What Is an Ottoman?
It helps to know exactly what you’re looking for as you shop for a new piece of furniture for your home. So, what counts as an ottoman? If it looks like a seat with no arms and no backrest, with a padded cushion on top of a solid frame, it’s likely an ottoman. In most cases, you’ll want to put your new ottoman in front of a couch or comfortable chair so your guests can put their feet up as they sit.
However, ottomans tend to be built to withstand the weight of someone sitting on them, which means they can also work as extra seating in your home. Additionally, an ottoman with a firm surface can act as a coffee table that is stable enough to hold food, drinks and remote controls. Some even open up – providing instant storage for your family or living room!
How Ottomans Have Evolved Over Time
Ottomans are originally from Turkey, also called the Ottoman Empire in the 1700s – and are where this piece of furniture got its name. At the time, ottomans were typically used as seating, since they had lots of cushions piled on top and often spanned a whole wall where people were relaxing. Over time, the Turkish people created a smaller version that could fit in the corner of most rooms.
When the French invaded the Ottoman Empire, they noticed that this small piece of furniture was comfortable as a footrest, so they brought the idea back home. Since then, ottomans have become popular around the world, not just as footrests and seating, but also as tables and storage solutions.