So what's the deal wth Ottomans anyway? Are they cool? Companion Investigates

A 'pouffe' was what my Nanna called a large cushion that lived in the living room. This is a word that has fallen to the wayside in recent years for obvious reasons.  


But a Pouffe is essentially an Ottoman.

An Ottoman wasn’t always a set shape, although one often finds them in square or circular versions.
 
Your standard issue lovely West Elm Ottoman (via West Elm)
The term itself refers to the assortment of tribes following Osman and his empire, one that grew into contact with civilisations and custom spanning the farthest corners of Europe. Perhaps after stretching their inimitable dominion over the European mainland, a prince's guard then liked to stretch his haunches on a squishy foot stool. Perhaps not.
Ottomans certainly evolved from this distinctive middle ages trading route courtesan chîc, probably. Some of the more notable local options throw back a reference to this time - with curly-up gilded end bits and joinery. One can almost hear the sound of grapes being dropped into a Phoenician emperor's laughing gear.
A Scandinavian example of a lounge chair with Ottoman (via Scandinavian Designs)
After quickly asking around the office for the point of these semantics some of the responses I got were:
 
“Ottoman’s a weird word isn’t it? It reminds me of that modern history class that I half listened to in year 9”
 
“Oh yeah - I’ve got one of those”

“I lived next door to a guy called Otto one time”

That brought me a realisation that, whilst an undoubtedly interesting talking point; perhaps the more important topic isn’t about pinpointing the terms’ precise point of origin, but rather about how this piece of furniture has clearly been appreciated by those who love to lounge.

Hey girl - do I look comfy to you? (Take 5 Ottoman stool via Lexington Home Brands)

This is because Ottomans offer great flexibility in comfort; they can be a top spot to pop those tired feet, they can be an extra seat for visitors in the lounge room who stay to watch that Netflix doco on Russian submarines, they can be an excellent spot to stash living room clutter/morally incriminating  material, before that love interest arrives for some pre dinner drinks.

With the most basic level of research, an Ottoman can be selected to reflect your needs and personality. The extension here of a sofa, in effect, becoming an extension of your joy de vivre. It doesn’t have to match anything (such as lounge suites, cushions etc) or it could match everything say as part of a svelte set or to compliment your current furnishings.  However - quality is key - as a mismatched item of furniture of great quality will almost always look great. A great rule of thumb is - 'your furniture doesn't match - it goes together' (but it can match too).


And it might be interesting to bring up the mostly made-up origin story in this article. This way the interior decorators amongst us will approve, and it will give that cousin with too many opinions something to stuff up his jumper.

 

Best,

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