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Designer FAQs: Ottomans—Round, Rectangular & More

What can I use an ottoman for?

We love ottomans because they can be used for a variety of purposes.

  • Storage: Lots of people choose ottomans to improve the look of their storage solutions and hide items that they don't want to be seen when they aren't being used.
  • Additional seating: Too many chairs or not enough space for an extra sofa or loveseat? Ottomans can seat multiple people depending on their size.
  • Extra surfaces: Even small ottomans can work as a place to put down items like a TV remote, a book, and more. Larger ottomans can hold larger items, including décor.
  • Footstools: Kick your legs up without swapping the chair you have for a chaise—a small ottoman is a great place to rest your feet.
  • Decoration: Ottomans in colors, patterns, and fabrics or leathers that accentuate your existing space can make a statement or tie a room together.

Ethan Allen ottomans are crafted from engineered hardwood that's joined by hand for excellent sturdiness. Then, your ottoman is hand-tailored in your choice of fabric or leather by one of our craftspeople for a high-quality look that's going to last. Complete the look with options like tufts, skirts, or nailheads (each ottoman comes with its own array of options; if you don’t see them online, check in a Design Center).Our ottomans are cushioned with foam certified through the CertiPUR-US® program.

What types of ottomans are there?

Ottomans come in a range of shapes and sizes to suit any room and any need.

  • Accent ottomans : Ottomans in a variety of shapes and sizes with fun patterns, tufting, and more to help make a statement. These ottomans make excellent décor or footstools. You may see one of these ottomans called a pouf—this is just a small ottoman without legs.
  • Chair-size : Low-profile and designed to add extra seating, these ottomans add visual interest and functionality to any space.
  • Cocktail ottomans : Large, statement ottomans that work as a coffee table replacement and add lots of extra seating to a space made for entertaining.
  • Rectangular ottomans : Squared-off, longer ottomans with a wider seat, these are sometimes called a bench. These ottomans look great behind a sofa or at the foot of a bed.
  • Round ottomans : Curved ottomans that make great footstools or coffee tables while breaking up the often-boxy shapes of living room furniture.
  • Square ottomans : Also referred to as a cube ottoman—this versatile shape can be small enough to fit in a tight space, or large enough to fill the center of a room.
  • Hexagonal ottomans : This trendy shape looks elegant and adds visual interest with its unexpected form.

Where can I put an ottoman?

  • Living room ottomans have lots of potential! Select a large cocktail ottoman instead of a coffee table, or place an ottoman in front of your sofa, loveseat, or accent chair as a footstool.
  • In the bedroom, ottomans are a great choice to hide the foot of your bed or add some seating near a dresser or in a walk-in closet.
  • Add some seating and storage in your hallway or entry with an ottoman to store winterwear or to provide a place to sit while changing shoes.

Preview your favorite Ethan Allen ottoman in your space by downloading our EA inHome® app. The app will also give you an idea of whether your preferred ottoman will fit in your space.

Need some advice on living room seating, including ottomans? Check out our living room seating buying guide.

Can I have an ottoman and a coffee table in my living room?

Of course—you may not want a cocktail ottoman and a coffee table, but you can certainly decorate your living room with a traditional coffee table and add small ottomans to use as extra seating, footstools, or hidden storage.

Check out our Shop by Rooms pages to see how our designers style ottomans in different living rooms.

How do I decorate a rectangular cocktail ottoman?

Replacing a coffee table with a cocktail ottoman is a great choice for multipurpose spaces because they can be used for seating or as a table. We love the look of cozy accents—like a comfy blanket—draped over a large ottoman.

If you're worried about the stability of your décor on your ottoman's soft surface, save the glass décor for end tables. Instead, decorate your cocktail ottoman with wood or metal accents with wide bases like low-profile bowls or flat-bottomed trays.

Can you sit on a storage ottoman? What can I put in a storage ottoman?

Well-made storage ottomans can double as seating.

They’re a great place to put anything you need access to but prefer not to have sitting around. We use storage ottomans to stash extra throws, games, books, seasonal clothing, and lots more.

Do you have more questions? Click the Designer Chat icon, or contact your local Design Center—we’re happy to help!