What’s the difference between an ottoman and a footstool?
A footstool is for feet but ottomans can be so much more…
The History of the Ottoman
Over the centuries, the ottoman has shown great versatility and has happily functioned as a seat, footstool, coffee table or storage option. As you might have guessed, the ottoman originated from the Ottoman Empire and was particularly fashionable in late 18th Century Turkey where they were upholstered in fabulous woven fabrics and piled high with cushions. They were used as the main seating in a house, often spanning the length of an entire wall. Gradually, they became smaller, more mobile and often featured in the centre of the room instead of being relegated to the side walls. Much later on they became coveted in exclusive members’ clubs where they were adapted further in terms of their shape, size and storage options.
What is the difference between an Ottoman and a Footstool?
The difference between an ottoman and a footstool is that an ottoman’s design & fabric upholstery tends to coordinate with an existing piece of furniture, and a footstool typically does not match a specific chair nor does it have to be upholstered. Also, an Ottoman is considered a low upholstered seat without a back or arms while a footstool is a low stool for resting the feet on when sitting, and a hassock is a low stool or a padded cushion that serves as a leg rest or a seat.
I think of them as ‘feature furniture’ that draws the eye to the centre of a room where there’s homely warmth and life. I’m thinking of how it looks when you enter a room and see a large ottoman on a beautiful rug, resting on top is a tray of tea, a favourite magazine or rested feet in a pair of cosy socks.
I design and make mine with this versatility in mind and give them a super-soft yet durable wool finish and a firm filling that is suitable for feet, cocktails or coffee.
As well as our standard sizes, I’m happy to make bespoke ottomans to fit any room size. Customers have requested super-sized versions and also much smaller ones to fit into specific spaces such as an alcove. You don’t have to provide a fancy technical drawing, just an idea, a pencil sketch or a photo will do. Almost any aspect can be bespoke – the legs, dimensions, buttons, filling firmness etc. Perhaps I’ll do a wall-length ottoman one day!