these ottomans than they are on a regular coffee table, making cocktail trays a necessity. A spilled drink or plate can also be harder to clean from fabric or leather, compared to a standard hard-surface table.

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    • An upholstered ottoman.
      By: valya82
      An upholstered ottoman.