5 Ways to Style an Ottoman - post image background.

5 Ways to Style an Ottoman

The ottoman is one of those rare items of furniture that has been around for centuries and still retains its popularity. As well as being an escape from the formal seating arrangements of a room, this versatile piece of furniture can be used in a number of ways and often doubles up as a coffee table.

How to style an ottoman coffee tableThe design, colour, material, and pattern are all things to consider when styling an ottoman as a coffee table | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

An ottoman can be an extension for a seating area, a coffee table or a footstool. Some ottomans also double up as storage compartments with a removable lid, thus providing the perfect place to store throws and cushions.

With such versatility, ottomans are excellent additions to any living space while bringing a unique look of sophistication and flexible functionality. In this design guide from Minotti London, discover how to style an ottoman coffee table.

How to Style an Ottoman Coffee Table

The ottoman has become a staple of both traditional and contemporary styles. With its elegant yet functional nature, it can be used in homes, hotels, and office lounges of various sizes. In the home, the ottoman is traditionally found in living rooms, but this piece of furniture can also be used throughout the house, including the bedroom and the family room.

With that in mind, here we discuss five ways to style an ottoman coffee table.

Style with a Tray

​​One of the simplest yet most effective ways to style an ottoman is by placing a tray on top. A decorative serving tray adds another layer of pattern and texture to the room’s decor.

It is also a perfect way to decorate the ottoman with various decorative elements without overwhelming the space. Placing one or two decorative pieces on the tray, such as a vase with flowers or an aromatic candle, will add visual interest and bring fresh and interesting scents to the room.

When styling the ottoman with a tray, it’s important to note that the shape of the tray should match that of the ottoman. For larger ottomans, one can place multiple trays of varying sizes and shapes, which will create an eclectic feel and fill the space.

Style with a Stack of Books or Magazines

How to style an ottoman coffee tableBy simply placing a book on top of an ottoman, one can create an elegant and understated aesthetic to a space | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

Ottomans are the ideal space to showcase one’s favourite hardcovers and magazines. Stacking books or magazines in similar sizes will create a stylish yet casual decoration.

As a rule of thumb, one should place no more than three or four books in a matching style or colours on top of an ottoman to ensure a clean aesthetic. This will create a unique centrepiece with a stack of books that doesn’t disrupt the harmony and design of the room.

One may add other decorative elements on top of, or next to, the books for additional visual interest, such as picture frames, candles and decorative objects.

Style with a Throw

How to style an ottoman coffee tableThrows and blankets can bring additional texture to an ottoman while also adding complementary and neutral colours to further add to the interior design of a room | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

Styling an ottoman with a decorative throw will help tie the entire room together and make it look more inviting. Furthermore, a blanket over the top of the ottoman can be very practical, as it will provide extra warmth on cold nights.

When complementing the ottoman with a throw, one should consider the fabric. For example, a woollen throw draped over a leather ottoman will create a subtle and sophisticated look. In contrast, an ottoman upholstered in fabric can be paired with a velvet throw for a touch of elegance.

A throw draped over an ottoman is also a chic way to bring texture to a room. Knit blankets and wool throws add dimension and depth to a space without overpowering the room with colour.

Add a Slipcover

While slipcovers are designed for chairs and couches, they work just as well on an ottoman. Slipcovers are made from fabric and slip over the top of the ottoman. They come in a variety of colours and patterns, providing an opportunity to easily change the room’s decor.

This makes slipcovers an excellent choice for those who enjoy changing their colour schemes in-tune with the seasons. For example, a red-and-green plaid slipcover on an ottoman can be a lovely way to introduce festive colours to a room whereas a white or pastel-coloured one will be well-suited for the summer months.

Introduce Patterned Cushions

Placing decorative cushions on top of an ottoman will give it a more finished look and tie in other decorative elements in the room. Patterned pillows will also work to accentuate the ottoman’s visual appeal by adding colour and texture.

Cushions can also create a cohesive decor by bringing together the colours from other areas in the room. For example, placing cushions in a similar pattern to the drapes will tie the overall room decor together. However, neutral-coloured cushions will create a clean look that doesn’t compete or clash with other elements.

Elevate the Decor with a Stylish Ottoman

Ottomans have the power to add to the decor and comfort of a space but can also be used as footrests, seating and even coffee tables.

In this design guide, we’ve discussed five ways to style an ottoman as a coffee table, including:

  • Style with a tray: A tray on top of the ottoman is a practical way to add multiple decorative elements without creating an uncluttered look.
  • Style with a stack of books or magazines: Stacking books or magazines on top of the ottoman adds extra colour and pattern to the room’s decor.
  • Style with a throw: A throw is not only a practical way to style an ottoman, but it can also tie the room’s decor together.
  • Add a slipcover: Slipcovers come in a variety of colours and patterns and can be easily changed with the seasons.
  • Introduce patterned cushions: Styling the ottoman with a pile of decorative pillows creates a cosy yet elegant aesthetic.

An ottoman can be styled in a number of different ways to suit one’s taste and the unique decor of the space. Of course, there is no right or wrong way to style an ottoman – it all depends on one’s approach and vision but by utilising the techniques provided in this guide, one can transform any ottoman into a chic and casual coffee table.

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