As the name suggests the ottoman came from the Ottoman Empire and found its way into Europe in the 18th Century. However, when they were first introduced, ottomans tended to be more for both storage and seating and were huge, sometimes encompassing three walls of a room. This gave a lot of storage room and of course ample seating. They eventually evolved into something that would be more recognisable today, a small box which could be stored away in the corner of a room, but could still be functional for both storage and seating.
By keeping your legs raised, your heart has less work to do and you consequently use less energy so can relax easier. The padded top of an ottoman permit you to do this comfortably, and many use this type of furniture with their recliner rather than use the footrest that comes with the furniture. Whether it is styled in the form of a box or a chair on short legs, an ottoman is upholstered and can be used as a seat. Perhaps not as comfortable as an armchair, but sufficient as an emergency or alternative seating option in your home during parties or when a crowd of friends descend upon you. It can be stored away under a table and pulled out when needed - or rolled out if your ottoman is fitted with casters.
When we generally think of ottoman they are nothing but a low, rectangular footrest, usually upholstered accompanying an accent chair. They are used as footrest and are perfect for comfortable seating. However ottomans have outgrown its role and we now see them along with sofa sets adding new features of extra seating or an occasional table. They come is different sizes and shapes and are much higher than the footrest. Ottoman involves a combination of shape, style and function. They are padded, upholstered low-rise bench with no armrests or back supports.
If its use as a footrest or as seating is not sufficient relaxation, ottomans come in many different sizes, and double sized version can be used for relaxation or to cuddle up to your favorite person. They are armless loveseats, so the only way to avoid falling off the edge is to hold onto each other - or so you can claim! Ottomans are child friendly - if a small child falls off an ottoman he or she is unlikely to come to any harm. They can be upholstered in child-friendly fabrics, and can offer them a playing surface when they are sitting on the floor. They can be used to sit in front of the TV with a games controller and used as a hurdle in the hall for racing, or as a horse when riding!
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