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What is a Storage Ottoman?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

A storage ottoman is a footstool that has room to place items inside it. Many of these furniture pieces look a little like a storage box with short wooden feet attached. Storage ottomans are typically close in height to sofas and upholstered chairs, as they're designed for use mainly in living or family rooms and dens. Since a storage ottoman serves as a foot rest as well as a storage vessel, it's a space-saving, versatile accent piece that's often compact and lightweight.

It's usually quite simple to find an appropriate storage ottoman to suit any style of living space, as there are so many different types available. Storage ottomans may be rectangular, cube-shaped, round, oval or a more free-form irregular shape. They may be made of rattan or wicker or have a wood base that is covered with fabric or leather. A storage style of ottoman may be extremely casual or quite formal in its design.

A storage ottoman serves as both a footstool and storage container.
A storage ottoman serves as both a footstool and storage container.

Leather storage ottomans are usually elegant enough to suit even the most formal living room. They may be any color of leather from light versions such as white or tan to darker neutrals like brown and black. Some leather-covered storage ottoman designs feature a button-tufted top section that looks similar to sofas done in a button tufting technique on their backrest. Popular types of fabric-covered storage ottomans include neutral microsuede cloth solids and colorful textile prints. Fabric ottoman styles are often padded.

The two main methods used for creating the lid removal aspect of a storage ottoman are one or two hinges or a lift-off design much like that of a simple cardboard candy box. Inside the ottoman, there may be a single compartment or a divided one. Many people use these ottomans to store craft projects, children's toys or DVDs. Storage ottomans are mostly small to medium in size, but there are also oversize varieties that may do triple duty as a coffee table in a larger living space.

Unlike most storage ottomans placed in front of a sofa or easy chair, the bench-shaped type is sometimes placed up against a wall. It can often provide not only seating and inner storage, but also a space under the seat for storing a small basket or decorative box of items. A bench style of storage ottoman could also be used as a coffee table or as seating in a mud room for putting on or taking off footwear.

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Discussion Comments


@spotiche5- If your goal is to get a nice storage ottoman without spending a lot of money, you should check out second-hand stores in your area. Though the items sold in these shops are used, they are usually in good condition. The best thing about them though is that they cost a fraction of the price of new furniture pieces.


@spotiche5- Most retail variety stores have small furniture sections, and they often carry smaller items like storage ottomans. The prices are usually quite affordable. I bought one in this type of store once, and it was durable and functional.


I'm looking for a storage ottoman at a low price. I looked at them at a local furniture store, and they cost more than I wanted to spend. I just need one that is a basic style and has a nice section for storing items like magazines and remote controls.

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    • A storage ottoman serves as both a footstool and storage container.
      By: bagarol
      A storage ottoman serves as both a footstool and storage container.